Just days after his UFC 202 contest with Nate Diaz this past Saturday (August 20, 2016), UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor is continuing to take some shots, but this time they come at the hands of 25-year-old Mexican boxer Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Just prior to his bout with the Stockton Native, McGregor spoke to the LA Times and discussed the ‘cherry picking’ that is going on in the new era of combat sports, and labeled former WBC middleweight champion (160 pounds) Canelo as a prime example:
“If you look at the history of the fight game, especially in this new era, it’s full of stars cherry picking their opponents,” McGregor said.
“When they hold a position of power, when they get a name, all of a sudden they pick weaker opponents. They look down their division. Nobody looks up a division. Nobody looks at true challenges.
“When you look at this Canelo [Alvarez] situation,” McGregor said. “It’s an era of cherry picking. It’s not like that with me. I’m here to challenge myself. I’m training to go up two divisions, and it’s going to be a great fight.”
Canelo spoke to the LA Times’ Lance Pugmire to fire back at the Irish champ regarding his ‘cherry picking’ comment, poking fun at McGregor’s cardio game by claiming he ‘gasses out after two rounds’:
Canelo got a bit fired up when told @TheNotoriousMMA referred to him as cherry picker. He chimed back Conor "gasses out after two rounds."
— Lance Pugmire (@pugboxing) August 24, 2016
Alvarez is currently slated to step into the squared circle next against Liam Smith live on pay-per-view (PPV) from the AT&T Arena in Dallas, Texas, on September 17, 2016.