Tyson Fury is just a month away from one of the biggest fights of the year in boxing -- a rematch with Deontay Wilder on Feb. 22. But for one night, at least, his attention was turned to mixed martial arts and Conor McGregor.
Fury was a guest on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show on ESPN Radio on Saturday night before attending UFC 246 in Las Vegas. The conversation turned to McGregor's potential return to the world of boxing. McGregor, who trained as a boxer before moving into mixed martial arts, lost by a 10th-round TKO to Floyd Mayweather in August 2017 and has spoken of both a potential rematch against Mayweather, as well as a fight against Manny Pacquiao.
"If he wants to be a boxer, if he wants to do boxing, do it," Fury said. "I thought he'd done quite well against Floyd Mayweather. He'd done as good as anybody else has done, really. He was catching Mayweather with some good shots.
"I think it's great for boxing and great for combat sports," Fury continued. "If McGregor fights Pacquiao or Mayweather, it creates a big show in Las Vegas. It gives people the opportunity to come out and get involved in the entertainment and action. It creates jobs for people. It brings money to Las Vegas, money to America. It brings tourism to the country. I think it's very, very good for sports in general."
Fury, who himself has made forays into professional wrestling and has talked about a future involving fights outside of boxing, is in favor of McGregor chasing goals that challenge him and make him happy.
"I'd like to see it, because it's what people want to do with their lives," Fury said. "Who am I, who are you or who is anybody to say someone shouldn't do what they want to do in their life?"
Fury also addressed the potential of fighting in the UFC himself, and the challenge presented by current UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic. He would be willing to step outside his comfort zone, Fury said, but added that he'd require some special circumstances.
"I don't want to go into an MMA fight, rolling around the floor and all that, no. But I would fight one of their champions in small gloves. Maybe in a cage, but with boxing rules. I think that would be very interesting. ... With UFC gloves, the little 4-ounce gloves, that would be good for me.
"After I beat Deontay Wilder next month, I'm going to have a sit-down with Dana [White] and we're going to go for it, run some numbers and see if the fight makes sense. Whoever's available from that side, and whoever's willing to get their ass kicked in the cage by the heavyweight champion of the world, he's the one I want."