Why It Will Be 50-0 For Floyd Mayweather?
After all the prattling, lapping up the attention from an all too willing media and public and the subsequent preening, the fight is almost here. The wiener measuring contest- let us be honest, at times the over the top antics of the two fighter resembled two little boys arguing over who has the biggest you know what, is over. “I have a bigger one” goes one. “No”, says the other, “I do, look, look man”. Now August 26 is here, a white hot date for combat sport fans. A crossover fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor; the former dragged from retirement by the money on offer and according to unfounded rumours, tax troubles. The latter, twelve years younger than a forty year old Mayweather, seduced by the prospect of being the sole blot on the former 12 times boxing champion across five weight divisions. Boxing meets mixed martial arts.
Two years ago after his 49th fight and 49 victories, Floyd Mayweather laid down his gloves. He had served his time in the ring and his had been an eventful that had claimed more than a few big scalps along the way. The late Arturo ‘Thunder’ Gatti, a warrior of a fighter had been dispatched with such class and aplomb. So too had Diego ‘Chico’ Morales, who has also since passed on. Olympic gold medallist and multiple champion Oscar de la Hoya too. Filipino legend and champion across eight divisions Manny Pacquiao whose movement, hand speed and the awkward angles from which he threw his punches had been expected to trouble Mayweather too fell along the way.
Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto had pressed Mayweather but as ever the American adapted early on in the fight and Cotto was defeated. Mayweather’s most awkward fight however must have been against Argentine bruiser Marcos ‘Chico’ Maidana in the first of their two fights with the later repeatedly getting Floyd Mayweather on the ropes and making the fight a scrappy affair. Clearly Maidana had taken a leaf out of Victor Ortiz’s book, with Ortiz having frustrated Mayweather in their bout until the former was controversially knocked out. But it was Jose Luis Castillo in his two fights with Mayweather that pushed ‘Money’ hard, with some boxing fans even insistent to this day that Castillo won the first fight.
It is hard to speak of Conor McGregor without admitting my flaws and all too clear subjectivity from the start. First that as a boxing fan I am not big on UFC and mixed martial arts and with this fight being the Irishman’s first in a boxing ring, I would somewhat not be as biased if he had prior experience of a boxing match. McGregor has a reputation of being a bruiser with a deadly left hand that packs some power and it is not without doubt that given Floyd Mayweather’s lengthy lay off from the ring and his age, the younger man will be looking to dictate and control the tempo of the fight.
Age catches up with anyone and it might prove to be Mayweather’s undoing despite the fact that in the past he never, not once, did he exhibit the signs that age was catching up with him. Many boxers are creatures of habit; they map out a game plan beforehand and look to impose such on the opponent. The real problem is when the script is thrown out of the window and one has to then solely rely on his technical ability. It is such a tricky part of a fight that more often than not reveals the true measure of an individual. In that moment, when game plans are torn asunder, some boxers want to fight and some fighters are forced to fight, usually with unpleasant consequences. Floyd has for the larger part of his career been a boxer and that has helped maintain his longevity in the ring. The consequence has been that by staying away from being a fighter ala most Mexicans and Latinos, he has avoided serious injuries that could have jeopardized his career early on.
Against Conor McGregor, a southpaw who comes in with a reputation of being a big puncher, it won’t be much of a surprise to avid boxing followers seeing Floyd looking to counter punch and beat him to the punch with a superior hand speed, that is if time hasn’t eaten away at such. Like Ortiz and Maidana before, McGregor will probably look to put Mayweather under pressure early on and take him to the ropes because he has a size and height advantage.
Having survived big punchers like Miguel Cotto, Diego Corrales, Miguel Cotto and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez before, Mayweather will know the importance of keeping his opponent at bay with a jab and to constantly keep on making him miss; making the opponent use more energy. Mayweather’s biggest traits however are his efficiency, he is usually more clinical with his power punches; his natural ability as a boxer and being able to change his game plan or simply adapting to different scenarios and challenges during a fight. That is his genius; he changes his game plan if it needs be and not at the expense of a victory.
It would be foolish to dismiss ‘Notorius’ McGregor simply because he has no top flight boxing experience. UFC fighters can box as well, although unlike boxers, they are not boxing specialists. That is the basis of my argument; that while he may be deadly in the octagon, the subtle difference, both in the rules and in the two sports disciplines will put him at an advantage against a man who has spent almost his life in the ring.
Having watched the two camps’ road tours promotions across three countries and four cities, the common denominator in it is simply money. Both men are in it for the money and are fully aware of the need to get as much viewers as possible. We are buying the hype and not the fight itself.
For boxing fans who look down on this crossover fight, it doesn’t bode well for the sport that a previously retired Mayweather is still the sport’s draw card at 40 while there are younger boxers who given the opportunity, can create equally exciting fights. There are still good fighters and potential fights that can get boxing fans excited.
The Gennady Golovkin v Saul Alvarez should in my opinion, in view of the standing of both fighters in the boxing world, have been the fight many would queue to watch. Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford against Julius Indongo should be explosive and probably deserves its fair share of coverage but it is the world, some animals are more equal than others.
As regards Mayweather v McGregor I think Mayweather will take it on points. Conor McGregor might have the heart and fire to push Mayweather but I think the American will do enough to go 50- 0.