CONOR McGREGOR has predicted Saturday’s fight with Floyd Mayweather will prove the start of a series of crossover fights between mixed martial artists and boxers.

McGregor is to make his professional boxing debut against the fighter widely regarded as the finest in the modern era at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

There is a widespread belief that their match-up will therefore prove so uncompetitive that it will end potential future interest in any such fights, but the confident Irishman believes more will follow.

Conor McGregor in confident mood at a press conference
Conor McGregor is in confident mood (John Locher/AP)

Saturday is also the culmination of the perfect storm of the biggest figures from boxing and UFC using their popularity to generate interest in a fight that was the subject of social media hype long before it became a reality.

If further match-ups are to follow then Mayweather-McGregor will need to be considered a success, but amid David Haye, Tony Bellew and others being linked to them, the 29-year-old McGregor said: “Criss-cross will happen a lot. People will come and go all over the place, and more power to it. Let’s continue. The fight game just got a hell of a lot more interesting.

“Everyone will see this and how big it is. This is amazing and I’m grateful to be a part of it. Las Vegas is going to do well out of this; so is (Mayweather). Everyone is living it up. We are all doing great.

“The naysayers can say what they want. We are going to fight. They have been disrespectful; there has been disrespect from different people.

“Although they may be showing disdain and disrespect towards me entering this game, deep down they (boxing) love it: they just don’t know it yet. There will be so many options for me after this and I love options.”

Amid his preparations, McGregor recruited respected former world champion Paulie Malignaggi as a sparring partner.

Following a clash in his training camp the American refused to continue working with him, but asked how much use his expertise had been, the Irishman responded: “It was a fight. I had many fights in the camp to prepare for this.

“People will realise the level I’m at after this contest. What was beneficial was the animosity and the disrespect that was shown by him. Then we come together and fight. That fight feeling in the breadbasket is what was beneficial. Skill levels? Nobody is close to my skill level and I’ll prove that.”

Mayweather has repeatedly insisted Saturday’s fight will be his last as a professional, when if he wins he will surpass the great Rocky Marciano by improving his record to 50-0.

He is the naturally smaller fighter, and McGregor has repeatedly spoken of his belief their use of 8oz gloves gives him a further advantage, but the 40-year-old American said: “After 21 years I’ve been hit with everything and I’m still right here.

“One thing you must know about combat sports, if you give it, you must be able to take it. Last time I checked, no one is walking me down. It’s all about my IQ and patience in the ring.

“We’re both real fighters. We’re two huge names in combat sports. He’s made a mark the last few years and I’ve made a mark for 21 years. Now it’s time to go do what we do best and fight.”