Little Egg Harbor resident Brendan Barrett and Mays Landing’s Jeff Lentz are uniquely qualified to offer their perspective on Saturday’s Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor fight.
Barrett and Lentz are among a select group of fighters who have competed professionally in a ring and a cage as boxers and mixed martial arts fighters, respectively.
“McGregor has a .00001 percent chance of winning the fight,” Barrett, 35, said Friday. “And the only reason I’m giving him a snowball’s chance is because he might be able to show Floyd something he’s never seen before. I’ve sparred a few top heavyweights, and they all mentioned that I came at them from awkward angles. Conor could do the same thing, though I think Floyd will figure him out pretty quickly.”
Barrett, a 2000 Pinelands Regional High School graduate, owns a 5-0-2 record as a pro boxer. All five victories have been via knockout or TKO. In his last outing, he earned a second-round TKO over Brian Donahue at The Claridge on March 11.
The 5-foot-11, 245-pounder also owns a 10-8 record in MMA while fighting primarily for Ring of Combat. He suffered a loss by a second-round submission to Shelton Graves on June 2 at Tropicana Atlantic City.
“McGregor’s only chance is to try to overwhelm Floyd and land a lucky punch,” Barrett said. “But if he doesn’t do that in the first two or three rounds, he’s going to be gassed, and Floyd will take over.
“Honestly, I’m not a fan of either guy. I respect them as businessmen and fighters, but not as people.”
Lentz, a Lacey Township High School graduate, is 5-1 with one knockout as a boxer. His last fight was a seventh-round TKO loss to Jarret Hurd in 2015. Hurd is now the International Boxing Federation super-welterweight (154-pound weight class) champion.
Lentz, owner of a martial arts studio in Mays Landing, is 11-5 in MMA and is a former Ring of Combat and Cage Fury Fighting Championships featherweight champ. He lost his CFFC belt on a five-round decision to Bill Algio on March 19, 2016, at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.
“This fight is a different animal, but I know both animals (boxing and MMA),” Lentz said. “If Floyd does what he’s supposed to do, he’ll embarrass McGregor and win a decision. But McGregor is big, he is strong, and Floyd sometimes has trouble with southpaws. I think there’s a small chance Floyd could get caught with a shot.
“Floyd is my favorite boxer, and he should win this. I’ve never liked Conor McGregor, to be honest, but every time I think there is no way he’s beating a guy, he proves me wrong, so I have to stop thinking that way.”