McGregor: I might flatten Mayweather in first exchange
By Scott Gilfoid: Conor McGregor is not short on confidence going into his first pro and likely his last boxing match this Saturday against Floyd Mayweather Jr. McGregor still thinks the lighter 8oz gloves are going to help him score a quick knockout. McGregor started off saying the knockout would come against Mayweather by round 2, but now he’s saying it might happen in the first exchange in round 1.
It seems like McGregor is working hard saying as much controversial stuff as possible to try and get a few more pay-per-view buys from the fans.
Mayweather-McGregor will be fighting on Showtime PPV at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. McGregor will be fighting for the time as a pro inside of a boxing ring. This will likely be the last time McGregor fights as a boxer unless he can pull off an upset against the 40-year-old Mayweather, who is coming off a long 2-year layoff. In terms of Mayweather’s age and inactivity, McGregor has the former 5-division world champion where he wants him.
McGregor is younger at 29, and he’s been active with his career in the UFC. However, fighting as an MMA fighter is nothing like fighting in a boxing ring. McGregor is going to find that out quickly on Saturday night, much to the disappointment to all the fans that are pouring their money into purchasing this fight on PPV. There are a lot of boxing fans counting on McGregor giving Mayweather a good fight. However, all things indicate this is going to be either a knockout or a one-sided 12 round decision win for Mayweather.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if I go out there and flatten him in the first exchange, I don’t see him lasting two rounds in these 8oz gloves,” said McGregor to Sky Sports News. “Part of me wants to showcase a little more, we’ll see, I don’t believe he will last two rounds – believe he will be unconscious before then.”
McGregor didn’t show incredible punching power in the clips of him sparring Paulie Malignaggi. McGregor was slapping Malignaggi, throwing shots with inside of his gloves, and hitting him on the back of the head. It was a lot of slapping from McGregor, and he looked tired. It’s unclear what round it was when McGregor was sparring Malignaggi. Hopefully for McGregor’s sake, it was in the 12th. If that sparring clip came from the first few rounds of sparring with Malignaggi, then we’re going to see a real mismatch on Saturday night. We’re probably going to see a mismatch anyway. McGregor is stepping into the unknown without having shown that he’s ready for what Mayweather will be dishing out.
“Respect for me is earnt through battle,” McGregor said. “If he stands in there and speaks his word of what he’s been saying, if he can get in there and implement these and come forward and give the fight he’s been talking about, he will have my respect.”
Mayweather has said that he’ll be coming after Conor and making it a fight because he owes the boxing fans for his lackluster fight against Manny Pacquiao in 2015. Mayweather says he’s going to get hit while he’s going for the knockout against McGregor. It’s going to be neat if Mayweather does that. McGregor doesn’t have the mobility or the defensive skills to fight in a safety first manner. He literally has to come forward and try and brain Mayweather with his power shots in the early going in the fight.
The longer the fight lasts, the more tired McGregor will get and the will increase the chances that he gets knocked out by Mayweather. McGregor knows that he much KO Mayweather quickly to keep from tiring out in the second half of the fight from the jabs and power shots that Mayweather hits him with.
Mayweather vs. McGregor fight is expected to be viewed by 1 billion people worldwide, making it the most watched fight in the history of boxing. The fight could bring in 5 million pay-per-view buys, which would smash the existing record of 4.6 million buys held by Mayweather’s mega-fight against Manny Pacquiao in 2015. Boxing fans respected Mayweather for making the fight against Pacquiao, as they thought it would be an evenly matched fight between 2 high quality fighters in the sport. The fight didn’t turn out that way though, due to Pacquiao fighting with an injured right shoulder that he hurt in training.
The hardcore boxing fans seem to really dislike the idea of Mayweather fighting McGregor, as they feel it’s beneath the sport for the 40-year-old to have picked out a guy from the UFC that has no background in boxing in order to pick up a big payday in an easy fight. The casual fans are the ones that will drive this fight and bring in the vast majority of the PPV buys on August 26. Without them, the Mayweather vs. McGregor match would be doomed for failure.
McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh thinks Mayweather will start unraveling early on in the fight when things aren’t going his way, forcing the fight and not losing confidence. Kavanagh believes Mayweather sees this as a walk in the park for him against McGregor. Mayweather has no reason for him not to see the fight as a mismatch. McGregor has never fought before in a boxing ring, and he looked terrible in his sparring clips released recently of him and Paulie Malignaggi sparring. There was nothing in that short sparring clip that suggested that McGregor has the kind of talent needed for him to pull off an upset against Mayweather. The only thing that seemed noticeable was McGregor’s slapping shots, and his punches to the back of Malignaggi’s head. Those were hard to miss. Hopefully, that wasn’t how the rest of the sparring went, because it would be bad news for McGregor if he can’t punch with the front portion of his gloves. He’s not going to beat Mayweather by slapping him. Further, if McGregor hits Mayweather with a lot of punches to the back of the head, we could see him penalized and eventually disqualified. Whether that’s McGregor’s ultimate objective is uncertain.
If McGregor just wants to get disqualified so his MMA fans don’t have to witness him getting trounced by Mayweather, then he can accomplish that objective quite easily. The referee assigned to the fight Robert Byrd won’t put up with McGregor hitting Mayweather with rabbit punches all throughout the fight without him stepping in and disqualifying him.
“Of course it is a nice payday. It would be silly to think that is not a huge factor in this fight,” McGregor’s trainer John Kavanagh said to Sky Sports News. “I wonder what is going to go through their minds when Floyd comes back after round one, after round two, after round three and this half-crazy Irish guy is still laughing at him, talking to him, putting him under pressure and starting to land shots that they weren’t expecting,” Kavanagh said.
“We are ready for a tough fight but I think they think it is going to be a walkover,” said Kavanagh. So how does your mind cope when it’s not and you start losing rounds? I will have one eye on their corner to see if they start to fall apart, which I believe they will early on.”
This is too funny from Kavanagh. I wonder if he believes what he’s saying or if he’s just bleating so that he can help drum up more interest from the boxing and MMA fans for more PPV buys. The way that Kavanagh is talking, it almost sounds like he’s talking about McGregor fighting one of his UFC opponents with rudimentary striking ability. Yeah, if McGregor was fighting in the UFC on Saturday night, he’d have a good chance of beating his opponent. But that’s not who McGregor is going to be fighting. He’s going to be facing one of the best fighters in the sport of boxing, and he’ll be doing it without any experience at all in the sport. That’s dumb, dumb and dumb. But I have a feeling that McGregor is just interested in the payday and not in him actually winning the fight.
McGregor knows what he’s up against and that he has no chance against Mayweather. It’s good that Kavanagh is talking boldly, because it might get more boxing and MMA fans to purchase the fight, but this fight is destined to be a suck mismatch that ends with McGregor getting totally clowned on Saturday night on August 26. I just hope the fans don’t get too angry when this fight fails to turn into a real one. The fans should have done their homework by now to know what they’ll be seeing. When you’re paying $100 for something, you need to at least do some reading to know whether the product is worth buying or not. Mayweather is light years ahead of McGregor in terms of boxing skills, and that’s not good for the Irish fighter or for the fans that are going to be paying to see the fight. I don’t see McGregor making it past the 6th round unless Mayweather toys with him like he did with Andre Berto.