Could McGregor’s Skills Seal the Deal Against Mayweather?
The upcoming showdown between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Conor McGregor has the Boxing and MMA worlds in a frenzy of excitement. The Money Fight, as it has been dubbed, promises to be like nothing ever been seen before.
The two worlds of boxing and MMA will collide in the ring, with giants from each sport trying to win. Mayweather is an undefeated 11-time Fifth Division winner, and McGregor is the current lightweight and former featherweight champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
McGregor has wanted to stage the fight for a long time, and agreed to all of Mayweather’s conditions in order to make that happen. Added to the fact that conventional Boxing rules will be used and prevent McGregor from using MMA kicks, this puts the Irishman at quite a disadvantage. Indeed, many experts and past champs think he has little chance of winning.
It shouldn’t be forgotten, however, that McGregor is a gifted fighter with talents and strengths in many areas. The odds are not in the younger fighter’s favour, but his various skills could still lead him to victory and his many ardent fans have never doubted him. We take a closer look at exactly what his assets are.
McGregor, at 28, is 12 years younger than Mayweather who turned 40 in June. While Mayweather is still incredibly proficient, the time for him to keep improving has passed. McGregor, on the other hand, is at or near the height of his physical prowess. He also has general size and strength on his side, and in particular has a very powerful left hand. Evidence suggests that he is working to develop this strength, in order to try and successfully land a few punches against the famously defensive Mayweather.
McGregor stands at 1.75m, which is only 0.02m taller than Mayweather, but his reach is also greater: 74 in to Mayweather’s 72 in. Mayweather usually relies on his own ability to fight from a distance, building it into the core of his strategy. Now that advantage has been nullified.
In terms of weight, the heaviest recorded weight for Mayweather is 151lb. He is not known for bulking up much after weigh-in, but McGregor is. Going up against Jose Aldo, McGregor and his opponent both weighed in around 147lb and then went to almost 170lb on the night of the fight. If this happens with Mayweather, the technically gifted boxer will be at a major disadvantage.
Although undefeated, Mayweather has not seen the inside of a Boxing ring since 2015. Nobody can escape the effects of that, not even legends like Floyd, Jr., and he is likely to have a major case of Ring Rust. As a currently active fighter McGregor will not be facing this problem, and along with his younger age it could make him a hungrier fighter than Mayweather on fight night.
Better Mental Mastery
Mayweather has been working to build his brand around his undefeated legacy, and a loss to McGregor would surely tarnish that almost irrevocably. At the same time, a win against the younger fighter will be unsurprising, and will be what everyone expects.
Mayweather is thus in something of a no-win situation, where he will be vilified if he loses but hardly recognised if he wins. For someone who is all about his legacy and his brand, this is a situation that must be weighing heavily on his mind. Allowing jitters like this to take hold could sound the death knell for the fight.
McGregor, on the other hand, is known for his confidence and seems to have an unshakable mental stability. After training with him recently, Boxer Paulie Malignaggi said that McGregor was a “thinker” who was developing his game plan. This seems to have given him a good handle on his emotional state, which will stand him in good stead.
Surprises Up His Sleeve
Those who do have experience in MMA and boxing, and have even trained for both at the same time, are less confident in McGregor. Not because they doubt his skills as a fighter, but because their experience is that MMA fighters come up against their Boxing limitations early on, and because experience in the Boxing ring can help to beat a MMA fighter, but the reverse is seldom true.
The one thing that McGregor is not, however, is stupid. His left arm development and a few other things suggest he has some tricks up his sleeve. With everyone expecting him to lose and all the hype generated by the fight, it’s bound to be a spectacle worth watching. With all eyes on him, McGregor may use his physical prowess to launch a secretly planned attack. We’ll have wait till August 26th to find out!