John Kavanagh predicts how Conor McGregor will beat Floyd Mayweather
STRAIGHT BLAST GYM supremo John Kavanagh admits that nothing shocks him about his leading man anymore and he even says he has given up trying to control him.
As double UFC champion Conor McGregor prepares to take part in the biggest fight in sporting history against Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas on August 26, Kavanagh is absolutely certain that his man will be victorious.
“I gave up trying to predict what Conor wants a long time ago,” the Lynx ambassador revealed exclusively to the Sunday World.
“He doesn’t shock me anymore. His amazing wins, his controversial press conferences, his dress sense, his plans to take on one of the greatest boxers of all time… I stopped scratching my head wondering ‘what’s next?’ a long time ago.
“He has actually walked out of the octagon covered in sweat and blood with a belt around his waist and before he has even showered he is already talking about the next challenge. I would prefer he lived in the moment and took each day as it comes, but I am not in control. He is.
“I manage his training and his build-ups to each fight. When I know who he is fighting I change and harness the training. I can’t control everything. He has a big team. We have an understanding. We work well together.”
That partnership has seen the 28-year-old Crumlin brawler become the biggest name in the UFC right now with victories at THREE different weights and with TWO titles. So does the mild-mannered coach think his protégé can actually beat one of the greatest boxers of all time (Mayweather has 49 wins and no losses) at his own sport?
“Conor will absolutely win,” he emphatically revealed. “He will stop him before or in the eighth round. I wouldn’t be in his corner if I didn’t honestly believe he can win. That’s why I got the mural in the gym (below).
“He is totally focussed on this. I have known him for years and I would never take a punch off Conor. Are you mad? I get to roll around with him, but I never box him.
“Anyone who does spar against him comes out saying the same thing – he changes movements and stance every time. There is no consistency for his opponent to get comfortable. He confuses and annoys fighters. Wouldn’t it be incredible to see Conor land that left on Mayweather’s chin?”
So what if Conor turns around a wheel kicks Mayweather in the head in the fight?
“Funny you should ask that. We had to hire a professional boxing referee to help us train because Conor took out two sparring partners. It’s too natural to him at the moment.
“It’s a habit that he has had for years, but he won’t break any rules on the night of the Mayweather fight.”
Kavanagh is known the world over for his allegiance to and support of his team, but soon he will have to take a break when he marries his long-term partner Orlagh Hunter.
So will Conor be dressing down to avoid stealing her thunder on the big day?
“The only thing Orlagh is worried about is having everyone looking at her all day. Genuinely. So she would love it if Conor arrived to the wedding in a flamingo-coloured suit. But I won’t be giving Conor access to the microphone.”
We were chatting to John at the announcement of the new partnership between his SBG gym and male grooming brand Lynx.
The connection at first may not be obvious but when you realise the impact that McGregor has had on style and male grooming, you realise why the global brands came together.
“I’m not a three-piece suit man like Conor. I’ll leave that to him. If you see me in a suit it is because Orlagh has told me to dress up. Failing that, I am in a Reebok t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms. Every single day.”
Kavanagh is a brand ambassador for Lynx, which is launching its first pop-up store in Ireland – The Find Your Magic Shop in central Dublin’s South William Street. It opens next Thursday and will run every Tuesday to Sunday all summer.