Conor McGregor is, should we say, a passionate individual. At least, you wouldn’t describe the Crumlin-born UFC man as timid and weak, and on the off chance that you did, you certainly wouldn’t do it in front of him. But what can he learn from Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk?
There are enough examples of the featherweight not taking too kindly to the feedback of an otherwise nature for you to know better than to tell him exactly what is on your mind.
But having witnessed the build-up to the year’s biggest heavyweight boxing fight, is there a lesson for McGregor to learn when it comes to saying less before his bouts?
The match in question − Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk
The match-up in question is, of course, Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk, which will take place in Saudi Arabia.
It is a fight that the Ukrainian is tipped to win, with the latest odds on Oleksandr Usyk against Anthony Joshua heavily favouring the 35-year-old at a price of 1/2.
It should be said that these odds perhaps don’t reflect just how close this fight will be or how much is on the line.
However, despite the enormous pressure on this heavyweight clash and the consequences for both fighters should they lose, the two have conducted themselves impeccably in the lead-up.
Put another way; there has been no trash talk between the duo of any real nature. Now, if we were to go back to McGregor, the Irishman is famous for his prefight antics, but the remarkable discipline of both Joshua and Usyk proves that less is ultimately more.
The edge of a dialled-down approach – intense anticipation
In fact, a dialled-down approach has the tendency to give an upcoming fight more of an edge in the sense that it creates an eerie atmosphere around the contest.
Again, this was evident when Joshua and Usyk conducted their final press conference in a respectful manner with no over-the-top promises or threats made.
Ordinarily, this isn’t the case when it comes to combat sports, with the onus being on the fighters to sell the upcoming dust-up by manufacturing a narrative of intense rivalry.
What Joshua and Usyk ultimately illustrated is that the interest of fans is more piqued when fighters have tunnel vision.
Indeed, this intense focus on the task at hand provides a breath of fresh air in an industry where words are so often not backed up by actions. In short, the more committed you see a fighter, the more you fear for their opponent.
What can Conor McGregor learn from Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk? – take a leaf from their book
It has, however, got to a point where these explosive narratives have started to undermine a contest in the Octagon.
Especially as there is an outpouring of positive emotion following a fight that suggests that everyone has been taken for a ride by buying into the prefight ‘bad blood.’
Indeed, it cheapens the spectacle and leaves you less inclined to be swept up in the back and forth before a fight in the future.
With this in mind, you could say that yes, there is a lesson for McGregor to take on board, but simultaneously, no one will be in a rush to relay it to him.