ON paper UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor who has declared himself the next God of boxing before entering the ring against undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr (49-0, 26 KO) tonight in their super lightweight bout at the T Mobile Centre in Las Vegas, should not be dismissed as a joke.
At 29, McGregor has advantages of youth, height and reach which he believes will pose a lot of problems for the man who has been described as God’s gift to boxing 40-year-old Mayweather.
Mayweather who is coming back from a two-year retirement is aware of McGregor’s confidence and bravado right from the start of the promotional tours and he says he will not take him lightly.
Logically speaking, what chances does McGregor have against the American Hall of Famer? Well, it would be wrong to assert none at all. He has a chance, a puncher’s chance and as he has said Floyd is “too small “ and initially predicted to end the fight within four rounds which he has reduced to one or two.
His conviction is that the use of 8-ounce gloves will give his blows more impact which Floyd cannot withstand as he is a banger. Very interesting words from a man who is a mixed martial arts expert but has neither amateur or professional boxing experience.
If fights were won by talking, you get the sense that McGregor will take his opponent to the coolers. His verbiage since the promotion started could fill half a broadsheet newspaper.
But what does a reality check tell us? Floyd started his career in 1987and during his illustrious and unblemished career he has faced off against all sorts of boxers with varying styles.
These were not mere boxers, but fighters who were or had been world champions and the list includes Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Andre Berto, Ricky Hatton and Juan Manuel Marquez to name a few.
Mayweather has promised to “go for McGregor “and make the fight thrilling unlike his fight with Pacquiao. During a media briefing this past week, Mayweather said that he had a chin and no amount of adversity in the ring will stop him.
“The thing is, you should be able to take what you give“ he said in apparent reference to his fight with Mosley which could have ended in round two after Mosley connected a vicious right flush to Mayweather’s jaw.
So in this fight, I see McGregor coming out fast to try and fulfil his prophesy of an early night, but whether his punches will always find their mark against the best defensive fighter on the globe is another matter all together.
The Irishman could be frustrated if he fails to deliver an early the knock out and the fight goes to the middle rounds. Should that happen, Mayweather will dictate, as he often does, and tag McGregor with his famed precision punches.
McGregor has not fought a 12 round contest before (except in training for this bout) and chances are he might have no idea of how to conserve energy for a long night, and with stamina gone he could be canon fodder for Mayweather who has promised end it within the distance.
Mayweather’s last KO was against Hatton, but from his remarks, he looks certain to finally bow out of the sport with a sound statement by breaking the record he currently shares with Rocky Marciano and rewrite history with a 50-0.
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