There’s no longer a reason to doubt whether or not this fight is actually going to happen. It is clear that both fighters are on board, and Dana White has come out recently saying he would not stop the fight from taking place. Plus the latest reports point to a deal being very close to done for September (maybe?), which was basically confirmed by Conor at a boxing event not long ago.
This leaves money as the only obstacle, and because this will almost certainly be the biggest PPV event since Wrestlemania XIV… Wrestlemania XIV? The start of the Attitude Era? Boston Gardens? New Age Outlaws vs. Cactus Jack and Terry Funk in the first ever Dumpster match? The Undertaker does battle with his brother Kane for the first time ever? Stone Cold defeats Shawn Michaels to begin his reign as WWE champion? C’mon? You don’t know XIV? Anyways…
Bottom line is money will not be in short supply. There could, however, be some disagreements over who should get the larger piece of the pie or how that money should be split among promotions and organizations. Keep in mind though, as of recently, McGregor is killing Mayweather in PPV sales. Apparently people are just now realizing how Floyd has managed to stay undefeated all these years – Never get hit, and counter effectively. Masterful boxing, but not very entertaining to the average fan.
On the other hand, Conor is a supernova of excitement both in and out of the ring. He is one of the finest trash talkers of our generation, and is able to back it up with knock outs and bloodbath performances. Still, no one seems to be giving him a shot in this match. Some even ridicule the notion of it ever happening. Well I’m here to tell you, not only will this most certainly happen, but Conor is probably going to walk away with the victory as well. Here’s why…
- Conor is bigger. Much bigger.
Wikipedia has Conor listed at 154, however Conor really walks around at 170 and above. He has spent far too much of his career already making the near-death-cuts down to 145 but after giving up the featherweight (145lbs) belt upon winning the lightweight belt(155lbs), it seems like those days are over. If we ignore the Mayweather fight, Conor’s next move in the UFC would be to either defend the 155 belt, or make the jump up to Welterweight and challenge Tyron Woodley for the 170 belt. This is not a stretch at all considering the natural size of Conor McGregor. He will even, most likely, improve as a result of moving up in weight classes.
Floyd, on the other hand, is not that big. As a matter of fact, Floyd has never fought anyone over 154lbs, and while I have never met the man, any professional commentator I have heard speak on the matter says that the size difference is immense and will play a huge role if they ever do fight. Add on top of the weight difference another 2 inch advantage in the reach column and things are starting to stack up in Conor’s favor. I know they say it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but when both dogs are professionals, size does matter.
- Conor is stronger. Much stronger.
With size comes strength. Now, I don’t know how much each guy can bench, but I can tell you by watching them fight that Conor has a lot more strength in his punches. The challenge for Conor (obviously!) will be how does he find Floyd’s chin… or stomach… or corner… or anything?! However #3 & #4 will explain why Floyd’s disappearing act in the ring may not be as effective this time around. The other challenge will be the pace of his punches. We have seen Conor punch himself out before in the Nate Diaz fight, but with an entire camp focused on Boxing, I don’t think that would be a major problem in this one.
- Conor is younger. Much younger.
It is inevitable. At some point the wheels have to come off. Floyd is 40 and Conor is 28. You don’t have to be Teddy Atlas to break this one down folks. Age is certainly a factor. I have talked about the size and strength difference already, but neither of those mean jack if Floyd just curls up in his shell and can ride out the storm in his 24oz safe space. This is where age comes into play. Those shots from a rehydrated 165-170lb McGregor will start to open things up on Old-Man Mayweather and the signature stabbing-quickness of his punches will fade faster than shitty tattoo. Besides, ask any fighter and they will tell you, “ring rust” is real. Floyd has not been very active lately, meanwhile, Conor is in the prime of his career and has been accepting new challengers on a week’s notice.
- Conor is a southpaw. Floyd struggles with southpaws
OK. That isn’t entirely true. There is very little evidence to suggest that Mayweather has had a tougher time with lefties, even though it was basically the entire basis for believing Pacquiao ever had a shot. One thing is for certain though, Floyd’s trademark shoulder roll defense becomes neutralized against southpaws because now his opponent’s power punches are coming from his opposite back shoulder side. This means he will be defending Conor’s impressive left straight with his right hand only, rather than left shoulder. Therefore, anytime Floyd throws a right hand, McGregor would have a clean opening to do some real serious damage.
- Conor is capable of getting into Floyd’s head.
McGregor is a beast when it comes to trash talk and head games. The most obvious example of this was during press conferences with Jose Aldo, where Aldo was visibly out-of-sorts by some of these verbal exchanges. He had no idea how to react, and found himself falling into McGregor’s traps whenever he did try to retaliate. The frustration from Aldo was clear and palpable, which he most likely carried to the ring and resulted in a lightning quick KO.I’m not saying Mayweather is some amateur who can’t take the heat, but he is near the end of his career. Age has got to be catching up to him by now, and often that can bring doubts. Add the fact that Conor is now on a trajectory to be just as rich, and just as famous, and suddenly you may see the next wave breaking while you are washed up on the beach. Conor walks like Floyd, and talks like Floyd, which is not something Floyd is used to.
Jeez… Size, Strength, Stamina, Style, and Swagger all lean in McGregor’s favor, but you still aren’t convinced? How about this:
BONUS: No one thinks Conor can win. No one.
I mean, c’mon?! Isn’t it obvious… We have seen this play out before. There are certain situations where is it fair to overlook an opponent, like when they would roll out long time “jobber” the Brooklyn Brawler to fight Lex Luger on WWF Saturday Morning Superstars… Sure, we all know how that will turn out. Or when you send an unskilled and untrained “athlete” like CM Punk into the octagon against a young, highly trained professional like Mickey Gall… Yeah, it’s fair to laugh that off.
McGregor vs. Mayweather however, is not one of those situations. This fight is more reminiscent of the 2007 Superbowl where the undefeated 18-0 New England Patriots took on the red-hot New York Giants and lost, much to the surprise of just about everyone on Earth. The truth is, you shouldn’t count out a world-class professional like Conor Mcgregor, even when it seems like they are in over their heads. Often times that is when they are the most motivated and therefore the most dangerous.
Motivation might be the deciding factor in this whole thing. Rumor has it that the only reason Floyd is coming out of retirement for this fight is for money. Not because he wants it, but because he needs it. That is never a good thing when a fighter is forced out of retirement for financial reasons. The motivation to fight is no longer driven by a desire to win or to even compete. These fighters have already won in their mind by simply signing the line and securing a paycheck.
Now compare that to Conor, who I’m sure is not upset about collecting this handsome payday, but who will also be going into this fight with a massive chip on his shoulder. He, unlike Floyd, will have something to prove and critics to silence. His fight will not be won until the decision is read and his hand is raised, and that could make all the difference.
But if you do decide to overlook him… don’t be surprised when I say “I told you so.”