ESPN boxing writer Dan Rafael unexpectedly became caught up in the Conor McGregor media circus last night when the MMA superstar came face-to-face with him at an event at MSG in New York and told him in no uncertain terms that he was about to take over his sport.
Afterwards Rafael reacted to the confrontation in an interview on ESPN and later a blog on the site in which he praised the fighter’s “masterful job of creating free publicity,” which insisting that he never felt personally threatened by what was happening, noting that ‘The Notorious’ had, “a bit of a twinkle in his eye.”
That being said, in his blog Rafael brushed aside McGregor’s claims that he would shock the world if and when he does eventually fight Floyd Mayweather Jr in the squared circle, claiming that the fight shouldn’t even be sanctioned.
“I have written and said (like literally every other opinion maker in boxing or MMA that I am aware of) that it’s a gargantuan mismatch, that not only does McGregor have zero chance to win, but that a state athletic commission should not even consider sanctioning the fight because it would be the best boxer of his generation, and one of the best of all time, in the 49-0 Mayweather taking on a boxer making his pro debut,” Rafael wrote on ESPN.com. “That’s a mismatch by definition, but the almighty dollar is apparently more important.”
Rafael then went one step further by taking a direct shot at McGregor’s boxing abilities, stating that, “Frankly, from the video footage of his training that I have seen, he can’t box a lick.”
So, it appears that McGregor wasn’t able to win over Rafael with his passionate rant, but there’s no doubt that he just grabbed the entire boxing world’s attention and gave a little taste of the kind of hype that would undoubtedly make McGregor Vs Mayweather among the biggest fights in the history of combat sports.
Check out more of Rafael’s recollections of his encounter with McGregor in the ESPN interview below.