Berto says McGregor revealed game plan for Mayweather fight
By Allan Fox: Former welterweight world champion Andre Berto says UFC star Conor McGregor revealed to him the game plan he’ll be using to try and beat boxing superstar Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. next month in their fight on Showtime PPV at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
McGregor’s plan is to make Mayweather “uncomfortable” always with a variety of different plans that he’ll spring on him. It’s not just one plan. It’s many different things that the 29-year-old McGregor will use to pull off the upset of the century.
It’s going to be up to Floyd to show that he can adjust the constantly changing game plans that McGregor springs on him. It’s already to be a puzzle for Mayweather to solve from the start with McGregor’s southpaw stance. That’s going to be difficult for Mayweather. But then he’ll need to deal with McGregor’s odd way of throwing punches, and the many angles he uses o throw punches. He’s completely unorthodox due to him coming from an MMA background. In that sport, a fighter must be able to throw punches from different angles for them to be successful while they’re on their feet.
Mayweather, 40, will need to be able to adjust to a fighter and a style that he has no experience at. Mayweather won’t be able to predict with any degree of accuracy what McGregor will do inside the ring, because he’s never been in there with a UFC fighter. McGregor is different from how the other UFC guys fight. Mayweather can’t just draw an MMA fighter to his camp and think that he’s going to be seeing the same fighting style as McGregor.
“He understands how he wants to make Floyd Mayweather uncomfortable,” said Berto to Fighhype in talking about McGregor. “Me seeing it and talking to McGregor, that’s the plan,” said Berto about McGregor’s game plan to make Mayweather uncomfortable at all times. “He’s a southpaw. He does a lot of awkward movements, and I really believe he thinks it’s going to make a big difference in the fight. He believes he’s going to bring a little bit more, something different from what Floyd’s used to. Make things awkward, and jump in from different angles,” said Berto.
Just how much Berto, 34, learned from being in contact with McGregor is the big question. I’m sure Berto was impressed with the knowledge and the game plans that McGregor is going to use. That doesn’t mean they’re going to work on Mayweather. It’s still going to be a very difficult for McGregor to be able to get to Mayweather to knock him out, which is the only way he’s going to win the fight. McGregor isn’t going to win a boxing match to earn a 12-round decision.
Mayweather is too good at stealing rounds, spoiling and doing just enough to win decisions. There’s an art to it, and Mayweather is an expert. Mayweather has been talking lately that he wants to go out and knockout McGregor. You can ignore all that. Mayweather is going do what he always does and that’s just try and win without getting hit. The only way he can do that is to fight in a safety-first manner and not take any risks. Mayweather is not going to knockout McGregor by playing his usual hit, move and hold style.
Paulie Malignaggi has already spared with McGregor, and he came away from the experience impressed with the ring intelligence and dedication that he possesses. Malignaggi ended up with a black eye from his work with McGregor.
“Conor is working on a specific game-plan and Conor also obviously has a toughness from mixed martial arts,” said Malignaggi to skysports.com “He’s not going in there to play patty cake; he’s going in there with any other fighter’s mentality. Conor is the kind of guy who is going to come with a different style.”
McGregor is a two-division champion in the UFC. He’s a winner. McGregor isn’t going to roll over on his back once he gets inside the ring with Floyd on August 26. McGregor obviously wants to win, and he knows what he’s got to do.
These are the likely plans McGregor will use to beat Mayweather:
– Punch Mayweather when he clinches. Mayweather likes to clinch frequently. In the UFC, fighters continue to punch when they’re being held by their opponent. Mayweather might not be aware that clinching isn’t going to work as a ‘time out’ or ‘rest break’ against McGregor. It’s going to be making it easy on McGregor to nail Mayweather at will with shots. If Mayweather is too old to change his normal fighting style, which employs constant holding, then he’s going to get his lights punched out from close range.
– Rough Mayweather up when he goes to the ropes for his rest breaks. Mayweather needs to rest on the ropes. Some boxing fans think he does this because it’s his normal fighting style. Wrong. Mayweather didn’t used to fight off the ropes when he was younger. He started to fight off the ropes when he hit his 30s, and his legs needed more and more rest breaks. Each time Mayweather goes to the ropes, McGregor will have a good opportunity to rough him up by pressing him against the ropes, leaning on him and throwing short punches. Marcos Maidana gave Mayweather a great deal of problems in their first fight when he had him against the ropes. However, Maidana didn’t take the fight to the inside, grapple and rough up Mayweather. If Maidana had the MMA skills that McGregor possesses, he could have made Mayweather miserable against the ropes. Mayweather couldn’t move for the full 12 rounds. His legs weren’t there. Maidana would have had many chances to batter Mayweather and beat him up on the ropes. McGregor is likely plan on doing just that. It’s what I would do if I had UFC training. I’d take advantage of Mayweather’s need for rest breaks on the ropes.
“Timing wise, it makes it a little bit different to time,” said Malignaggi in talking about the difficulties involved in trying to time McGregor ”I’m not going to say difficult to time, because you can get a timing on him, but at first glance you are not going to get a look that you’re accustomed to and then depending on him, his aggression, his non-aggression, because Conor has different methods of executing his little game-plans that he has.”
It’s going to be a much more complicated style for Mayweather to deal with than the guys he’s fought in the past. It’s also obvious what Mayweather is going to be doing. He’s going to jab and move away from McGregor. He’s going to stink it up, because to stand in front of him will be inviting trouble. But with Mayweather coming off a 2-year layoff and being old at 40, he’s not going to be able to move around the ring for long without needing to go back to the ropes to re-energize his depleted energy in his legs. That’s where McGregor can win the rounds. If he can nail Mayweather with big shots each time he gets him against the ropes, he could win a decision or knock him out.
“It’s going to be up to Conor to throw those little curve balls here and there and throw things a bit out of line for Floyd, and see if he can get Floyd’s respect,” said Malignaggi.