CONOR McGREGOR feels more assured of victory over Floyd Mayweather on August 26 after meeting the unbeaten American in the flesh on their recent press tour.
The UFC lightweight champion will be making his professional boxing debut against Mayweather, arguably the best fighter of his generation, and so he is not expected to be even particularly competitive when they meet in the ring.
However, southpaw McGregor is convinced that his advantages in size, strength, youth and reach – coupled with his fighting style – will see him pull off one of the biggest upsets in history.
“He’s a small man. He’s in good shape, he’s right, the little bastard does look good for 40. He does look alright for a 40-year-old,” he said.
“His frame is just too small. He’s got a good jab, good lead hook, good check hook, good right hand, good pulls, good dips. In my opinion his in and outs aren’t good, he’s flat, and against my style he’ll find himself in trouble.”
McGregor made UFC history earlier this year when he won the lightweight title from Eddie Alvarez, becoming the first fighter in the company to hold belts from two divisions at the same time. He has since been stripped of the featherweight title he won against all-time great Jose Aldo.
Though he is entering a new discipline, McGregor has had plenty of experience sizing men up before a fight and believes that Floyd is comparable to Aldo – a man he defeated in 13 seconds.
“When I’m face to face with men I can tell from their facial structure. I’ve fought many men from all rule-sets, big Eastern European motherf***ers and I’m looking at their skull, and I know it’s going to take a few smacks to put this man away,” he said.
“It happened with the Nate Diaz rematch too, he knew the weight would be 170[lbs] instead of 155 so he got bigger and when he got close I saw his head and I thought ‘this guy’s gonna take some smacks off me.’
“When I met Aldo – undefeated, pound for pound – I just looked at his head and it’s ‘I know you’re good, I know you’re this and you’re that, but you’re not gonna take the smacks off me.’ It took one shot to make him fall.
“Floyd is definitely not gonna take the shots, the legs, the body, the stability and the core, it doesn’t support him against this animal. He is in over his head with this, he doesn’t know what he’s got himself into.”