Undefeated professional boxer and five-division world champion, Floyd Mayweather Jr., will face off with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight kingpin, Conor McGregor, in a highly anticipated boxing match TONIGHT (Aug. 26, 2018) inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In 2015, Mayweather retired from boxing with plenty of acclaim and little interest to continue competing. Two years later, the 40 year old athlete is back, although it did take the potentially biggest “money fight” of all time to draw him in once more.
Meanwhile, McGregor cannot claim to be perfect in competition like his foe, but he’s excelled in ways few can match and become a household name in the process. Perhaps more incredible than his fighting talent — which is really saying something — is McGregor’s ability to sell fans on an idea, as “Notorious” has successfully talked himself into a massive fight with no real historical precedent.
Before the Irishman laces up his eight-ounce gloves and tries to defy the odds, let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man.
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Boxing Record: 49-0
Key Wins: Manny Pacquiao (May 2, 2015), Oscar De La Hoya (May 5, 2007), Marcos Maidana (May 3, 2014/Sept. 13, 2014), Canelo Alvarez (Sept. 14, 2013)
Key Losses: None
Keys to Victory: The book on Mayweather was written previous to this match up. One of the greatest defensive fighters in history, Mayweather countered and frustrated his opponents as an amateur in the Olympics and throughout his nearly 50 fight professional career.
Two years of rust or not, none of that is likely to change.
On paper, Mayweather’s technical boxing skill should allow him to make a mockery of McGregor. He’s a complete master in his field, whereas McGregor is wholly unproven in the boxing ring. It’s a related but very different sport; most expect a similar result to if you place the NFL’s fastest wide receiver against Usain Bolt in a 100m race.
Still, this is the fight game. McGregor is a great athlete who can punch damn hard, which is an equalizer unmatched in most other sports. If there’s any real key to victory for “Money,” it’s that he takes his time to get a read on McGregor. Rushing into exchanges would be unwise. Mayweather doesn’t need the first round, he could very well spend it moving and getting his timing down while keeping his foe honest.
If Floyd Mayweather is patient in the ring, there won’t be much for McGregor’s left hand to land on.
MMA Record: 21-3
Key Wins: Jose Aldo (UFC 194), Eddie Alvarez (UFC 205), Nate Diaz (UFC 202), Chad Mendes (UFC 189)
Key Losses: Nate Diaz (UFC 196)
Keys to Victory: McGregor captured the Featherweight belt in 2015 with a mix of powerful, accurate kickboxing and incredible athleticism, and he went after the Lightweight belt not long after. In his title-winning performance against Eddie Alvarez, McGregor solidified his position in combat sports history by embarrassing the longtime veteran.
Even with the aforementioned accomplishments, it’s still pretty damn hard to write a game plan out for the Irishman.
To be frank, there are only so many different punches that can realistically be thrown. Further complicated by different feints and rhythm, sure, but the odds of McGregor presenting something that Mayweather truly has never seen in 30 years of boxing?
Like the above Mayweather section, I have one real piece of strategy for McGregor, even if it is fairly obvious. McGregor cannot match his opponent’s pace and conditioning, which means that aggression and volume early are his friends. By the second half of the fight, McGregor’s chance of winning is realistically gone, so he might as well empty the tank quickly.
Bottom Line: Are there any real consequences to “The Money Fight?”
Only if McGregor does the impossible and wins. In that case, McGregor’s already formidable star power would explode even further. His legend would tower over a pair of sports, and there would really be no argument to tear down the Irish athlete.
Oh, and he would make an offensive amount of money.
A loss would devastate Floyd Mayweather as well. A big part of his legacy is that undefeated record, and having it tarnished by an MMA fighter? That wouldn’t likely sit well with the master boxer, but since McGregor historically has little interest in rematches — of fights in which he originally won, at least. There’d always be serious money in that rematch, of course, but the older fighter rarely fairs better in revenge matches.
Alternatively, if Mayweather beats up McGregor in standard fashion, the status quo is upheld. They’ll both make millions and millions of dollars, neither’s star will change much, and casual fans will complain on Facebook that it was boring.
When Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor face off tonight, who will you be rooting for?
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