Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor – A Closer Look

Betting preview for the boxing match between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather

We take a closer look at at Sunday Sunday 27 August's match-up between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor. 

There have been very few fighters to completely and utterly dominate in the world of boxing as long and as consistently as Floyd Mayweather has. Since his TKO victory against Roberto Apodaca in Texas, 1996, the welterweight phenom has gone on to defeat the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Saul Alvarez, Miguel Cotto, Marcos Maidana and Manny Pacquiao on his way to a 49-0 record.

In what is widely considered to be his final fight, Mayweather will go toe-to-toe with Conor McGregor. The Irishman has experienced a monumental rise through the MMA ranks since his debut bout in 2007. Below we'll take a closer look at the fight.

Boxing Mayweather vs McGreggor

McGregor’s Mind Games
The Irishman's abrasive style in front of the camera has rattled the usually unflappable Mayweather ever so slightly. We’ve seen Money engaging in foul-mouthed tirades before, but never like anything on this level. McGregor knows how to get under his opponent’s skin and will continue to do so right up until the two step into the ring.

We saw something similar in his 2015 fight with Jose Aldo – arguably the greatest featherweight fighter in mixed martial arts history. The Brazilian had been undefeated since 2005 heading into the fight, but was subject to an absolute barrage of abuse from McGregor in the build-up to the bout.
He pleaded for Aldo to hate him, berated him every time he got on camera, begged him to come out fighting and abandon the cautious approach that had seen the Brazilian become the greatest fighter of a generation.

The ploy worked – spectacularly so. The usually patient Aldo rushed in with a combination just 10 seconds into the fight, McGregor saw it coming, stepped back and put Aldo to sleep with a vicious left hook.

While I don’t expect Mayweather to be this naïve, it is something to remember when the two fighters step into the ring this Sunday.

McGregor’s Stamina vs Floyd’s Ability to go Deep
While many have spoken at length about McGregor’s freakish stamina, there’s more we have to look at. Fans of the Irishman will remember his first bout with Nate Diaz all too well. McGregor threw an absolute hailstorm of punches in the first round, many of them landing with devastating effect. Diaz, although badly cut, remained on his feet.

Midway through the second round, Conor blew out. Badly. He was pretty much out on his feet just after the nine-minute mark of that fight. While Diaz was badly cut and no doubt hurting, he was able to use his boxing to soften the Irishman up before winning via a rear naked chokehold. It's important to note that nine minutes is the equivalent of three rounds of a 12-round boxing match.

While McGregor was able to reign himself in slightly in the rematch, opting for a series of leg kicks instead of rushing into combinations, he won’t have that option against Floyd this weekend.
Looking at Mayweather’s often criticised defensive style, it’s designed to do one thing: take the fight deep. The American uses the first few rounds to weigh-up his opponent, using his impeccable defence to keep him out of harm’s way. As the fight wears on he becomes more aggressive in terms of his counter-punching with his opponent knowing that he's behind on the scorecards.

There's been a helluva lot of noise around whether or not McGregor can go a full 12 rounds without completely blowing out. His trainers will no doubt have warned him about going all-out attack from the first bell against Mayweather. There’s no telling whether or not the maverick Irishman will heed this warning, though. I feel if he does go for the jugular in the early rounds, he’ll be setting himself up for failure by playing right into one of the American's biggest strengths.

The Philly Shell vs the Southpaw 
There are very few chinks in Floyd’s armour, however, if one thing has ever stood out; it’s his weakness to the southpaw’s left straight. It was more of an issue earlier on in Floyd’s career as the likes of Zab Judah (2006) and Demarcus Corley (2004) were able to exploit the guard, landing pretty solid left straights that rattled Money ever so slightly.

So how does it work? An orthodox fighter’s left hook will often land around the area of the ear. However, the southpaw’s straight often looks as though it will take the same path but straightens at the last second, landing on the chin. By dropping his lead hand in the Philly Shell guard, Mayweather does open himself up for Conor's straight left.

That being said, Money is lightyears ahead of where he was in the mid-noughties. As much was seen against arguably the best southpaw of our generation – Manny Pacquiao. Here he employed a more traditional high guard whenever he stepped into Pacman’s left hand, winning the fight comfortably on points.

While the straight left will be one of McGregor’s biggest weapons, he’ll struggle to land it effectively against arguably the best defensive boxer the world has ever seen. Notorious is used to out-boxing opponents in the Octagon, however, when he steps into the ring against Mayweather it’ll be a completely different story.

All in all, I expect a pretty nasty fight in the sense that it won’t be much to look at. All you need to do is take a look at the sparring footage McGregor’s camp released of the Irishman and Paulie Malignaggi. It looked more like a schoolboy tumble about rather than what we’d expect to see in such a hyped fight.

There’s also the revelations made by South African Chris van Heerden who sparred with McGregor in 2016. The former IBO Welterweight Champion bullied the Irishman in the session which can be seen here.

Van Heerden also had the following to say: “We've seen over and over and over it doesn't take much for these MMA fighters, once they get tagged on the jaw, to go down. In a boxer's world we are training on boxing every day and every day when we spar we get tagged on the jaw,” he added. “So we are used to that."

“But I feel they are so focused on the ground work, on the kicking, on the grappling, on the wrestling, a little bit on the boxing — they don't perfect one thing. It's hard to perfect one thing and when they do get hit hard on the jaw it's like a surprise to them, it's like 'whoa!' and they go down so easy.”

And in many respects, the South African is right. McGregor is only going to be able to use maybe a third of his traditional kit whereas Mayweather will be able to employ the full skillset that he’s been honing for the last 20 years.

I simply don’t see any other winner other than Mayweather. The 2/7 you’re getting from Hollywoodbets is an absolute gift, get on.

Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

Boxing Mayweather vs McGreggor

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