Mayweather vs. McGregor is somehow going down today. I still cannot believe that it is happening, but here we are. After months of trash talk, it feels like this one should be happening later. The bout agreement was just signed two months ago! Somehow they willed this thing into existence, and while much has been written that this fight is "a disgrace to boxing", "over before it begins", "a crime against fans of combat sports", and many other things both tamer and shrewder, I for one think this has the potential to be more intriguing than most.
Floyd Mayweather (49-0, 26 KO's) has nothing left to prove in a boxing ring. While he has well-documented problems outside of it, including spending time in jail for domestic abuse and a boatload of tax issues, inside the ring he is one of the best to ever put on the gloves. He is next to impossible to lay a hand on, having mastered the phrase "hit and don't get hit" and raised it to an art for. He also has a pretty decent chin that he does not get a lot of praise for. His ability to make adjustments in the middle parts of fights have made some of the best look foolish. This will be his 50th fight, and if he wins he will pass the great Rocky Marciano in victories. And maybe, finally make good on his promise to retire.
Conor McGregor comes into this fight with not much to lose and everything to gain. He has already conquered MMA, as the current UFC Lightweight Champion, and the only person to ever hold two titles in two different weight classes at the same time (he was also the featherweight champ before relinquishing that belt a few months back). He is currently the biggest name in combat sports, and that comes from relentless work and self-promotion that has not been seen in ages. The man makes some of the most outrageous claims a fighter can make, yet he continuously backs them up. He is a power puncher, with the ability to end a fight with one punch for sure. The problem is we do not know how the power will translate to the 8 oz gloves that will be used in this fight compared to the 4 oz ones he uses in the UFC. He also has the speed and accuracy to put punches where they need to go and open up windows to land that one big shot.
The problem with that is he has never faced anyone as fast or agile as Mayweather. Even at 40 years old, and facing a 11 year age gap, Mayweather has made a career out of being in one place one second and in the blink of an eye on the other side of you counter-punching you in the face. Defensively, Conor is going to have to push the pace and take a lot of risks, which means he will take more damage than we are used to seeing Mayweather dole out. Floyd, again, is one of the best defensive fighters we have ever seen, and that spells doom for much more experienced fighters than McGregor. The other big factor in this fight will be stamina. While Conor is used to 5 minute rounds, he usually doesn't fight more than five. His fights do not usually last that long. Mayweather on the other hand, as long as he is in shape, gets better as the fight goes on and on. Conor needs to be careful to not let the moment get to him and have a huge adrenaline dump early on in the fight, or else he will never be able to last 12 rounds.
So, who do we got?
Every factor, logic, and evidence suggest that this is going to be a Mayweather rout. And while that may be what happens…I am taking Conor McGregor not only to win, but to finish Mayweather in the 4th. I think the man's unrelenting drive and belief in himself that he can actually do this means something, and while Floyd tries to take the first couple rounds to figure out his patterns and timing, Conor will press forward and start to land while he is still confused. I think he keeps the bulk of his power in his jab even in the 8 oz gloves, and his speed catches up and he lands some big shots on Floyd and finishes him. Crazy talk? Sure. But this whole thing is crazy, it almost feels like it is the only way it can end.