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An Interview with Jared Shaw – Mayweather vs McGregor, Golovkin vs Alvarez

By: Eric Lunger

Jared Shaw, son of Gary Shaw, long time boxing promoter and former NJ commissioner, has been around boxing and boxers since he was a kid. As an adult, Jared worked for his father, Main Events, Roc nation, Al Haymon, and others. He has extensive experience in MMA as well, having been vice president of EliteXC and the promoter of internet sensation Kimbo Slice.

Most recently, Jared founded Witness Sports Management (WSM) along with Greg Hannely, founder of the Prince Ranch boxing facility in Las Vegas. WSM has just signed three exciting prospects from Georgia who happen to be brothers: Mikhail, Maliek, and Michael Montgomery. Brought along by their father, Michael, Sr., the three brothers have extensive amateur experience, but are now looking to make their marks in the pro game under WSM guidance. “If you like pressure fighters with knockout power, then you will love the Montgomery brothers,” Jared said. caught up with Jared this week, and he shared his insights on the up-coming mega fights Mayweather vs. McGregor and Canelo vs. Golovkin. Jared, thanks for talking with me. You have a ton of experience in both the boxing and the MMA world, let’s get right to it. Does Conor McGregor have a chance against Floyd Mayweather, one of the all-time greats?

Jared Shaw: Everyone who gets in a ring or a cage has a chance, just as much as they have a risk. But you want to break it down to “styles make fights,” which is essentially what they do in boxing, and Conor McGregor has zero chance. The reason I put him at absolute nothing is because, in MMA – and there is no doubt that Conor McGregor is outrageously entertaining, an offensive fighter, he has great hands for MMA – the reason it doesn’t translate is the same reason a boxer does not translate to Mixed Martial Arts.

MMA is meant to be this hybrid between all fighting styles, but you notice how boxing is not really in there. In order to be a good mixed martial artist, you have to be able to defend the take-down, work out of submissions, and counter not only a punch, but a leg check, a take-down. So that already changes the way you stand, whereas a boxer is already way more “angled up.” So, a boxer is able to put that much more mustard into his punches.

Some people are going to say, why doesn’t Conor McGregor have a chance, you know, a puncher’s chance. But it actually works the opposite way. Just because he gets angled up and it looks like there is power, it depends who is on the other side. In this case, he is fighting maybe the best boxer who ever lived, maybe not the greatest fighter, but boxer? One hundred percent! Boxing is a dance, it’s “hit or be hit.” And Floyd is going to show movements to McGregor that he not only has never seen, but that McGregor is not even going to realize that Mayweather is tiring him out, exhausting him.

The way I see the fight is McGregor coming in – and Floyd invites everyone in – but then he is going to crowd his punches so he can feel it. People say, “Well, what if he lands a punch?” Well, that’s the thing! No one has ever landed a punch on Floyd.

BI: Even Canelo Alvarez couldn’t touch Floyd.

JS: Right. I don’t care if you want to talk about Zab Judah, or Jose Luis Castillo – nobody finished Mayweather. If they could not finish him, then I don’t think Conor McGregor is going to finish him. And let’s go back to the third round of the Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor fight, to me McGregor was punched out, he was exhausted. Nate almost had him out in the third, but Conor came back to win. But for me, there were these small things [in that fight] that Mayweather doesn’t do. Taking it to boxing, now, where they are wearing 8 or 10 ounces gloves. Was that decided?

BI: I know they made some noise about going to 8 ounces, but the Nevada Commission is going to vote on the matter on August 16.

JS: Now [assuming they stay at 10 ounces] you have a guy wearing five ounces more in each hand. That is an enormous difference. Add to that the ring generalship of Floyd, leaning on you, making you work. You are going to be gassed out, my guess is, by the fourth round. If you are a bettor, you are going with Floyd Mayweather by stoppage.

BI: Is there a worry in the Mayweather camp that, if there is a quick knock out, the PPV audience is going to feel cheated? Does that go into their calculus at all, or do they just game plan to win?

JS: Look, that is more of a business question. In this situation, no. First of all, Floyd lives to be the greatest. The only thing he knows is how to box, he had a tough childhood, and so, wining is what fills him. I happen to like Floyd, and he is a marketing genius. They both are. But in this case, he wants to embarrass MMA. He does not want any challenge to his throne, you know what I mean? The other reason is this: if he finishes him quickly and there is a backlash, like the Pacquiao fight, does he really care anymore? Who is left for him?

BI: Taking a step back for a second, the old cliché that there is no such thing as bad publicity: is this fight good for boxing?

JS: Truthfully? I think it is great for boxing. Boxing has had a hard path since the late 1990s and the era of the great heavyweights. We have been clamoring for stars. But boxing is having a great year, some really good fighters and some really good fights. There happens to be a lot boxing on television, but it still doesn’t feel like it did in the nineties and late eighties. I think for our community, we are pretty happy. But for the mainstream audience, boxing is not making its mark. But this fight does make a mark. It puts the eyeballs back on boxing, period. It puts eyeballs on Canelo vs Golovkin, and so on. It remains to be seen, of course, but how can this not be good for the sport with all the publicity and circus sideshow?

BI: Switching gears, can you comment on the Canelo vs. Golovkin bout? Do you think Golovkin was exposed in some way against Jacobs? Danny Jacobs is a great fighter, a great middle weight. Did he expose GGG or was it just a tough, close fight?

JS: An interesting question. I like to think about how a fight will play out, and Canelo vs Golovkin is one I just go back and forth on. At first, I favored Canelo a bit, because I thought they hurt him business-wise fighting Mayweather so early, but they didn’t really hurt his career. He has done a very good job of disposing of every fighter that has come his way. The difference is, I have shaken Golovkin’s hand, and we are pretty much the same size, but his hands are enormous. Like Kovalev, like Duran even, these guys have heavy hands that are game changers. The question becomes: can Canelo handle that power? This is not 154 pound power.

BI: That’s the criticism against Canelo, isn’t it? That he is a catchweight fighter and not a true middleweight?

JS: Right, and my point is that Golovkin is hitting harder even than a 160 pounder. But let’s go back to what you asked about Danny Jacobs. I think Jacobs is underrated, because when you go back to his whole body of work, he is tremendous. He was impressive as an amateur, and when he beat cancer, that was a whole other level of victory. Peter Quinlin is no joke, and he demolished Peter Quinlin. When he fought Golovkin, that was a very hard fight. Not only is Danny Jacobs a very good boxer, but he is an underrated puncher. I give Golovkin a lot of credit because I think Jacobs can stop most guys.

BI: But don’t you think that Canelo re-hydrates well? He is big when he comes back into the ring.

JS: He does, but what Canelo has not been prepared for is someone who can sit in the pocket with him and make it a Mexican brawl. He hasn’t been given that treatment, hasn’t felt that pressure. I have more questions in that fight for Canelo than I do for Golovkin.

BI: I was really fascinated with GGG’s performance against David Lemieux, where he clearly changed his style and fought behind the jab for a long time. Do you see him doing that against Canelo?

JS: I do. That’s exactly what I see him doing. Look, we are all expecting Canelo to out-box him, but I think that is [Golovkin’s] game plan. They are going to take the boxing to Canelo. I would say, for three to four rounds, Golovkin is behind that jab until a fight breaks out. It’s an interesting fight, it’s a great fight for the sport.

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