WE are about to embark on what will arguably be the biggest fight week this year. The purist can be heard grumbling around the globe. Whether you are for or against this spectacle, one thing is almost certain; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor will have near record breaking numbers of eyes on them. This crossover event has been pitched as ‘the billion dollar fight,’ boxing vs MMA … the ramifications for both may be tremendous.
This fight has not yet taken place and already we have a number of fighters interested in the idea of more crossover matches (Tony Bellew, Michael Bisping, David Haye and Jimi Manuwa). Both Mayweather and McGregor like to see themselves as pioneers, fistic visionaries, and this time they may actually be correct. I’m sure promoters all over the world will be waiting for confirmation of what I suspect will be record-breaking PPV numbers.
When it comes to this fight’s promotion we’ve seen trash talking, racist undertones, sparring stories and glove controversy. They have combined to create an even bigger circus than the one sceptics felt this fight was in the first place. I personally am looking forward to the fight. Should I know better? Have I been sucked in by the predictable promotion? Maybe, possibly, of course!
Who wins the fight? Or should I say boxing match? As a boxer and a student of the fine art I am compelled to believe Mayweather (despite his advancing age) beats McGregor any way he sees fit. Years of fighting reflexes and ring smarts will not be overcome by the braggadocios Irishman. I can imagine the first three rounds being closer than most people would think, it will take Mayweather a few rounds to gauge McGregor’s vaunted movement and begin to time him. But just as Monday follows Sunday, I am sure he will time him and begin to expose McGregor’s defensive frailties. I don’t actually agree with the popular opinion that McGregor won’t be able to land a glove on Floyd. I think Conor will have his moments early on. I think his biggest setback in this fight is going to be defensively, he’s stepping into a whole new world compared to MMA striking. Technically there are some huge differences: in MMA you must be wary of kicks and take downs, kicks can obviously land much further out than punches, thus you must keep a further distance from your opponent to remain safe. I feel a 10 week camp is not long enough for McGregor to start to hone the distance management required in boxing, he may find himself wandering into the firing zone before he realises. This coupled with the fact that Floyd’s distance management is second to none makes me visualise Mcgregor taking an endless amount of clean shots, unable to predict when or where they are coming from.
Conor in his own words is “a 170lbs Irish gorilla”, he is young, tough and brave beyond that but I have a feeling this is one dream he will be unable to manifest. For once Floyd’s prediction of going straight at an opponent and a KO might actually be the reality.
One thing is for sure … I will be watching … as will you.