It’s no secret that there is a clear discrepancy in age between these two fighters. Conor McGregor is undoubtedly in his prime and is the reigning Lightweight and former Featherweight UFC Champion. This will be McGregor’s first professional stint in the boxing ring.
Mayweather on the other hand is entering the ring at 40 years of age. Mayweather’s style of fighting is built on speed and elusiveness. His last official knockout came in 2011. That was when opponent Victor Ortiz was attempting to apologise for an earlier incident. This was hardly an official knockout. Besides this recorded knockout, Mayweather’s latest knockout would have been 2007. That’s a full 10 years from his upcoming bout with Conor McGregor.
If Mayweather has lost his speed due to his old age, he could be in for a rude shock when McGregor’s punches land. Mayweather’s recent statements of intending to come out and trade punches with McGregor are either a total lie or soon to be the stupidest boxing tactic in the history of the sport. Realistically, there is no way Mayweather will jeopardize his unblemished record, and obvious advantage because he feels he “owes the fans”.
This was brought upon by fans feeling let down at the lackluster Pacquiao bout in 2015.
Lets just call a spade a spade. As mentioned, Mayweather’s game is built on speed and quickness. He doesn’t have power. He hasn’t had power for at least the last 7 years.
So Mayweather is actually incapable of knocking out McGregor. McGregor on the other hand is practically holding bricks in his hands. McGregor is known for his knockout power and should he land one of his devastating counter lefts in the bout, we could be saying goodnight to Floyd.
To double down on this point, Mayweather has also been retired since September 12 2015. Floyd may be a world-class athlete, but it must be hard to come out of retirement 2 years later, at age 40 and fight the bad man that is Conor McGregor. Floyd has claimed that he’s “not the same fighter I was 5 years ago. I lost a step” at age 40.
Conor’s style of fighting in mixed martial arts has always been actively avoiding the clinch and groundwork to let him use his most ferocious weapon, his fists. Conor is able to solely focus on trading in this bout and this with it will increase his ability to hit and hit with power.
In life, when we approach things with little to no expectations, were usually pleasantly surprised with the outcome. The same applies to McGregor’s chances. The man is set as a $4.75 underdog with Floyd sitting quite definitively at $1.20.
McGregor will leverage this position by simply being in the ring. The longer McGregor is in the ring, the worse it looks on Floyd. If Floyd is the greatest pound for pound fighter in the world as he claims, he should be able to end Conor within 2 rounds.
Heavyweight legend George Foreman has come out and echoed these sentiments. Foreman spoke to USA today claiming “Even if McGregor goes 12 rounds that would be a huge moral victory for McGregor, so Floyd is under some pressure.
Floyd needs to make a statement and Floyd hasn’t made a statement in the ring since 2007.
The Longer the fight goes on, the more McGregor need only sit back and wait for Floyd to come at him and put himself in a position to be rocked.
This is the final and most important reason why McGregor will be winning this fight.
McGregor is already in his head. McGregor has trolled Floyd by wearing a C.J Watson jersey (look up the story if you don’t know why) destroyed him at every press conference, and belittled his fighting style and intelligence.
In the early stages of the fight Mayweather will need to acclimatize to the conditions. He will need to adjust to the pace, McGregor's size and unorthodox movement.
Boxing is an art form. Fighters meticulously measure their opponent’s strikes, frequency of attacks and most importantly tendencies.
Mayweather struggles against your run of the mill standard professional southpaw boxer. Coming up against a hungry, unorthodox underdog such as McGregor is not going to be what Mayweather is expecting. Within a minute Mayweather will realize he’s unprepared for what is about to take place in the ring.
In 2014, Marcos Maidana gave Mayweather one of the more difficult fights of his career by being a straight up grub. There was grabbing, clinching, holding and borderline wrestling. All of the above are part and parcel of McGregor’s arsenal when he’s in battle. He shouldn’t have any issues using the same tactics.
No matter which way you slice it. Mayweather’s undefeated record has been high criticized. Not ever have we seen a fighter have such a successful career and be so disrespected by the public. Mayweather’s style of fighting has proven to be effective against traditional boxing opponents. A motivated McGregor is anything but a traditional opponent.
The odds for this one tell a highly one-sided story. The punter who laid a US$880,000 bet on Mayweather believed that story.
What we can see is, is that through McGregor’s Youth, Power, lack of expectations and physicality, he is primed to surprise many in this fight as he should be no more than a slight underdog.
By Nik Hatzi