As the anticipation builds for Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Saturday, the Association of Ringside Physicians believes McGregor is putting himself in serious physical danger by even stepping into the ring with the undefeated boxing superstar.
Per Joe DePaolo of the New York Times, the president of the ARP, Larry Lovelace, was stunned to see the McGregor-Mayweather fight was even sanctioned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
"We were very surprised this bout was even sanctioned and was going to be permitted to carry on," Lovelace said. "The thing I really fear, truly fear, is that somebody’s going to get really hurt in this upcoming fight."
The ARP previously took issue with the NSAC even considering letting McGregor and Mayweather use eight-ounce gloves for the fight, a request initially proposed by Mayweather.
"Unless there is scientific evidence to support the view that such a change might improve the safety of this bout, we would strongly caution against allowing current regulation to be over-ruled," the ARP wrote to the NSAC on Aug. 15. "To do so would also set a precedent for future bouts.
The commission approved the fight being contested with eight-ounce gloves at a meeting on Aug. 16.
Bob Bennett, executive director of the NSAC, told DePaolo that McGregor was approved to fight Mayweather because he's "taller, longer, stronger [and] more powerful" than Mayweather and being a southpaw "makes it a little more difficult for a conventional fighter."
DePaolo noted in 2015 the NSAC refused to sanction a light heavyweight bout between Andre Ward and Rohan Murdock because the caliber of opponents Murdock had faced to that point in his career was "vastly inferior" to Ward.
Saturday will be McGregor's first-ever professional boxing match after 24 career mixed martial arts fights.