Why coach beat the $#!@ out of McGregor the first day he walked into the gym
SBGi founder John Kavanagh spoke recently with Paul Kimmage for Ireland’s The Independent and described the day Conor McGregor walked into the gym. It was 2007 and McGregor had been boxing at the amateur level. He walked into the gym and decided to challenge now retired bantamweight Owen Roddy.
“Well, it was supposed to be a spar, but it was a fight,” said Kavanagh. “Owen was the top dog back then and the new guy wanted to test himself.”
“Owen had been with me a long time — he was my boy — but this new kid moved in a certain way. He was a southpaw, a good boxer and he just had a way about him that made you go, ‘What’s going to happen here?’ And he caught Owen with a good shot and put him down.”
Then McGregor moved on to now retired women’s strawweight Aisling Daly, dropping The Bash in front of her coach and mentor.
“It sounds worse than it was,” said Kavanagh. “He wasn’t hitting her in the head or anything, but just happened to throw a body shot that hit her in the sweet spot, the solar plexus, and put her down.
“I got a little emotional because Ash had been with me a long time and the other guys would look after her. But this new guy had come in and put her down, and my protective nature kicked in. I was still fighting at that stage, or hadn’t stopped that long, so I put the gloves on… actually, he has corrected me on that and says it was bare knuckles. But I held him down and beat the s*** out of him, without putting too fine a point on it.”
“I kept hitting him in the body until he couldn’t breathe and then I looked at him: ‘What’s it going to be? We can train or we can fight?’ And he was OK from the next day.”
More than OK.