It’s official: the mega-fight between the biggest names in boxing and MMA, respectively, will take place on August 26th at the T-Mobile Arena right here in Vegas. It’s Floyd “Money” Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) against Conor McGregor (0-0, 0 KOs).
The fight is pure boxing: 12 rounds, 10-ounce gloves, 154-pound catchweight. Obviously, that favors the undefeated five-division world champion over the MMA star making his professional boxing debut.
No one is expecting an extraordinary fight, but it will undoubtedly be an extraordinary event. The spectacle of the two biggest names in combat sports engaging in a crossover fight will overshadow the actual bout itself. So let’s preview the odds for both the fight and the spectacle.
Here’s a video of McGregor sparring last year with Chris van Heerden, a boxer you’ve probably never heard of. McGregor was easily outclassed and outmaneuvered by a little-known welterweight. Imagine what Mayweather will do to him.
Of course, if McGregor is able to catch Mayweather, then it could result in the biggest upset in the history of combat sports. The question is: will he even be able to touch him? Mayweather is perhaps the greatest defensive fighter of all time, and if some of the best fighters in the world couldn’t land a single significant strike, it’s extremely unlikely McGregor will.
Floyd Mayweather has fought the best and has come out on top each and every time. He may be 40 years old, but he’s taken very little damage over the years. McGregor’s best hope is that Mayweather doesn’t take him seriously and lets his guard down, both metaphorically and literally. That’s not an outcome you should count on. While Floyd is singularly cocky outside of the ring, he’s extremely cold and calculating inside. He’s not a showman; he’s a boxer, through and through. He won’t be interested in entertaining the crowd and risking his undefeated legacy. He’ll step in the ring, win an ugly fight with ease, and leave a couple hundred million dollars richer.
This will be a huge payday for both Mayweather and McGregor, but there’s very little money to be made by the bettors.
Pick: Floyd Mayweather (-800)
Mayweather could probably end this fight in the first or second round if he wanted to. But why risk being aggressive? That’s not Floyd’s strength. McGregor will be looking for an early-round knockout, while Mayweather will bide his time and pick McGregor apart. As an MMA fighter, McGregor isn’t conditioned to go the full 12 rounds so it’s extremely unlikely that the bout will go the distance, even with Mayweather fighting a safe fight.
Either McGregor will lay Mayweather flat in the opening rounds, or much more likely, Mayweather will dismantle McGregor over the span of a few rounds and put him away.
Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao hold the PPV record at 4.6 million purchases, earning them over $400 million. This fight is set to blow that record out of the water. Mayweather is the undisputed PPV king, and McGregor is by far the biggest draw in the UFC.
No one believes this will be a good fight, yet everyone is excited about it. It’s sort of the same reason a lot of people watch NASCAR. Millions upon millions of viewers will shell out to see the boxing version of a flaming 15-car pile-up.
Featured image: Bryan Horowitz [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Flickr.
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