That’s because they believe that mixed martial arts champion McGregor—who has never fought in a pro boxing match before—is overmatched by Mayweather, a 40-year-old with a 49-0 boxing record. McGregor, 28, has a 21-3 record in mixed martial arts, which has different rules than boxing, mainly that it allows the athletes to use their feet and wrestle their opponents.
“We were very surprised this bout was even sanctioned and was going to be permitted to carry on,” says Larry Lovelace, D.O., president of the Association of Ringside Physicians, told the paper. “The thing I really fear, truly fear, is that somebody’s going to get really hurt in this upcoming fight.”
It’s not up to the Association of Ringside Physicians to determine whether or not a fight is fair, though. That’s the job for the Nevada State Athletic Commission. And the organidation decided that McGregor belongs in the fight, as executive director of the commission Bob Bennett told the New York Times.
“If you’re going to take the position that Conor has never had an amateur or professional fight, then I’m not going to change your mind,” Bennett told the paper. “If you look at him today versus Floyd Mayweather, Conor is the taller, longer, stronger, more powerful opponent. He’s also a southpaw, which makes it a little more difficult for a conventional fighter. He’s 12 years younger than Floyd.”
Former Hall of Fame referee Richard Steele, however, told the New York Timesthat he’s not sure he would have approved the fight—and he’d probably stop it more quickly than he would otherwise if it looked like McGregor was in trouble.
“He can’t kick. He can’t elbow. He can’t do nothing. Nothing that he’s used to doing that makes him a great M.M.A. fighter,” Steele said in the article.
A mixed martial arts veteran athlete fighting a boxer has proven deadly before, too: In June, former UFC fighter Tim Hague died after a fatal knockout in a boxing match with Adam Braidwood. He only fought four boxing matched before then, according to MMAJunkie.com.
Another issue the Association of Ringside Physicians has with the safety of the Mayweather-McGregor fight? The fact that the fighters will be using 8-ounce gloves instead of the 10-ounce gloves usually used in the middleweight class. This may allow for more powerful punches. In a letter to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the Association of Ringside Physicians “strongly caution against allowing current regulations to be overruled.”
This article originally appeared on Men's Health