Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Connor McGregor is shaping up to be the biggest boxing match in history. With the Pay-Per-View buys expected to exceed the 4 million that Pacquiao vs Mayweather produced, the fight may well exceed half a billion dollars in revenue. But never before in boxing has a fight been sanctioned between a 49-0-0 record and 0-0-0. So how does this fight stack up… Let’s take a look:
Who is Floyd Mayweather Jr?
Floyd Mayweather is regarded by many as the best pound for pound boxer of all time. He certainly is the best defensive boxer in the sport and has never lost a fight. He has also never even been knocked down in a fight, or remotely come close to losing one. He fights very defensively and is a master of fighting on the back foot. Floyd is a great counter puncher and loves to counter off a missed power punch by his opponent. Every time his opponent throws a strong power punch and misses, Floyd makes them pay with lightning speed and accuracy. His style of boxing has upset many fans over the years by going to decision, and has been accused of being a boring fighter. But he does have 26 KO’s on his record.
As for weaknesses it is hard to argue with a 49-0-0 record. His age of 40 certainly goes against him but his experience is a plus. He definitely showed his weaknesses in his close decision first fight with Marco Maidana in 2014. Maidana kept the pace on Floyd and threw almost double the amount of punches as Floyd. It showed a real vulnerability in Floyd’s ability to keep up in his later years. Maidana even threw his hands up in the air in victory at the fights conclusion as he thought he had won. Despite this however Floyd still won the decision. It is hard to find a flaw in a perfect record because no matter the perceived room for improvement, Floyd has still never been beaten.
Who is Connor McGregor?
Connor McGregor has made waves in the world of mixed martial arts over the past two years. He has made an amazing transition from being unemployed and on benefits in Ireland 4 years ago, to holding simultaneous belts in 2 UFC divisions. He has brought MMA the outspoken personality model popularised in boxing by the likes of Ali and Tyson. He has become arguably 1 of only 2 mixed martial artists to transcend pop culture and become a household name (the other being Rhonda Rousey). However unlike Rousey he has been a champion worth every word that has come from his mouth. He has forged an impressive 21-3-0 professional record in mixed martial arts and is willing to take on any opponent who makes financial sense.
Conner has lighting hands with unorthodox striking angles. His left hand has become a thing of legend, especially after dispatching Jose Aldo in 13 seconds to win the featherweight title. Out of 21 wins, 18 have come by way of knockout. By far Conner’s best asset is his striking which is still in play for this fight. Many fan are counting on his KO power to be his way to victory. However Conner is also a counter puncher like Floyd, and isn’t renowned for pushing forward aggressively.
Sam's Fight Prediction:
I am unsure about how McGregor will fight the first few rounds. One would hope he comes out swinging but this is uncharacteristic. However 150 million dollars may be an incentive to put on a show. No doubt Mayweather will lie in wait and make McGregor push forward. If he does not the fight could be incredibly boring. It is unlikely that McGregor will land any significant strikes on Mayweather however, nor do I expect Mayweather to do the same. Mayweather will be too slick for McGregor. He has faced many very dangerous strikers in his time who in their own right would surely beat McGregor’s punching power and striking ability. In dealing with the most dangerous and powerful boxers of his generation, Mayweather was never even knocked down. To think that McGregor would be the first to do this is wildly optimistic. The latter rounds Mayweather may be very well be able to finish the fight. In fact I would be more surprised if this fight went the distance than to end by KO.
Does this mean I am completely counting McGregor out… no. When two men engage in hand to hand combat anything is possible. However if the best BOXERS of the last 15 years have been able to dethrone the king it would be very unlikely one of the best MMA stars could do the same. People need to understand that MMA and boxing are incredibly different sports. Everything from the stance, guard, pace, striking, distance and gloves are different. To make this point clear watch the UFC heavy weights go toe to toe and then watch a Mike Tyson fight. There is simply no comparison. So I do not completely discount McGregor’s chances, but even when the fight opened and McGregor was paying $13.00, it still wasn’t enticing enough for me to put a bet on. So call me biased... let's see how the fight pans out.
Author: Sam Dwyer. Australian Recognized Boxing Coach