Conor McGregor has been granted a boxing license by the California State Athletic Commission, fuelling speculation that the UFC lightweight champion could meet Floyd Mayweather in the ring.

The idea of the fight has been met with excitement in some quarters and ridiculed in others but if it did happen, could McGregor actually win?

Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor

We asked four of The Independent’s boxing and MMA writers. Here’s what they had to say…

Steve Bunce

Mayweather, all day

In the land of fantasy sport, Pele plays against Messi, Owens runs against Bolt and Ali fights Tyson. It is harmless fun, nobody gets hurt or conned.

McGregor will struggle to win an Irish title as a boxer, he is a novice, his feet are dreadful, he turns his head when he punches and lifts his chin up.

Mayweather would win without taking a punch. It would be a massacre. –

James Edwards

In the ring, Mayweather. In the Octagon, who knows?

I still maintain that this whole McGregor versus Mayweather fiasco is a publicity stunt beneficial for both men, but if we are going to allow ourselves to escape reality for a moment, let’s break it down.

A straight up boxing match would see a one-sided beatdown and it would be McGregor eating the leather of Mayweather all night long.

Don’t get me wrong, McGregor is a talented striker with power, timing and precision unmatched in the world of mixed martial arts, but that where it ends.

By strapping on the 12oz gloves and entering a boxing ring, many of McGregor’s strongest assets get taken away or at least diminished.

Then there’s the man on the other side of the ring, the pound-for-pound best boxer of all time. Floyd doesn’t get hit and when he does his ability to roll with punches and uses his shoulders to deflect strikes means most the time they barely graze him.

If the unthinkable happened and the two met tow-to-toe in a straight up boxing match I’d expect McGregor to be outclassed throughout

If we were to start introducing more rules closer to MMA, kicks, elbows and the like, we are talking a much fairer fight.

The Irishman has maintained many a time previously that when it comes to straight up, no rules fighting he’d have the edge over any opponent. To this day I don’t doubt him. –

Floyd Mayweather
Floyd Mayweather

Mark Critchley

McGregor overreaches and loses by a long way

The only thing more ridiculous than the idea of this fight is the idea that McGregor would win it.

Why? A lot of reasons, but not least because boxing in mixed martial arts is fundamentally different to boxing under the Queensberry rules.

McGregor’s left may be fearsome but while you’re wearing the small shorts, you have to be mindful of takedowns. He and his UFC peers are trained to throw punches from further away and at wider angles.

Do the same in a boxing ring against the finest reactive fighter in modern memory and you are telegraphing your every move. Mayweather would gobble each punch up like a bonbon in his $300-a-week sweetie shop.

Forget age, forget physique, forget even McGregor’s faultless work ethic. He’d still lose and lose heavily.

Jack de Menezes

My money’s on Mayweather, but what if?

The smart money is on Mayweather, and the stupid money is on Mayweather too. In fact, you’d have to search a long across the globe – apart from the Emerald Isle, obviously – to find someone who would back McGregor and provide a convincing argument.

But what if one of those left-hand counters connected? What if Mayweather, who will not have boxed for the best part of two years by the time he could conceivably meet McGregor, showed a split-second of rustiness and McGregor landed a clean punch? Would ‘Money’ be able to wear it?

My money is on Mayweather, but there’s only one way we’ll find out the answer to these questions. –

–The Independent