We are just days away from what could be the fight of the decade. Fights of this magnitude can come around only a few times in our life. Pundits, analysts, and experts have talked about this fight non stop since its inception and most of it is biased and unrealistic due to the extremely polarizing nature of boxing and MMA. This fight is taking place in a boxing ring in under boxing rules but if anyone tells you that this will look like a standard boxing match has been feeding you lies. Today I am going to give you a realistic breakdown of the different mechanics and styles you might see on Saturday night.
Stance and Footwork
One of the biggest claims from boxing analysts is that Mcgregor does not have proper footwork for a boxer. Unlike my boxing counterparts I would argue that McGregor’s unconventional footwork will be paramount to his success in finding angles to land punches. Floyd uses a traditional boxing stance and uses his footwork exceptionally well to dodge and counter his opponents. What Floyd does is analyse the movements of his opponents and downloads the information so that he can properly defend against it. McGregor will most likely use multiple stances whether that be a karate stance or muay thai, the stance and footwork will make it more difficult for Floyd to properly compute Conor’s movements in the time it would normally take him. I believe that we will also see McGregor switch from southpaw to orthodox several times as well. If footwork is as big of a factor as some say it is then we may see Floyd taking more damage than we have ever seen him take in any previous fight.
Clearly defense is Mayweather’s specialty. Most would label him as the greatest defensive boxer of all time. In order to win this fight Floyd will need to continue his defensive mastery and avoid taking hits. As I discussed earlier I believe that Floyd will have a more difficult time early on in defending the awkward style that McGregor will present but he has not forgotten how to move out of the way and he has a giant bag of tricks to keep himself out of danger. Floyd will have to abandon his Philly shell style in order to counter McGregor in a southpaw stance.
Both men are considered to be counter punchers and have showed an uncanny ability to make opponents miss and delivering critical blows. While both men fall into this category there is a distinct difference in their approach. Floyd utilizes his defense to make you miss and tag you with a counter punch, receiving no damage to himself as a result. McGregor on the other hand has shown a willingness to take a punch in order to deliver a power punch of his own. As we saw in his fight against Jose Aldo, McGregor uses his timing to throw a counter when his opponent comes forward and ensures the accuracy of his punch by keeping his eyes on target and bracing for the punch he is about to receive. I am interested to see if McGregor uses a similar approach to land big shots on Mayweather.
Ah yes, the newly announced 8 oz gloves. I will be the first one to admit I was surprised by NSAC’s decision to allow the fighters to use a lighter weight glove than is set by Marcus of Queensbury rules. The lighter glove does lend a favor to McGregor’s punching power but let us not forget that Floyd has fought more in 8oz gloves than he has in 10oz gloves. I believe the bigger issue is how well Floyd will defend with the smaller glove when Conor is used to finding small gaps to fit his punches. Mayweather has mentioned that he wanted to use the lighter glove to keep McGregor from having excuses after he loses, while this seems like a interesting move it may not pay off and could end up costing him his 50th win.
I have always been an MMA fan first and a boxing fan second. Multiple styles of fighting being put together to beat an opponent has always fascinated me more than a singular style fight. With that being said, I am not sure how well a fighter with some many different styles can focus on perfect one style to be used in a singular style fight. Floyd has never been beaten and it would seem only logical to pick him as the victor in this fight. Something about this fight though gives me hesitation about going with the safe pick, it is 2017 and Donald Trump is our president after all. After going back and forth in my mind several times while writing this article I have finally settled on a prediction. Conor Mcgregor will come out hard as fast and land a couple of hard punches that will drop Floyd inside of 5 rounds. If the knockdown doesn’t knock floyd out he will recover after Mcgregor has shown his cards and pick him apart until that final bell sounds at the end of the 12th round.
So there you have it, the two possible ways this fight ends. Hopefully I have been able to clarify and expound on certain areas of this fight that have not been discussed accurately during the build up to this fight. Be sure to check out The Athletes Hub facebook page for my upcoming feature on the Sports Talk podcast and our Facebook live fight chat during the big event.
Photo Credit to Floyd Mayweather’s instagram