Floyd Mayweather vs Connor McGregor is perhaps the biggest fight since ‘Money’ faced arched rival and contester to the P4P throne Manny Pacquiao. The fight drew a record breaking 4.4 million PPV buys for HBO and Showtime which was a disappointingly easy win for Mayweather.
The Conor McGregor challenge is set to be another disappointing affair, for fans of the UFC megastar at least. The biggest fight in a long time is the biggest mismatch in an even longer time scale. Floyd Mayweather has fought and beat every style of boxer in his march to fifteen world titles in five weight divisions. The fight should be relatively routine and should be Floyd’s first legitimate knockout win since Ricky Hatton ten years prior.
So what is driving what is set to be another record breaking fight? The morbid curiosity of it all. Never before have two goliaths of the combat sport world collided and collide they will in the most expensive episode of car crash tv ever. A purely objective observer will highlight the fight for what it is – one of the greatest boxers of all time dismantling a professional boxing novice. But the voice lingers “what if”? Can McGregor land that perfect knockout blow to send the Mayweather mystique and the combat sports world in to chaos?
The Irishman does not possess the boxing skill, experience or physical attributes to outbox TBE. One thing he does have is the unpredictability factor:
Anyone who has ever laced up a pair of gloves can attest to novice fighters sometimes being the hardest to box against. Their wild swings and shots from bizarre angles do not come from conventional fight patterns a polished fighter is used to. McGregor would do well to capitalise on this using unconventional footwork, angles and feints to unsettle Mayweather. His best chance is to force an early mistake by the ring rusty Mayweather and counter from an unconventional angle or stance to land the perfect knockout. One under looked weapon Notorious can use is the superman punch, a punch Mayweather has no experience defending. If McGregor can spring forth with a surprise superman punch down the middle this could do damage.
Failing this he may go for the Oscar De La Hoya route – pressing the attack with volumous punches inside. The twenty nine year old will also look to impose his size in the clinch, roughing up the smaller opponent. He may also have a few undisclosed tricks up his sleeve via the Thai boxing clinch. The referee will play a huge role in dictating how much rough housing inside Conor can get away with.
Glove size selection alone tells us he is going for the knockout, however should this become too risky he has multiple paths to victory. The shoulder role is undoubtedly open to a quick southpaw left hand down the middle. However the southpaw stance leaves McGregor open to Mayweather’s strongest punch the straight right.
To get the knockout Mayweather will look to march him down in the shoulder roll guard. In coming forward he will slip and counter from the shoulder block, landing right hands and targeting the body. The Thai/Karate guard of the Irishman has left him dangerously exposed to the body and head, with winged elbows and a high chin. If Notorious is caught immobile on his feet it won’t take Floyd long to exploit this gap and the fight could be an early finish.
Failing this Mayweather may target the long game and bring Conor onto his shots from the outside. Utilizing his footwork and defensive game against the ropes he can shoot the jab to the body/head and counter with the left hook/right hand should McGregor lunge forward. If he chooses a defensive approach he should cruise to an easy point’s victory.
However with many fans and boxers claiming a point’s victory is almost a win for the challenger is this enough? He may then blend these two scenarios mixing attack with defensive countering to target a late stoppage. Despite being the older fighter ‘Money’ most definitely has the better gas tank. His younger opponent has struggled with stamina issues in the UFC, most notably against Nate Diaz. Furthermore he and has never went the twelve round distance. Floyd Mayweather on the other hand has been the distance numerous times against numerous world champions, never looking out of stamina. Even when pushed hard against the likes of Marcos Maidana.
Body shots will slow down McGregor late in the fight allowing Mayweather to open up to the head for the stoppage. Mayweather may also open up the fair and scar tissued face of McGregor to win the fight on cuts.
I predict a rather bizarre opening few rounds as McGregor tries to confuse Mayweather with jerky rhythm and unconventional stances and footwork. Mayweather will take a few round to get the timing down so there may not be much in the way of early exchanges. However to win the fight Conor McGregor will have to engage. He will slow down as the fight progresses and push the attack leaving him open to the now timed punches of Mayweather. Embarrassed after being picked apart, the ego driven young fighter will charge the attack. This will leave him open to a left hook or right hand counter for the finish.
Final prediction – Floyd Mayweather via 5th round knockout
The betting man:
Low Risk – Floyd Mayweather by KO, TKO or Disqualification
Medium Risk – Floyd Mayweather via point’s decision
High Risk – Conor McGregor KO/TKO
Extreme Risk – Conor McGregor via point’s decision
Adidas Boxing Box Hog Plus Boots 7-14uk Adults Red/Black £59.95 – Free delivery