Boxing trainer Teddy Atlas said Conor McGregor was running ahead of Floyd Mayweather after four rounds.
MMA superstar McGregor crossed the code in August 2017 as he made his professional ring debut, being defeated in round ten by former pound-for-pound King Mayweather.
But the Irishman, who was the UFC lightweight champion at the time, got off to a brisk start.
So much so that Atlas — acting as a pundit for the fight — carried him halfway through — until Mayweather captured him.
He said in an interview with The Shamo: “To McGregor’s credit, he was ahead.
“I know you guys are probably going to choke on your pecan pie that you’re having now but that was ahead after four rounds.
“I was there calling fights for ESPN, and I was sitting there with the great Chail Sonnen and after four rounds he was ahead.
“He’s McGregor — and there’s a reason for that: because he was using his reach.
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“He is a southpaw, he has long hands, he is a counter puncher and he was staying out with counter punching, using his jab, using his reach.
“Four rounds, he was ahead. But then, of course, Mayweather did what he did in his realm to break him, and he did, and he went to her.
“But the point I’m making is that genres do battle.”
Despite Atlas’ claim, only one of the three judges agreed with him, as the other two were 44-year-old Mayweather, who led round three after four.
McGregor, 33, was given special permission by the UFC to exit his contract and fight the boxing legend.
Four rounds, he was ahead. But then, of course, Mayweather did what he had to do in his realm to break it, and he did, and he went to her.
Teddy Atlas on Conor McGregor’s fight with Floyd Mayweather
Several other UFC stars have since flirted with the idea of wearing gloves, most recently welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, 34.
Usman has previously called 31-year-old Canelo Alvarez, boxing’s pound-for-pound best, but Atlas has warned him against a switch to the code.
He said: “He has the physicality, he’s very strong, he’s a good punter and he’s not a bad striker – although I think a lot of his strength is on the mat with his knowledge and his physicality.
“You throw him out there with a B-level guy or even a good travelman guy, no.
“I don’t want to bother anyone with the fans there, but as long as the rules are strictly boxing, no, he won’t be able to have tremendous success there.”