Duffy, who beat McGregor in October 2011 with a 38-second submission at Cage Warriors 39, and who then switched to boxing, says the general level of boxing in elite MMA is rudimentary.
The standard isn’t high enough for a boxing match, but MMA is very different. With the small gloves on, you haven’t got to be as technical because it’s easier for the shots to slip through and to get stoppages, and sometimes a wilder fighter can catch you off guard quicker than a technical fighter. It’s just different…It was definitely tough [to learn boxing]. I remember my first session that was officially only boxing, and the intensity and attention to detail in that first hour and a half was crazy. I had a lot to learn. I immediately wondered if I was going to be able to do it, but out of stubbornness, I wouldn’t have been able to give up. The type of fitness is very different. We obviously cover some of that in MMA, but there’s a level of comfort you have to get to. I remember sparring high level guys and there was almost a fight-like nervousness every time you’d go to a new gym…Conor is not going to be able to put pop on every shot and won’t be able to look at the leg to the neck as a target area. The gaps you’re looking for are much smaller. That’s what I learned in boxing – how to spot and open gaps, and to pace myself while doing that. It’s just one of those differences that people take for granted. Conor has some sting on his shot but it’s different with smaller gloves, and obviously, Floyd’s defense is impeccable. Floyd is used to seeing these shots coming, and this is his battleground.