The Money Fight is finally upon us. Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor are actually going to fight one another inside of a boxing ring with 8 oz gloves. If you just woke up from a coma, I don’t know what to tell you. Just enjoy it.
Here are our staff predictions for the most lucrative fight in the history of professional boxing.
Felix Falcon: How can you predict something that is unpredictable? The closest analogy I’ve heard to the fight between Mayweather and McGregor is that of a triathlete challenging Michael Phelps to a 100-meter freestyle race. Yes, part of your sport requires you to be a good competitive swimmer, but even if Phelps is done with his Olympic career, there’s no way in hell you’re going to just show up and beat one of the best ever. The only problem with the analogy and almost every other one that tries to compare what will happen on Saturday night is that neither the triathlete nor Phelps are going to be punching each other in the face while they race. And there in lies the problem. The query that has us all intrigued and has had us talking around in circles for weeks.
What if McGregor (with his youth, power, size, confidence, and eight-ounce gloves) lands that piston of a left hand and shocks the world? It would be a sight to be seen. The fabric of time and space might tear and from that moment on we could live in a new dimension where nothing we thought made sense is real anymore.
The safe bet and the one I will go with (since I still live in a somewhat rational dimension) is Floyd Mayweather, Jr. winning by unanimous decision, somewhere in the neighborhood of 9 rounds to 3. I think that Mayweather will be patient in the first two or three rounds. He could even concede those rounds to McGregor while he tries to figure out McGregor’s game plan. In 49 pro fights, Mayweather has seen some of the best’s plan A, B, and C – coming out the victor at every step of the way.
In six weeks, I believe that it would be tough for McGregor’s team to structure a solid Plan A, let alone B and C. Mayweather will most likely stall McGregor out and stay away from that plan A once he recognizes it. From there, he should be able to cruise to a victory on points. Mayweather has shown time and again that he is perfectly comfortable to do just that. In the Pacquiao fight, for example, he averaged 36 punches per round, landing roughly 12 per round. He just needs to land just a couple more shots than you for seven rounds and walk away unhurt and with a big wad of cash.
This is not MMA vs. Boxing. It never has been. This is a Boxing match with Boxing rules. No one in this generation has been as great at playing within those rules and had a better risk vs. reward assessment in the ring than Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Yes, this is not a swim meet. Yes, Mayweather is 40 years old. Yes, McGregor has defied the odds time and time again. And, yes, if Mystic Mac KO’s him within four rounds there will be pandemonium.
But there is very little that McGregor will be able to get away with, however insanely creative he might be, within the rigid confines of the sport of Boxing. Although, how sweet would it be to wake up Sunday morning in a new dimension?
Dwayne Wolff: Conventional wisdom says that Mayweather will dominate McGregor and go 50-0. But, should conventional wisdom be applied to what is essentially a movie scenario? McGregor winning would be the third most shocking element of this fight. The fact that is happening at all is unbelievable and the first shocker. The other is McGregor, an MMA fighter, is poised to make more than any other Mayweather opponent. More than any boxer.
For my pick I choose chaos. I do not care about this fight and I want the result that will bring the most chaos. Conor winning will bring much more chaos to both the MMA world and the boxing one than Floyd winning. The McGregor haters would hate even more, his fans would be even crazier, and boxing heads would lose their freaking minds like Andy Benard searching for his Rocking Robin ringing phone.
I am going with the Hollywood movie ending and a Conor McGregor KO in the sixth round. He beats the body up, makes the fight ugly and clips Mayweather in the temple area like he did Dustin Poirier to shock the boxing world.
I also predict this will lead to many boxing is dead articles. In my life boxing has died more times than Beric Dondarrion. Look for it to be resurrected by the Canelo versus GGG fight. A Conor win would also lead to talk of a rematch sending both the boxing world and the MMA one into even more chaos.
Dave Reno: Unprecedented. It’s a word that gets thrown around a plenty when talking about this fight and it’s really the best word to describe it. Everyone can speculate all they want but no one truly knows what’s going to happen. There’s never been anything quite like this.
If Floyd Mayweather wins, it’s business as usual. The greatest boxer of this generation defends his sport, McGregor goes back to the UFC and the sun rises and sets. If McGregor wins, the landscape changes drastically.
If McGregor tries to outbox Mayweather, I see this fight ending via a cut or with his corner throwing in the towel sometime around the 7th or 8th round. McGregor will hit nothing but Floyd’s shoulders and arms as the defensive genius bobs and weaves and picks his spots. But why would a pro boxing debutant try to outbox a master?
McGregor confirmed that he’s going to approach this fight on a Bruce Lee type of level when he posed as a martial artist to the camera during the final press conference leading up to tonight’s battle. He’s going to make this dirty from the start. He’s going to confuse Floyd with stances he’s never seen and that he couldn’t possibly prepare for. He’s going to cheat just enough and he may even lose a point in the process.
This fight has been for the fans from the beginning. Trying to break it down is part of the fun because everybody envisions something completely different. Come Sunday, a group of annoying folks are going to be telling you “I told you so,” whether they really did or they didn’t. I can assure you I will not be one of those people. I have no idea what’s going to happen. Nobody does.
Logic would say that the greatest boxer of all-time would beat the guy who’s never competed in a professional boxing bout. That said, there’s nothing logical about this fight. As a matter of fact, it shouldn’t even be happening. There’s something magical about this kid from Crumlin and while you’ll never convince me that he’s even the greatest boxer in the UFC, I believe he [McGregor] will find a way to finish Mayweather early with that deadly left hand.
One thing I have envisioned is Floyd raising Conor’s hand in the end; passing that proverbial combat sports PPV torch. Will it end up helping both boxing and MMA in the end? I guess it depends on what your idea of “good” is for both sports.