GOING under the premise that anything is possible, we are hereby declaring that Conor McGregor will shock the world and defeat Floyd Mayweather on August 26. Just kidding of course. Mayweather should spank the Irishman without a fuss. However, if you believe in fairy tales then you should fancy McGregor’s chances even if it is ever so slightly. So let’s play attorney and present a case to you the jury as to why there are a dozen good reasons McGregor will pull off the upset to end all upsets:
REASON ONE – MAYWEATHER IS FAR TOO OVERCONFIDENT: For public relations purposes Mayweather will talk McGregor up, but make no mistake about it he has already checked this off as an easy win. Mayweather might be putting his body through the rigors of training, but he is probably completely unfocused. And an unfocused boxer is a vulnerable one.
REASON TWO – MCGREGOR WILL BE IN SUPERIOR PHYSICAL CONDITION: This is not to say that Mayweather won’t turn up in good shape, but McGregor is training with a fanatical intensity of laying it all on the line. Because of McGregor’s grappling skills inside of the Octagon he might very well tire Mayweather out in the clinches.
REASON THREE – AGE CATCHES UP TO MAYWEATHER: Don’t dismiss this possibility. Mayweather is 40 and coming off of a lengthy layoff. There is recent precedent here in Roy Jones who one year was the pound for pound king, the next just a mere shell of his once great self.
REASON FOUR – MCGREGOR IS A DEVASTATING PUNCHER: What if I told you that McGregor hits harder than anyone that Mayweather has faced. It would be hard to argue with that. In UFC competition McGregor is referred to as a striker, a man who delivers straight and devastating blows. If Conor lands his best shot the money train could be derailed before it gets a chance to hit the emergency brakes.
REASON FIVE – MAYWEATHER IS SCARED OF MCGREGOR: Yes, you can be both overconfident and scared at the same time. For Floyd it is fear of the unknown. If McGregor realizes that he is about to get knocked out who is to say that he won’t revert to UFC tactics and get himself disqualified. In that scenario McGregor gets to delight his fan base by driving Mayweather to the canvas and pounding him non–stop before order can be restored. To avoid that happening Mayweather might carry McGregor allowing him to save face, but by doing that he allows his opponent to hang around for extra rounds in which anything could happen.
REASON SIX – MCGREGOR WANTS TO WIN MORE: For Mayweather this fight is strictly about money, but for McGregor it is much more. He relishes the challenge and is looking forward to the challenge. That will make him fight harder than Floyd.
REASON SEVEN – MCGREGOR WILL HAVE THE CROWD ON HIS SIDE: For a man who feeds off of emotion the way McGregor does it will spur him on while at the same time perhaps rattle Mayweather. And having the crowd on your side can produce a favorable decision for the underdog. Had Manny Pacquiao fought Jeff Horn anywhere else but in Australia, he probably would have been given the decision in their fight.
REASON EIGHT – THE JUDGES’ WILL FAVOR MCGREGOR: If Mayweather shows anything less than complete dominance the judges’ might start giving rounds to McGregor. One judge scored Mayweather’s fight with Canelo Alvarez a draw despite virtually everyone agreeing that Floyd won big. If it happened once it could happen again.
REASON NINE – MAYWEATHER CAN’T WIN SO HE WON’T: Outside of picking up a check this is a no win situation for Mayweather. Since Floyd won’t be given his props no matter how well he performs it points to an anticipated sub–par performance on fight night.
ROUND 10 – MAYWEATHER WILL LOSE MOMENTUM DURING THE FIGHT: In a one on one sport like tennis for example, a player can be totally dominant in one set, but then lose the next. It’s all about momentum. Mayweather will ease off at varying points as to give the public the semblance of a competitive contest. However once McGregor gets in a flow and his confidence soars, there is no guarantee that Mayweather can turn the switch back on whenever he pleases.
ROUND 11 – BEWARE OF THE HANDSHAKES FLOYD: A few years ago in Las Vegas, I presented Mayweather with the “Fighter of the Year” award from the Boxing Writers Association of America. At the time I was on antibiotics fighting a heavy cold. Mayweather would be boxing Marcos Maidana two days later. When Mayweather came on the stage he initiated our handshake. In general Mayweather shakes many people’s hands. This spreads germs that could result in catching a cold. Mayweather needs to adopt the Klitschko fist bump to increase his chances of entering the ring healthy.
ROUND 12 – WHERE HAVE YOU GONE MANNY PACQUIAO: A rematch with Pacquiao might still be viable down the road, but for now it is off the table. That is the only fight after McGregor that would have perked Mayweather’s interest. With his potential dance partner suddenly out of the equation who knows how this will weigh on Floyd psychologically. Although Mayweather obviously wants to win, the most lucrative fight if he should continue would be a rematch with McGregor. For that to happen McGregor would have to either win or lose controversially. There is a small chance that winning this fight might mean less to Mayweather than making the boatload of money that a rematch might bring.