With the four-city promotional media tour coming to a close, we can now digest the heavy dose of WWE-style ridiculousness along with the touches of racism, homophobia, and misogyny sprinkled in which we all got the pleasure of witnessing from these two champions of their respective sports. After all, what did you expect from these two in the first place?
For those of you who were scoring from home, we gave Los Angeles to the unprepared Conor, 10-9. After getting used to the boxing style press conferences, Conor went on to take Toronto in a landslide, 10-8. After narrowly avoiding the TKO, Mayweather came back strong and took New York 10-9. And finally, we scored London a draw, giving McGregor the advantage on the scorecards 39-37.
There were some extremely entertaining moments during this mega-fight media tour, as we expected, but there were also some extremely cringe-worthy moments as well -- also as expected. Now we can focus on the actual fight, which is the reason we're here in the first place.
Conor was in his element on stage with a microphone in hand dishing out insults, which is what he does best and a main reason why he's gotten himself in this position, staring at a massive payday, but the boxing ring will be a whole different scenario since he has no career professional boxing matches to his credit and he's going straight into the deep end to face the undisputed champ.
Many feel that the press conferences will be more entertaining than the actual fight, which very well could be the case. But with the attention now focused on the actual fight, we can now assess all the details that could sway the outcome of this epic battle that's about to take place.
We've already done an article on this very topic, but we still need to address a few details that were left out previously. There's so much to consider for this monumental battle between one of the best boxers ever and the UFC champion, so let's have a closer look at some details that could factor in on the outcome of the fight.
Obviously, there's no doubt that Mayweather has a huge advantage when it comes to experience. With a professional record of 49-0, not to mention all of the amateur fights, including the Olympics, Mayweather is clearly in his element. This will be an incredibly important factor going into to this fight and, of course, during the bout itself.
While Conor makes all the adjustments for his switch to boxing, which is an entirely different animal than MMA, it's business as usual for one of the pound-for-pound greatest boxers of all time. We'll find out soon enough how Conor adapts to his new surroundings, but for Floyd, it's business as usual. This is clearly a crucial factor heading into the fight. Advantage: Mayweather.
All professional fighters are used to a certain amount of inevitable trash-talk that occurs during press conferences and even during fights -- but nothing on Conor McGregor's level. Never has Mayweather been called-out and so publicly humiliated as he was during this recent tour. At times, he laughed it off and took videos while Conor was attempting to destroy his ego, while other times, he just sat there as the UFC champ let the insults fly.
It's hard to gauge whether this had any psychological effect on Mayweather, but you know that inside, he must be fuming. Whether this makes him lose his cool and allows this to throw him off of his game remains to be seen. One thing is for sure: he's never been through something like that before, and judging by the way Jose Aldo took it, it could be a long or a short night for the '12-year-old break dancer b*tch.' Advantage: McGregor.
One thing's for sure: Speed kills. Whether it's a team sport or individual sports, speed is always a decisive factor. In the NFL, speed is everything. Sometimes, even less than a second determines if you make the league or not. Boxing is no different in that regard. And when it comes to speed, Floyd definitely has the advantage.
Floyd gets the nod in foot speed, hand speed, and overall quickness. Floyd even has better reaction time, which makes him so elusive. This is also the reason why people have such a hard time making contact with him, or why he's such a good counter-puncher. Speed is in Mayweather's favor, and he'll have to use it throughout this fight as he's always done if he wants to come out on top.
While Mayweather has the clear speed advantage over McGregor, the same cannot be said when it comes to natural power. In fact, if you look at Conor's record, 16 of his 18 KO or TKO wins came from his hands inside the octagon, which is quite impressive, considering the many ways to finish an opponent in the UFC. Conor loves using his punches and striking ability. He also has a size and reach advantage.
Meanwhile, Mayweather hasn't knocked an opponent out since his controversial win over Victor Ortiz in 2011, which was seven fights ago. So, he's not exactly making opponents worry about his power. If Mayweather wins, look for a decision from the judges, which is usually the case anyways. Some of this has to do with his often-injured hands, which we'll discuss later in the article. McGregor definitely has a puncher's chance. One clean shot could make the difference.
We talked about Mayweather's elusiveness due to his speed advantage. Yes, Floyd has super quick hands, something McGregor is not used to, but he also has those lightning-fast feet, which he uses more often than most people would like.
Floyd gets a lot of flack from sports fans and pundits alike for running more than actually fighting. But this is Mayweather's style, and it's helped him remain undefeated after all these years. Say what you want, but it works. Floyd likes to stick and move, and he likes to move a lot. It's going to be very difficult for McGregor to catch him and keep him along the ropes and stay in striking distance. It'll be interesting to see how Conor adjusts to this style. Good luck with that!
McGregor is a southpaw. And as we previously mentioned, he also has tons of knockout power with that short left hook. This should be on Mayweather's mind for the entire bout when they finally meet in the ring. Floyd will be doing everything possible to avoid that left hand. "One shot is all it takes," McGregor likes to remind us, so that 'puncher's chance' is very much relevant.
Let's not forget (which is easy to do since Floyd has never lost in his professional boxing career), Floyd has more difficulty with left-handed fighters. Oscar De La Hoya once said, “The left hand is the Kryptonite for Mayweather.” Another thing to consider is all of the hand injuries Mayweather has sustained during his career, which is probably the reason for his lack of knockout power. In his last fight against Andre Berto, Floyd hurt his left hand in the ninth round and didn't do much for the final three rounds. In 2006, against Carlos Baldomir, Floyd hurt his right hand so badly that after the fight, he said, "I've never felt pain like that before."
It's still hard to believe that a UFC fighter with no professional boxing experience whatsoever is getting a shot at arguably the best pound-for-pound boxer of all-time, but that's the situation we've found ourselves in. We talked about all of Mayweather's boxing experience, but the lack of experience for McGregor is certainly alarming and doesn't bode well for the MMA star's chances.
Consider the fact that McGregor just started training as a boxer only a couple of months ago. Not only does he have no ring experience, but he has no training experience. It's truly mind-boggling. McGregor might have trained in his youth as an amateur boxer, but that was a long time ago, and he's now facing one of the best... ever. It's hard to be optimistic about his chances.
Another important issue to consider is the age difference between the two fighters. Conor has far less wear and tear and has 12 years on his side coming into the fight. That's a considerable difference, especially in the world of combat and contact sports. Mayweather is also 40 years old now -- well past his prime. And although he still looks quick and sharp, he's coming off of a two-year hiatus after retiring from the sport.
We'll soon see if Mayweather shows any signs of ring rust, which is very common after such a long layoff, especially for more senior athletes. We've seen several former champions extend their careers well into their forties with great success. Can Floyd add his name to that group? It certainly should be a factor against a younger, bigger, stronger fighter with a two-inch reach advantage.
So, Floyd is 40 years old and coming back after a two-year layoff. Aside from ring rust, there could be a stamina issue as well. However, when it comes to Floyd and his past fights, endurance has never been an issue. This is a guy very much used to going the distance, which, in the boxing world, means 12 rounds. Those are a lot of rounds for an MMA guy and someone who's not used to going more than 5 rounds.
Will Conor be able to adjust to the new format? Sure, UFC rounds last five minutes compared to boxing's three minutes, but there are twelve of them, and Conor rarely goes the distance in his fights. Would he even be able to last 36 minutes in a boxing match? We doubt it, and so does he, apparently, realizing that he'll probably need to get the knockout early in the bout. Conor had all sorts of trouble with stamina in his most recent five-round bout with Nate Diaz -- not looking good for the Irishman in that regard.
When it comes to fans, Conor seems to have a clear advantage. Those Irish fans follow him wherever he goes, and they're ridiculously loud. Having that kind of support can definitely help Conor by providing him with the extra boost of adrenaline to get the job done. People cannot underestimate what crowd support can do for an athlete. There's a reason why they call it 'home-field advantage' in sports and why it's so important.
Having said that, as Money Mayweather so eloquently stated, "The fans can't fight for you." Whatever McGregor does will have to be on his own. After all, he'll be the only one in the ring against Floyd. But with thousands of alcohol-induced fans waving Irish flags and showing support for their idol, it should certainly provide McGregor with that extra bit of an advantage to get the job done. C'mon, scrapper!
Okay, so not only does Floyd have the experience and speed factor, but he also happens to be probably the greatest defensive boxer of all time. It's unbelievably difficult to connect with Floyd. In fact, we don't ever remember a time when he's been cut or hurt. Do you ever remember seeing any blood on Floyd's face? He always looks untouched at the end of his bouts.
Even when Floyd gets backed into the corner or along the ropes, he rarely seems to take any damage. He uses his shoulders and guard to perfection, and then, he either uses his lethal counter-strikes, body faints, and quick feet to circle out of danger. The question will be whether or not Conor can get him into that position and inflict any harm. Nobody else has in the past, so Conor has his work cut out for him.
Hopefully, for McGregor's sake, Floyd comes into this fight a little too overconfident. Perhaps, Mayweather feels that McGregor has no chance at winning and severely underestimates him. It's doubtful considering that this hasn't happened in the past, but this is a unique situation against a guy with no recent boxing experience.
Floyd is a very intelligent boxer, but he isn't the brightest tool in the shed outside of the ring. So, if he underestimates Conor's ability and chances and if he comes in too revved up and angry from all the insults he's had to endure from the press conferences, perhaps, his mental approach won't be the same as it was before. He may get careless trying to prove a point or be too irritated from all of the mind games. Stranger things have happened. Again, remember Jose Aldo.
Another issue Conor will have to adapt to are the ten-ounce gloves he'll be wearing when he steps in the ring to face Floyd Mayweather. Unlike the four-ounce gloves he's used to wearing for his MMA fights, these boxing gloves have far more cushion, reducing the effects of the blows. These boxing gloves are far heavier, too, so it'll be something different than he's used to.
The gloves should significantly reduce the Irishman's punching power, but then again, we've seen plenty of knockouts in boxing, so if he lands a clean shot, he could still very well get the intended effect. This is still an advantage for Floyd as he's used to fighting with the ten-ounce gloves.
With all of this big money floating around for this epic battle, you just never know what to expect, especially considering that this is boxing. The boxing world is no stranger to corruption and fight fixing -- then again, we see corruption in just about every sport in the world. But with so much money on the line, there's always the increased chance of a fix and a rematch.
This would suit McGregor just fine as he hopes to add to his self-worth and wardrobe. Both of these guys love money more than just about anyone you can think of does (as do the promoters), so the idea of a fixed fight is not all that absurd. In fact, it's highly likely. So, don't be surprised if we're in for a rematch. After all, someone owes a lot of money to the IRS.
One big disadvantage for Conor is the fact that he won't be able to use his front-kick to maintain his distance. In fact, he won't be able to use any of his kicks or other weapons he uses in the UFC to dictate fights and distance himself from his opponents. He does have that two-inch reach advantage, so he'll have to be content with using his jab. That's all he can do in that regard.
At the end of the day, we're rooting for McGregor, but we think Floyd has too much of an advantage and will win the fight rather easily. It's tough to see Conor lasting 12 rounds or landing that crucial shot to end the fight. If this were an MMA fight, it would be totally different, and we'd have Conor winning with ease. We doubt Floyd could handle the kicks, knees, and ground game, but this is a boxing match, and Conor is in Floyd's world now.
Sources: Washingtonpost.com; Foxsportsasia.com