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'It's not top level, it's not up to scratch': Andy Lee on McGregor's boxing skills

The former WBO middleweight champion was speaking on Off The Ball yesterday.

LAST WEEK’S NEWS that Conor McGregor was issued a professional boxing licence by the state of California further fueled the rumours that he may switch disciplines to seek a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Conor McGregor with Owen Roddy Conor McGregor. Source: Tom Hogan/INPHO

The current UFC lightweight champion’s boxing skills were discussed quite a lot after his most recent title fight, in which he defeated Eddie Alvarez.

Former WBO middleweight champion and Olympian Andy Lee says that McGregor is probably the best boxer in the UFC, but beyond that however he doesn’t feel that his boxing skills are of a high enough level.

“I wouldn’t know about the UFC as a whole, because I don’t really watch a lot of it. I’m a big fan of Conor McGregor in terms of what he’s done as a person, he’s a cultural phenomenon,” the 32-year-old told Off The Ball during the Sunday paper review.

“Out of interest when he’s posted a video of himself sparring I’ve watched it, and to me technically it’s not top level, it’s not up to scratch.

“He can fight, he’s good with his hands. But, in terms of boxing, it would be interesting to see if he could win an Irish professional title. That wouldn’t be the highest standard in the world, but it would be an interesting level. I don’t see him as a top level boxer in any way, but in terms of the UFC he probably is because the level wouldn’t be so high.”

Andy Lee Andy Lee Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Lee did agree that of course, it is understandable that boxing skills in UFC aren’t as good as boxing, because there are many more skills involved in the sport.

“Yeah, they’re looking at the legs and everything. In terms of boxing, he’s probably the best boxer in the UFC.

“He’s recently got a boxing licence. You don’t know if he’s serious about it or not, maybe it’s a power play because he’s trying to get some share of the UFC company and maybe it’s a threat against them.”

Lee was also asked on the show if the prospect of a fight with Mayweather is laughable.

“In terms of a contest, yes. But in terms of a money-generating event, it would be the biggest event of all time.

“Look, he’s a young guy from Co. Dublin and not so long ago he was on the dole and now he’s making millions and millions. As an Irishman he carries the flag into the ring, and I have to take my hat off to him and say ‘look, I respect everything you’re doing.’

“If he was applying the same acumen in business, or anything else, you would tip your hat to him.”

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