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April 12, 2017

By G. Leon

"My goal is to become the greatest fighter ever to come out of Ireland!"

GL: I'm sure a lot of promoters were making offers to acquire your services. What made you decide to go with Top Rank? "My heart wasn't set in America. Being from the UK I didn't think there would be enough interest from the promoters in America, but when it came down to it there was a lot of promoters coming after me. Top Rank was always the promoter for me. Look what they've got, look at their history. Their history speaks for itself. When they came to the table and laid their offer out, they beat everybody and they have the best track record so it was a very easy decision."

GL: Bob Arum is already predicting a super fight with you and Shakur Stevenson in five years or less. How do you feel about that? Do you consider Shakur a rival?

MC: "Yes. That will be great when it happens. It's going to be a big fight for both of us, we could both make a lot of money and we could both say we're the best in the sport at the time because that's probably when it's going to happen. I hope to be a world champion before then and hope to be considered among the best pound for pound within five years. Hopefully by that time me and Shakur meet each other and it will be a fantastic fight where we both make a lot of money."

GL: Since your 25 and he's still a teenager, do you expect to move at a more accelerated pace than he will?

MC: "Absolutely. That's what I've asked for and that's what I want. I feel comfortable, I'm ready to rock and I feel like I can do anything in there."

GL: You do quite a bit of switching up in the ring, what stance do you feel most comfortable in?

MC: "I feel that I'm a natural orthodox fighter, but I've been switching since I was a young kid. I'm probably a little bit more comfortable as an orthodox, but I can switch up at any time. When I'm in southpaw the left hand works well so it's a great attribute to have."

GL: What are your goals in boxing? What motivates you? 

MC: "First and foremost I want to be Ireland's greatest fighter ever. That's the first thing I want to achieve, but I want to go down as one of the greats in the sport. I want to go down as one of the best and I want to make a lot of money. People are talking about their love for the sport, but we wouldn't do it if it was for free, but most of all I want to be the greatest fighter Ireland has ever had."

GL: What's the most difficult thing you've had to overcome in life to this point?

MC: "Maybe Rio. Rio was hard to get over, but I honestly have to sit down and think about that one."

GL: What part of your game do you feel needs the most sharpening?

MC: "Maybe my inside work. I definitely feel that I'm in the perfect place for it and I'm training with a Mexican coach in Manny Robles and I feel that it's improving an awful lot already. I feel like I could tweak some of my defensive moves that lead to the punches the opponent never sees coming, I have to work on them also."

GL: How did you and Conor McGregor become friends?

MC: "Conor reached out to me after I won the 2015 world championships just to congratulate me and stuff, then he reached out and asked if I could get him sparring partners for the Diaz rematch and I got him the perfect sparring partner. He gave me his number, we kept in contact and have stayed in touch. We were at an event together and I brought him on stage with me and he obliged so it was a treat for me."

GL: Is Mayweather-McGregor good for boxing?

MC: "It's good for everything. It's good for business. As a boxing point of view everybody is going to favor Floyd, it's as simple as that. It's that simple because Floyd has been on top of the world for a long time now and nobody has been able to beat him, so it seems kind of impossible. But boxing is a sport where anything can happen and you can never count anybody out."

GL: What's your favorite movie?

MC: "Goodfellas."

GL: What kind of music do you listen to?

MC: "I listen to everything from dance music, to hip hop, r&b, I listen to Irish music to make sure I'm holding on to my roots."

GL: When do you expect your professional debut in Ireland to take place?

MC: "It's going to happen in December I think. Early December or late November, but it's looking like the first week of December at the Odyssey Arena."

GL: Is there anything you'd like to the fans in closing?

MC: "Thanks for your support so far and I hope it continues all the way to the top."

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