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Conor McGregor training for Mayweather fight

Floyd Mayweather Jr

By Dan Ambrose: Conor McGregor has reportedly started training for his fight against big pay-per-view boxing star Floyd Mayweather Jr., according to his trainer John Kavanagh. The contract for the Mayweather-McGregor fight still hasn’t been signed yet. There’s been talk that the fight could take place in September. But with McGregor already starting training for the fight, it suggests that it’ll likely be happening in the summer. McGregor, a UFC star, can’t stay out of the octagon for that much time.

The weight for the fight is being discussed, and it could wind up at 147. That’s the weight that Mayweather has mostly been fighting at in recent years.

This is a fight that will likely have a huge price tag in terms of pay-per-view. There are rumors that the asking price for the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight will be $100 per household. That was the going price for Mayweather’s mega-fight against Manny Pacquiao in 2015. There are some boxing fans and that believe that the Mayweather-McGregor fight will eclipse the final PPV numbers for Mayweather’s fight against Pacquiao. That fight did 4.3 million buys on PPV. That’s not bad given that Mayweather was fighting a guy with a shoulder injury that limited what he could do inside the ring during the night. The boxing fans didn’t know that Pacquiao was injured. Boy, were the fans mad when they found out about Pacquiao’s injury afterwards.

“Of course we’re getting ready to fight arguably one of the best defensive boxers of all time,” said McGregor’s coach Kavanagh to ”It’s a new challenge I’m excited about. In my mind, it’s on. I really believe it’s going to happen this year. We’re training for it. There’s 147 being thrown around,” said Kavanagh.

In looking at the video of McGregor training, he’s got a lot to learn about boxing. He still seems to be using MMA moves. For example, McGregor spun completely around at one point. You can’t do that kind of thing in boxing without getting brained with a shot to the back of the head. McGregor needs to learn that he has to face his opponent at all times, and not turn his back to them. The only way for McGregor to learn stuff like that is through actual fights. But he’s not going to get any tune-up fights. McGregor won’t get much practice before the Mayweather fight other than the sparring sessions he has.

Hopefully, the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight doesn’t anger the boxing fans if it fails to live up to expectations. The pay-per-view industry hasn’t been the same since Mayweather’s fight against Pacquiao. If this fight turns out to be another disappointment like the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight, there could be some angry fans, especially if the price for the PPV is marked up to $100 for the event.

McGregor will be making his pro boxing debut against Mayweather when/if that fight takes place. This will probably be a one and done situation for McGregor in terms of him fighting inside the boxing ring. He’s got a great career in the UFC. McGregor would be a crazy to abandon that on the slight chance of him being able to carve out a living as a boxer. You’ve got to start early if you want to become a top boxer.

McGregor is nearing 30, and he just doesn’t have the time to learn how to fight in a boxing ring. If McGregor had blinding hand speed or crushing power in both hands, then he might have a chance at becoming a good boxer someday if he were committed 100 percent to changing sport. I don’t think he’s going to do it through. As Gennady Golovkin has pointed out, Mayweather vs. McGregor is a “business fight.” I don’t see either of these guys sticking around to continue boxing after their fight.

Terry Flanagan defends against Petr Petrov this Saturday

WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan (32-0, 13 KOs) will be defending his title this Saturday night against Petr Petrov (38-4-2, 19 KOs) in a 12 round fight at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. This will be the 5th defense for the 27-year-old Flanagan since winning the title in 2015. Flanagan has a very good chance of being successful against the 34-year-old Russian Petrov on Saturday. He’s got the youth, power and size advantage over Petrov.

The only thing we don’t know is whether Flanaan has the same heart. He’s going to need to be able to take some hard shots in this fight because Petrov isn’t going to roll over and give up on him. Petrov has only been stopped once in his career in losing to Marcos Maidana in 2011. Petrov moved up in weight to the 140 pound division to face Maidana. You can’t blame Petrov for that loss. The last time Petrov was beaten was in 2013 in losing to a very good fighter in Dejan Zlaticanin by a 12 round unanimous decision.

“Petrov is a good fighter,” said Flanagan to “He’s fit; he’s busy and he can punch a bit. He’s been around top level for a while, so we know what he brings. He’s tough and he won’t be fazed by coming over here. He’s also saying he’s in the best shape of his life. I’m looking forward to it and it’ll be a great fight.”

Flanagan needs to win this fight to get to a dangerous title defense against Felix Verdejo in the summer. That’ll be a tough one. Verdejo, 5’9”, is just as tall as Flanagan, but with a lot more punching power. Flanagan has looked very good in his last five fights. He seems to be getting better and better with each fight. In his last five bouts, Flanagan has beaten Orlando Cruz, Mzonke Fana, Derry Mathews, Diego Magdaleno and Jose Zepeda. He’d like to take on Anthony Crolla or Jorge Linares, but thus far neither of them has shown a great deal of interest in fighting him. All Flanagan can do is keeps winning and eventually the bigger fights will happen.

“There is no doubt that Linares is a great fighter. He’s classy but styles make fights and I think I have the style to beat him,” said Flanagan. “There are people who will look at his performance against Crolla and say I have no chance but it’s a completely different fight. Linares has vulnerabilities.”

Flanagan would have a very good chance of beating Linares if he could get a fight against him. Linares looks like he could wind up facing WBC champion Mikey Garcia. I think Linares will look to get the best money fight he can get. If Flanagan offers the most money, then I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Linares take that fight. Linares would stand a better chance fighting Flanagan than he would against Mikey Garcia in my view. That’s a winnable fight for Linares if he fights smart.

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