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05th Jul 2017

Holly Holm’s assessment of Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather critics is blatantly unfair

Not very fair

Ben Kiely

Holly Holm

We’re on team Holly Holm when it comes to Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather.

After reaching the zenith of boxing and MMA, Holly Holm’s opinion on the diamond-encrusted panty night is certainly worth listening to.

Five months after defending two world titles in her final boxing bout, ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ won the inaugural Legacy FC women’s bantamweight belt. The following year, her seismic head kick shattered the myth of Ronda Rousey’s invincibility and earned the UFC title.

If Holm, a fighter who managed to upset the odds by climbing to the summit of two major combat sports disciplines, believes McGregor has a chance, who is anyone to disagree?

Holm believes McGregor’s speed could pose problems for the undefeated prizefighter. She thinks that ‘The Notorious’ has the necessary alacrity to cope with one of Mayweather’s most intimidating weapons, as she explained on the MMA Hour.

“Mayweather is undefeated for a reason, but still, I feel anything can happen in a fight and Conor’s got speed which, I think, Mayweather, a lot of people can’t handle Mayweather’s speed. I think Conor has speed and he can deal with speed pretty well. I think Conor’s fighting style and stance can actually be competitive for Mayweather.”

While her opinion on the fight is well-argued, reasonable and fair, her sweeping statement about its detractors is not.

“Anything can happen in a fight. I don’t think it’s a disgrace. I think if anyone’s out there making fun of this fight, I can guarantee you that those are the people who don’t fight.”

It’s true that there are a lot of armchair analysts contributing to the cacophony surrounding this fight. It’s also fair to say that a large proportion of the broadcasters, podcasters and reporters who have written it off as a joke do not fight for a living.

However, some of the loudest voices speaking out against the crazy bout belong to fighters.

Boxing superstar Canelo Alvarez was one of the first critics of the bout when it was still in the rumour stage. Even before it became apparent that the PPV may steal the thunder of his superfight with Gennady Golovkin, he was calling it “a joke for boxing.

Former multi-weight world champion Laila Ali explained to press that she “absolutely does not want to see it.” She disagreed with the concept of bringing in a star from another sport when there are exciting fights to be made within the boxing realm.

Lennox Lewis won’t be shelling out for the PPV either. The legendary heavyweight told ESPN that since the cream of the boxing crop couldn’t touch Mayweather, McGregor won’t stand any chance. He called the match-up ‘ridiculous.”

It’s not just boxers who aren’t buying the hype either. 50-fight MMA veteran Gegard Mousasi described it as ‘the stupidest fight ever,’ during an interview on the Three Amigos podcast.

While we’re a fan of the enthusiasm and the defence of Mayweather-McGregor as a legitimately interesting fight, we disagree with tarring everyone who don’t see it that way with the same brush.

Some of them fight.