Steve Lillis is a longtime boxing commentator who has been with BoxNation since the channel’s inception in 2011. Steve has been ringside for some of the biggest events internationally and is one of the most respected members of the press in the United Kingdom. I recently spoke to Steve and talked to him about the recent Pacquiao vs. Horn result and his opinions on the fight. I also talked to Lillis about Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor and if he thinks that fight is bad for the sport. Additionally, I get Steve’s views on Canelo vs. Golovkin and his prediction for the bout. Here is what Steve Lillis had to say.
Robert Brown: It’s been a few weeks since Pacquiao vs. Horn happened. What were your thoughts on the decision?
Steve Lillis: It was no robbery, it was a very close fight. I had it 115-113 to Jeff Horn, Horn was magnificent. I was fortunate to be in the BoxNation studio in London and watched it from there, and I had it 115-113. As the fight was going on, all of us had the Twitter feed going and we couldn’t quite believe what was coming out of America. We were like, “Are we watching another fight here?” To me, Jeff was the deserving winner, he was absolutely magnificent on the night.
(Click to listen to the full interview, Q&A on Garcia-Broner, Khan-Brook & more)
When the bell sounded for round ten, that was when Pacquiao became an old man. Pacquiao couldn’t finish Jeff off in the ninth round when Jeff was there for the taking, and in the tenth round, Jeff bounced back brilliantly. But as well as Jeff bounced back, that was when Manny Pacquiao became an old fighter. Jeff Horn is not getting enough credit for what he did, everyone is queuing up because they think they’ll beat him.
Horn’s no speedster, but he’s a tough, big welterweight and I hope he makes an absolute fortune. What we have to look at as boxing people is what that win has done for boxing globally, people are talking about it all over the world.
Robert Brown: Should Manny hang the gloves up now?
Steve Lillis: I don’t see a problem with him going for the rematch, but whatever the outcome of the rematch, I would like him to retire after that. I got no problem with him going for the rematch, he feels hard done by it. Some people think he won, and most of America thinks he won, but outside of America most people think that Jeff Horn won. Lets have the rematch and get it settled once and for all and then let Manny ride off into the sunset. Whether he will, I don’t know because he’s got an entourage that’s so big, and their lives depend on him for wages and stuff. I think he will carry on boxing until his legacy is severely dented.
Robert Brown: What are your thought on the Mayweather-McGregor event?
Steve Lillis: It’s a farce. Mayweather owes a lot to boxing, he should just go out there and beat him in the first round, that’s it. Just as if they were in the octagon or cage, whatever these guys call it, the minute McGregor got Mayweather on the floor, Mayweather would be tapping out in ten seconds. It’s a different sport all together, different gloves, you’re fighting twelve rounds, they throw punches differently. Mayweather could possibly knock him out with a jab.
I think Mayweather will struggle to keep him up. There’s so much money to be made from this, Conor McGregor will sell the fight brilliantly, but you know what? He will get under Mayweather’s skin, and he’s a bit brighter than Mayweather in how he sells himself but he may get under his skin and Mayweather might go and knock him out in the first two or three rounds. Mayweather will struggle to keep him up.
Robert Brown: Who are you favoring in the Golovkin vs. Canelo fight?
Steve Lillis: Yeah Box Nation has bought the rights to it, so I’ll be there. I think it’s a fantastic fight, I think it’s the best middleweight fight of this generation without a shadow of a doubt. As mad as it sounds, I think Canelo is going to win. I’ve been big on Canelo since the day the fight was even being mooted. I’m really big on Canelo winning that fight, I just think he’s good defensively, he’s sharp. Obviously I’m not writing off Golovkin, he can knock anyone out. I just think all around, Canelo is better.
When Canelo fought Mayweather, that may have been the greatest paid and the greatest learning fight ever, because he just improved ever since. I think he has improved and gotten better and better, and if you look at their last fight, Golovkin has come off a hard fight with Danny Jacobs, where as Canelo got a win against Chavez. Canelo is going into it and all he’s had this year was a twelve round spar, where as Golovkin has had that tough fight, and Golovkin is older.