Former Champ Steve Forbes on Fight with McGregor: “Heck Yeah”

In just 8 days, one of the biggest events in combat sports history will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, as UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor takes on undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a 12-round battle.

The fight, which is expected by many pundits to break PPV records, promises huge paydays for both athletes involved.

It comes as no surprise then that former IBF and USBA super featherweight champion Steve Forbes is open to a fight with the biggest names in mixed martial arts, should the Irishman call him out.

When pressed about a potential matchup with McGregor, Forbes’ answer was simple:

“Absolutely. Heck yeah.”

Forbes, who has fought the likes of Oscar De La Hoya and Andre Berto, recently made news by divulging to FightHubTV that he had been contacted by McGregor’s camp to help train the UFC star for his upcoming fight with Mayweather.

Forbes turned the invitation down.

“I was asked and I wasn’t in condition. I’ve always prided myself on showing up in camp. Even in my championship days I would always help guys get ready for fights. I prided myself on being in condition, and giving them the best work possible. So, I didn’t want to go there out of shape and be a shell of my potential self, even at this stage. I didn’t want to do that. It wouldn’t be beneficial,” said Forbes.

The decision makes sense, given the recent footage of McGregor landing hard shots on Paulie Malignaggi, who was reportedly out of shape and fresh off a long flight when the video was shot.

“I don’t care how many fights McGregor has. If he’s in shape, and I’m not in shape, he’s going to pretty much own the sparring. That’s just how it works. I wasn’t interested in putting myself in a position like that, given that I’ve fought for respect my whole career,” said Forbes.

Though Forbes is not yet officially retired, he focuses the majority of his time in helping other fighters improve their boxing fundamentals though his “2 Pounds Boxing” system.

While Forbes is open to helping anyone who wants to get in shape, he has recently started working with high-level MMA fighters at Gracie Barra in Portland, Oregon. Of the fighters under his tutelage, Paige VanZant sticks out as one of his brightest prospects.

“She’s pretty sharp. When we’re doing strictly boxing, her feet are starting to come together to be able to move and pivot and turn real sharp. I’m real careful about that. When you start instructing MMA fighters with boxing, you’ve got to modify some of the moves, because you’ve got to worry about knees, elbows, and kicks. Working on her angles after the punch – her stand-up game is getting great,” Forbes said of VanZant.

For Forbes, teaching is about more than collecting a paycheck. As a lifelong martial artist, he has grown fond of using his experience and knowledge to help elite MMA athletes improve their overall stand-up game.

“You know what? It’s so much fun. Because, for one, they are open to trying different things. I’ll come in the gym and I’ll see a person in a certain spot and say ‘Hey, you know what? I’m going to change your stance just a little bit. You don’t have to fight this way, but if you’re going to be in certain positions throwing certain punches, I need you to be in this stance.’ I like that, because you can always learn something from everyone. It’s probably the most fun I’ve had teaching boxing,” said Forbes.

Whether or not Forbes returns to the boxing ring is up in the air at this point. If he does decide to lace up the gloves one more time, it will most likely be under the banner of his new fight promotion, 2 Pounds Sports & Entertainment.

Will a fight between Steve Forbes and Conor McGregor ever happen? Probably not, but we can have fun thinking about the possibility.

To learn more about the 2 Pounds Boxing system or to contact Steve Forbes, visit his website at

Ray Higginbotham is a writer and avid fan of MMA. For more content like this, follow him on Twitter @_MMARAY, and make sure to check out his Facebook page while you’re at it.


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