Tyson Fury defends Conor McGregor following Manny Pacquiao criticism

Tyson Fury has leapt to the defence of Conor McGregor and backed the Irishman's claim that inactivity was to blame for his defeat by Dustin Poirier.

McGregor was knocked out in the second round by Poirier last month in his first fight since he needed just 40 seconds to KO Donald Cerrone 12 months earlier.

That fight had been his first outing since he has choked out by Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2018,

McGregor blamed his defeat by Poirier – his first career defeat by KO – on his ring rust but has been criticised over the loss, including by Manny Pacquiao who accused him of underestimating his opponent.

But Fury, who spent long periods out of the ring before returning to become heavyweight world champion for a second time, backed the Dubliner.

"He’s bang on right," he told the Daily Telegraph . " Conor McGregor fought in 2016, then he had two years out and then he fought Khabib.

"Then he had another two years out, and then he fought Cerrone. Then he had another year out, and then he fought this guy, Poirier.

"So inactivity kills the cat, no doubt about it. When one man’s been active – fighting, sparring and in camps – and one man’s been on the couch, it’s no good."

Fury returned from a two-and-a-half-year drug and drink-fuelled depression in 2018 with warm-up victories over Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta.

Those fights were crucial in preparing him for his first meeting with Deontay Wilder which was controversially judged a draw.

Fury then notched victories over Tom Schwarz and Otto Wallin before knocking out Wilder in the rematch.

And he added: "You lose your timing, you lose your distance, you lose it all.

"You lose it all, it’s all gotta be gained back within camps and within fighting.

"If you had three fights on the bounce after you’d never been in the ring for three years, in the third one you’d be ten times better than the first.

"I've always known it. Because I’m a boxing historian I’ve always known about the inactivity."

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