With much of the hype surrounding the upcoming Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor boxing match moving away from the fight and towards controversial comments made by both men, McGregor’s father, Tony McGregor, spoke on his son’s behalf to quash any talk that Conor is racist.
The comment in question in primarily remarks Conor made during the Brooklyn stop of the Mayweather-McGregor world press tour last week when he said he is “half black from the belly button down.” Conor admitted that the joke missed the mark and father Tony maintains his son is not what people are saying he is. “Conor is absolutely, unequivocally not racist,” he said.
“Conor McGregor is not racist,” Tony McGregor said on “The MMA Hour.” “This fight is not about race, this fight is about skill and technique. In fact, I don’t think any fight is ever about race. The color of skin is immaterial. It’s the victory that Conor is looking for. It’s imperative, that’s the only thing I’d say in that.”
The comments in Brooklyn, coupled with previous comments Conor McGregor made asking Mayweather to “dance for me, boy,” give detractors sufficient ammunition to attack the UFC Lightweight Champion’s character, but Tony remains insistent that this fight, and no fight really, is or should be about race.
“It’s not about skin color. No two combatants would ever get into a ring and the issue would be the color of their opposing skin. No, absolutely not. It’s a fight issue, not a race issue.”
Hiscoe’s Analysis: I don’t know if Conor McGregor is a racist person, but his comments certainly are, particularly the “half-black from the bellybutton down” one. As we discussed on last night’s premiere episode of the new “MMA Talk for Pro-wrestling Fans” Livecast, Mayweather and McGregor could use some quality-control when they are speaking to prevent such embarrassment and distraction from the fight. The press tour is over so we probably won’t hear much from either fighter in terms of unfiltered comments until fight week.
For Tony McGregor to say that race would never be an issue in a fight is absurd. Race as a part of fight promotion goes back over 100 years to Jack Johnson, a heavyweight champion boxer who the public was waiting for “The Great White Hope” to come along and dethrone him. More recently, Mayweather himself brought race into his fight with Oscar de la Hoya when he wore a sombrero to the ring.
TUESDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-Ronda Rousey was present at WWE’s “Mae Young Classic” tournament taping last week. Rousey’s friend and former UFC fighter Shayna Baszler is featured prominently in the tournament. Rousey sat with “Four Horsewomen” teammates Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir. The tournament will be available for viewing on WWE Network next month.
-Anderson Silva, in an Instagram post, called for a rematch with Nick Diaz. Silva wrote that their first encounter at UFC 183 “was one of the best fights in the history of this sport.”
-UFC officially confirmed reports that Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje are coaching the upcoming season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” The season set to debut on Aug. 30 has begun taping and will feature a tournament to crown the first UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion.
-Tonight is the second episode of “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.” The featured fight will be Daniel Spohn vs. Angel de Ande in a light heavyweight bout.
-Combate Americas has signed a deal with ESPN to air their events in English on ESPN 3. The first show will be the July 27 event from Miami.
FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENT ROUND-UP…
-Calvin Kattar vs. Andre Fili at UFC 214 on July 29 from Las Vegas.
-Bruna Ellen vs. Veta Arteaga and A.J. McKee vs. Blair Tugman at Bellator 182 on Aug. 25 from Verona, N.Y.