As one would naturally assume, Floyd Mayweather – the former boxing world champion with a 49-0 record – is favored to defeat the two-weight UFC champion, Conor McGregor. Mayweather has years of boxing experience under his belt, and his defensive tactics have rendered him undefeated, whereas McGregor has never engaged in a meaningful boxing match.
So, with all of the odds stacked against him, how can the mixed martial arts star, Conor McGregor, defeat retired boxer-turned-promoter Floyd Mayweather in a sanctioned boxing match?
Mayweather lacks knockout power
Source: Sky Sports Boxing, via Twitter
Of course, if any fighter gets the right swing connecting with the right point, it can result in a knockout. However, Floyd Mayweather – who is hailed by many as one of the greatest boxers of his weight-class – hasn’t knocked an opponent out since Victor Ortiz in 2011.
Now, Mayweather has always utilized his defensive abilities to defeat opponents, but towards the end of his career, those skills became the center of his game plan. Against Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino threw in an inordinate number of punches, and yet Mayweather’s defense managed to fend many of them off – with the American winning by unanimous decision in his second home, Las Vegas.
Speaking of his second home, the last time that Mayweather fought outside of Las Vegas was in 2005, against Sharmba Mitchell in Portland. 12 of Mayweather’s last 14 fights – all in Las Vegas – have been decided by decision, with only the Ricky Hatton and Ortiz fights ending with a knockout.
Conor McGregor has to push
Source: BBC Sport, via Twitter
The main driving force coming from Mayweather’s lack of knockout power, or lack of desire to knock out an opponent in recent fights, should be that Conor McGregor can be that much more courageous.
Mayweather has fought some top-class opponents in his time, but it’s almost as though many of them have given him too much respect. Conor McGregor, on the other hand, has taken some huge punishment in the octagon, be that stamina draining kicks or mighty strikes aimed for his head. The Irishman can take a big hit, shrug it off, and stay in the fight. McGregor has never been knocked out in the UFC, so what chance does the retired boxer, who hasn’t achieve a knockout in over five years, have of sending him to the canvas?
Apparently, the odds are in Mayweather’s favor, with the Mayweather v McGregor betting sitting with the American favored to win during the fifth, sixth, or seventh round at 11/1, or just 2/9 to win the bout. These are some strong numbers considering Mayweather’s knockout record; however, if McGregor does want to win, it will have to be by knockout as it seems extremely unlikely that the UFC champion will be able to outbox Mayweather over 12 rounds in the eyes of the judges.
The best route for McGregor is to achieve a knockout is early on. The longer the Irishman waits, the more settled Mayweather will get on the ropes, and the more likely he’ll be able to make McGregor look a fool. A knockout within the first four rounds, as McGregor previously stated, is the best course of action.
He needs to utilize his aggression, clinical striking, and raw power to break Mayweather’s defense and cause some damage. Going all 12 rounds will result in a loss unless a knockdown is achieved, and waiting too long will just gain Mayweather favor in Las Vegas. Unfortunately for the MMA champion, he has to be fast, hard, and loud to get a win – which is, of course, a very risky strategy. No one has ever achieved such a feat against Mayweather, but McGregor’s unorthodox background – when it comes to boxing – may give him an edge.
It’s going to be a very tough fight for Conor McGregor, but his sheer athletic and fighting ability give him a chance to defeat Floyd Mayweather – but only if he does it fast and hard, without respect for the retired boxer’s legacy.