In an encouraging sign that the Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor super-fight is gathering momentum, UFC president Dana White has started hyping the event.
In an interview with US chatshow “Conan,” he claimed that the potential boxing-rules bout would not be as big a mismatch as some commentators are suggesting.
Mayweather is a ring veteran of 49 professional fights and has outclassed some of the greatest boxers of the past 20 years.
Incredibly, he has not lost a fight since 1996 when he was outpointed in an amateur bout at the 1996 Olympic Games.
Logic then favours Mayweather in a boxing rules contest. White, though, listed four factors that favour McGregor during his appearance on “Conan” on Wednesday. Here they are:
- “Conor McGregor is huge.”
- “McGregor is in the prime of his career and 27 years old. Floyd Mayweather is 40 years old.”
- “Conor is a southpaw and Floyd has problems when he fights southpaws.”
- “McGregor hits hard. When he hits people, they [get knocked out].”
But is White right about fight?
Lets go through his claims one by one:
1. McGregor does have a legitimate size advantage. Mayweather has not competed since 2015 but when it comes to fitness, Floyd is a consummate professional and will not have gained weight in the last two years. Mayweather will likely return to the ring as a welterweight (147 pounds).
McGregor, meanwhile, has campaigned as high as 170 pounds and is currently the UFC champion at 155 pounds. Not only will he enter a boxing ring with a weight advantage, the Irishman also has a one-inch height advantage and a considerable two-inch reach advantage. With longer arms, McGregor must control the distance if he is to control the fight. Against Floyd, that is easier said than done.
2. McGregor is at his peak. Conor has achieved what no other UFC fighter has been able to: Win world titles in two weight classes at the same time. Age, though, will not likely be a factor. Assets like strength and speed diminish over the years but Mayweather has something he will never lose — ring IQ. Mayweather evolved from a hard-hitting featherweight in the late 1990s to a defensive master deep into the 2000s, and even adjusts in the middle of fights. Expect nothing less against McGregor.
3. McGregor is a southpaw. But when has Mayweather had problems with left-handed boxers? Mayweather has fought a number of southpaws: Sharmba Mitchell, Zab Judah, Robert Guerrero, Victor Ortiz, and Manny Pacquiao. Do you know what they all have in common? They all lost to Mayweather. The one fight where Floyd did struggle was against Jose Luis Castillo, an orthodox fighter, not a southpaw. But Mayweather still won.
4. McGregor is undoubtedly a power puncher. His southpaw cross counter punch is one of the most devastating moves in mixed martial arts. Just ask Jose Aldo, a long-reigning featherweight world champion who was concussed by McGregor in 13 seconds. Mayweather, though, has a history of negating an opponent’s artillery. Just ask big punchers like Ricky Hatton, Oscar de la Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Marcos Maidana, and Pacquiao.
Though Floyd’s defence is widely-praised, his ability to actually shake off a big punch is often overlooked. So even if McGregor did land a shot, Mayweather still has world class punch resistance.
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