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McGregor will fade against Mayweather and get stopped says Ward

Andre Ward Floyd Mayweather Jr Conor McGregor Mayweather vs. McGregor

By Scott Gilfoid: Light heavyweight world champion Andre Ward is predicting Conor McGregor will start fast this Saturday night in his fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. (49-0, 26 KOs), but then ultimately, he’ll gas out and get stopped after the 3rd round.


McGregor, 29, will be making his pro debut in boxing on Saturday against Mayweather, boxing’s biggest star for the last 10 years. At best, McGregor has a puncher’s chance of winning. The video of McGregor sparring Paulie Malignaggi revealed that the southpaw UFC fighter is little more than a slapper. That’s not a good sign going into a fight with Mayweather.

Mayweather-McGregor’s fight on Saturday night will be televised on Showtime pay-per-view in the States, and it takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ward is in favor of the Mayweather-McGregor fight taking place. He feels that it’s a good thing for boxing, because it’s got people talking about the fight from the mainstream media. Moreover, Mayweather, 40, has earned the right to take a fight of this kind against a fighter that has never boxed before.

McGregor, who comes from Ireland, will be dealing with a fighter with loads of experience. Mayweather has been fighting as a pro since McGregor was 8-years-old. That’s hard to believe. McGregor was just a little kid when Mayweather turned pro 21 years ago. This is such a mismatch on many levels. The only thing we as boxing fans can hope for is McGregor being competitive with Mayweather. I’m not counting on that happening. This isn’t like the movies. This is real life. McGregor doesn’t have the experience and the talent to be fighting Mayweather, and that’s going to be painfully obvious as soon as the bell rings for the 1st round.

“I think McGregor will be wild for the first three rounds, but when he starts to tire, Floyd will take over and we could see a big knockout,” said Ward to skysports.com. “Some people have spoken out against it, but I think it’s good, we’re talking about it and so is everybody else. Even the mainstream media want to know, so I don’t think it’s as bad as everybody is making out,” said Ward.

I agree with Ward. McGregor will be fighting on pure adrenalin for the first 3 rounds. He’ll be nervous, excited and fighting in his normal UFC mode of looking for a fast knockout. That’s how McGregor fights in his MMA sport. He’s always looking for a fast KO. When the knockout doesn’t come, McGregor gets tired and struggles badly.

Look at McGregor’s controversial 5 round decision win over Nate Diaz in their rematch. McGregor couldn’t get the knockout, and he gassed out and took a lot of punishment. Seeing that fight, I thought McGregor was given a gift decision. Diaz was the better man. He just wasn’t as popular as McGregor. Mayweather will bide his time and wait for McGregor to get tired before he looks to unload on him with his combinations.

McGregor won’t be able to use his wrestling, kicking and other UFC tactics for the Mayweather. McGregor is going to be like a fish out of water on Saturday. McGregor’s best chance of defeating Mayweather rides on him smothering him on the inside by holding, mauling and throwing short punches for 3 minutes of every round.

There’s talk that Mayweather will be looking to knock McGregor out with body shots. One of Mayweather’s sparring partners revealed last week that he’s been working on throwing to the body, and he’s hitting hard. McGregor has never fought anyone that used a sustained body attack the way that Mayweather might be using on Saturday night.

We could see a body shot knockout like light welterweight champion Terence Crawford’s knockout win over Julius Indongo last Saturday night in their fight on ESPN. Crawford landed a left to the body in round 3 that put Indongo down for the count. If Mayweather does the same thing against McGregor, it could be an early night for the superstar. Hopefully the Mayweather-McGregor undercard is a good one, since the main event has a high chance of ending early.

Ward is interested in fighting Anthony Joshua and/or Tony Bellew in the UK. A fight with Bellew would be a good one if it can get made.

“The UK is definitely something I want to do before I hang the gloves up,” said Ward to skysports.com. “I think he’s a quality fighter,” said Ward about Bellew. “It wouldn’t be an easy fight and I don’t mind him doing a bunch of talking but he has to remember something – this is real life. This isn’t Creed, this is not the movies; this is real. As long as he understands that it’s all good.”

Bellew is living off of his upset win over Illunga Makabu and his victory over an injured David Haye. Both of those fights involved a lot of luck on Bellew’s part. The luck with the Makabu fight involved the World Boxing Council’s decision to rank him at No.1 instead of the arguably more talented Mairis Briedis. Once the WBC made that move, it set the table for Bellew to win their WBC cruiserweight title. If the WBC made the sensible decision to rank Briedis at No.1, Bellew would have likely been knocked out and his career down the drain. It was luck on Bellew’s part the WBC made the decision to rank the badly flawed Makabu over Briedis. When I saw that ranking, I shook my head is disbelief. It was a crazy ranking. Bellew is going to need to make a decision soon about whether he wants to fight Ward or Haye next. I think he’ll lose badly to both, so he’s going to need to be smart about which fight he takes next. Once Bellew gets beaten, his options for future big money fights will probably drop off to nothing.

Bellew has been talking lately about wanting to fight David Haye in a rematch. I think that’s Bellew’s priority. If the fight can’t get made, it’s likely that Bellew and his promoter Eddie Hearn will turn their attention to the 33-yearold Ward. That fight needs to get made quickly. The two guys can’t afford to sit outside the ring for a prolonged amount of time.

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