One of the most hyped-up events of the century is nearly upon us; a grudge match that pits two-weight UFC champion Conor McGregor against retired undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather. The fight is a fully licensed boxing match, so McGregor’s career in mixed martial arts puts him at a disadvantage to the 49-0 boxer Mayweather.
As would be expected, Floyd Mayweather is the heavy favourite to win the fight, but when it comes down to it, a boxing match is simply between two people with gloves on. One clean punch is all that it takes to change the odds and swing the favour of the fight; anything can happen. With that in mind, we’ll be exploring how Conor McGregor can overcome the odds to defeat Mayweather in Las Vegas on August 26th.
Mayweather expected to win within the 12
Not only is Floyd Mayweather expected to defeat Conor McGregor, but he’s also expected to do so within the distance. With the best comparable odds for the fight putting Mayweather to win at 1.19 and McGregor at 5.5, as well as the American to win on points at as long as 3.2, the boxer is expected to win convincingly before the 12th round has concluded.
As much of an advantage as Floyd Mayweather has with his full career being in the relatively closed off sport of boxing, when compared to mixed martial arts, that doesn’t give him extra knockout power. Mayweather hasn’t knocked out any of his last seven opponents – the last being Victor Ortiz in 2011.
He may not be a professional boxer, but McGregor sure is a fighter, a very talented one at that, and one of the greatest achievements in his mixed martial arts career is that he’s never been knocked out in a fight. The Irishman’s three losses have all come by way of submission which, of course, is not an option in boxing. McGregor’s been able to fend off attacks from all limbs aiming to knock him out and has even been able to shrug off a fair few heavy hits that have landed, and yet he’s stayed conscious.
Some cite his inexperience with the length, format, and anticipated intensity of the boxing match to drain him and thus make him easier to put to the canvas. However, his rematch against Nate Diaz, which showcased a defensive and clinical master class from McGregor, lasted for five rounds of five minutes. As much as boxing does require a lot of movement and the need to either press or defend, McGregor took a lot of draining punishment in that match. McGregor’s engine should be fine, but he’ll want to end it within the distance.
McGregor needs to get the knockout
It is commonplace for fighters to just throw around the phrase “I’m going to knock them out,” as Conor McGregor did. However, they don’t always aggressively search for it in the fight through fear of potentially getting caught out and losing. McGregor needs to end the fight within 12 rounds otherwise his chance of winning becomes even slimmer than it already is.
Floyd Mayweather has become a master of defence, being able to sway the judges with his prowess on the back foot while making his opponent look more like a drunken brawler. This has been especially effective when fighting in Las Vegas – host to all 14 of his last fights spanning back to 2006 – and when having a say in which officials are at the match. McGregor needs to be sharp and convincing, and as of right now, his only passage to victory looks to be via knockout.
When the highly anticipated, but quite disappointing, Manny Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather fight eventually came to fruition, Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach wanted him to attack with volume, and to use Mayweather’s five convictions for domestic violence against women to fuel the Filipino’s game.
McGregor, arguably, has more power than ‘Pacman’ did, and his experiences in the Octagon have enabled him to hone that power into more precise strikes, as the opportunities come far less often, generally, in an MMA bout. McGregor should be aggressive, and he should throw a good volume of punches, but he needs to put power and precision behind them.
If Conor McGregor can go into the fight wary, but in no way fearful, of Mayweather’s long-unseen knockout power, while putting on the pressure and forcing the American to react to his game, the UFC champion could walk away as the winner. Well, if he can knock out the former boxing champion.