McIlroy marvels at mental strength of 'hilarious' McGregor

McIlroy marvels at mental strength of 'hilarious' McGregor

Conor McGregor baited Floyd Mayweather Jr in their Los Angeles media conference, leaving Rory McIlroy amused and impressed in equal measure.

Rory McIlroy expressed his admiration for the mental fortitude of Conor McGregor, after the UFC star went face-to-face with Floyd Mayweather Jr ahead of their blockbuster Las Vegas showdown.

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McGregor, who is swapping the UFC octagon for the boxing ring, and Mayweather - who boasts a 49-0 record - are set to do battle in August in a hotly anticipated mega-money bout.

The two have been trading verbal barbs via reporters and through social media for months, and finally got the chance to do so in person in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

McGregor claimed he would knock Mayweather out inside four rounds, leaving McIlroy to marvel at the will and determination of the Irishman - an important trait in his own field - not to mention the fighter's penchant for revelling in the limelight.

"I watched the press conference last night, it was so funny. He [Conor McGregor] is probably one of the mentally strongest people in sport right now," McIlroy said in his own, markedly more understated, news conference ahead of the Scottish Open.

"I've watched a lot of Conor McGregor's press conferences and stuff, not just for the comical factor I guess, but more mentally he is so strong.

"He says, 'I see what happens in my mind and it happens.' It's huge, the mental game in golf is obviously massive and the mental game in what they do, not being intimidated and saying what's going to happen in your mind before it actually does and anticipation, it's massive.

"I think from where he was four years ago to where he is now, not just of the stature and the brand and all that, but just his mindset and you listen to his interviews and you listen to what he actually says, and you delve deeper into those thoughts, mentally he is very, very strong.

"But yeah, that press conference last night was hilarious."

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