Mayweather-McGregor: Fight or flight?
The biggest spectacle in the world of sports will take place tonight in Las Vegas, Nevada, as the Mayweather-McGregor fight is finally here!
Boxing’s pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. and UFC superstar Conor McGregor will face-off in a boxing match that has the sports world buzzing. Again, this will be a straight boxing match: 12 three-minute rounds will be the fight duration — should it last that long.
Every intelligent boxing aficionado knows the 49-0 Mayweather will take McGregor to school in what will be no more than an exhibition; a farce and a bastardized form of the sport.
Anyone who has seen a Mayweather fight knows how he operates. Mayweather is known for being the greatest defensive boxer in history. His lightning fast hand speed allows him to deliver blows while his impregnable defense and foot-speed make it virtually impossible to land a clean punch. He has held titles in five different weight divisions and beaten multiple world boxing champions.
The knock on Mayweather is his boring fighting style. He moves around the ring too much. The defensive, stick-and-move strategy is about as entertaining as watching paint dry. Mayweather hasn’t had a knockout win since his 42nd fight against Victor Ortiz in 2011. The supposed mega-fight against Manny Pacquiao turned out to be a 12-round snoozer, in which Mayweather couldn’t (or wouldn’t) finish Pacquiao, who went into the fight with an injured shoulder.
Why will this fight be different? Why should we expect to see anything different from what we’ve seen from Mayweather in the past? The man himself answered that question in an ESPN interview with Stephen A. Smith. Take a look at the video below.
“I’ve got to go to him…” Mayweather said. Smith had the same response most of us with vested interest in this matchup said when he uttered those words, “WHAT?!!?”
With those words, Mayweather is insinuating that he is not going to be the same old boring pugilist that looks to out-point fighters on the way to a decision win. With those words he is insinuating he is going to be offensive against Conor McGregor. The world hasn’t seen an offensive Mayweather since that fight in 2011 where he knocked out Ortiz in the fourth round. In this fight, the only chance McGregor has to win is what is called in the boxing world, a ‘punchers chance’. Essentially, it means anyone can get lucky and land a fluke punch and knockout their opponent.
If Mayweather goes to McGregor, that’s exactly what he’s giving him; the one-in-a-million puncher’s chance.
Is this just lip service or will Mayweather put his money where his mouth is, meet McGregor in the center of the ring and throw hands like he says he will. I’m not so sure. Why?
A. This fight, even now, is not sold out at the event venue. The MGM Grand in Las Vegas is where the fight will take place. The tickets were overpriced from the beginning and the world hasn’t responded to this spectacle at the box office. This may just be a shrewd more to sell more tickets and get more pay-per-view buys. The more buys, the more money that goes into the pockets of both participants.
B. Conor McGregor has prodigious knockout power. Watch his UFC highlight reel. Aside from Nate Diaz, McGregor has knocked out every opponent he’s faced in the octagon. He has shown exceptional timing and accuracy on his punches as he has knocked out men with both hands. McGregor’s left hook is a ticket to dreamland if he can land it clean. To open up his offense so much as to leave an opening for McGregor to land a clean punch would be a disastrous end to a storied career.
C. Reputation. Mayweather loves to gloat about how great he is as he has even trademarked TBE, his acronym for ‘The Best Ever’. To lose to McGregor would shatter his aura of invincibility, lose all of his boxing credibility, kill boxing as a whole and forever bury his TBE legacy under the weight of a loss to a fighter from a different sport that has never competed in a single bout as a professional boxer.
Boxing experts like Max Kellerman, Tony Atlas and Al Bernstein don’t expect Mayweather to get touched in this fight. They do not expect McGregor to land one clean shot to the body or head of Mayweather. According to the experts, Mayweather’s defense is too good despite giving up two inches in reach to McGregor. He’s the older, smaller fighter but he is light years ahead of McGregor in the world of boxing and this fight is the mother of all mismatches.
However…if Mayweather doesn’t spend twelve rounds circling the ring and attacks McGregor, this could happen…
Ask Jose Aldo what happens when you go to Conor McGregor… if he’s woken up yet.
**Mandatory photo credit for featured image: sportingnews.com