The fight is finally set for August 26th and it could break box office records. UFC two-weight World Champion Conor McGregor will lace up 10oz gloves to take on Floyd Mayweather, but does he really stand a chance?
Conventional wisdom says no.
But what if McGregor doesn’t try to outbox him? What if he delves deep into the martial arts and brings a new style to the squared circle? Then, he might just have a shot.
Can Conor box at all?
If Mayweather was heading for the Octagon then he would be like a lamb to slaughter. Conversely, McGregor is not a boxer. He’s a devastating UFC fighter, but a boxer he is not.
He boxed as an amateur, but your first pro fight against one of the greatest and the most defensive boxers of all time is surely asking too much.
McGregor is a great fighter in the Octagon and has earned two titles at two different weights as well as a reputation for devastating strikes. His left hand is considered one of the most dangerous weapons in MMA.
But is it really a match for Ricky Hatton’s left hook? Manny Pacquaio’s? Arturo Gatti’s? Add Saul Alvarez, Juan Manuel Marques and more to that list.
Floyd Mayweather tamed them all and, despite getting a reputation for a boring defensive style, he has stopped some serious people in his career.
Does Conor Have Real Punching Power?
All of these men had more punching power than McGregor thanks to years of honing just those techniques. Hatton, in particular, was famous for stopping people with rib-breaking body punches.
I’d be surprised if McGregor can produce the same kind of power. Elite boxers punch harder than their UFC counterparts, I don’t think there’s much debate on that one.
Mayweather is also a frustrating boxer. He’s one of the greats, but he really hasn’t had that many great fights thanks to a defensive style that just seems to ghost away from his opponent’s punches. He can bang when he wants to as well.
For Mayweather, 50-0 Will Be New Record
He has faced every kind of style and has a 49-0 record. This fight against McGregor would give him the perfect 50 and take him past Rocky Marciano’s benchmark number of wins.
But he has made no bones about it. This is the most marketable fight. This is the fight with the most money and so this is the fight he will take.
So how can Conor McGregor beat Floyd Mayweather?
Well he’s much younger and should be fitter. After he cuts to make weight then he should be a significantly bigger man on fight night too.
He hasn’t done 12 rounds, though, and this will count against him. He hasn’t done any kind of competitive boxing, but he has filled stadiums in the UFC and he’ll be used to the big fight feel.
In the ring, his only real chance of coming out on top is to turn this into something other than a classic boxing match. He has to pull Mayweather out of his comfort zone, perhaps by bringing elements of traditional kung-fu to the 10oz gloves.
Using forearms to block and attack at the same time, and drawing Mayweather into an attack before a flurry of points scoring punches, could work.
This Plan Still Might Fail
It might not be enough. Mayweather has beaten brawlers, technicians and champions in his time and it might take more than a new style to topple him.
But that’s the only way I see McGregor has a chance. Confusion and novelty can be his best weapons.
It’s a traditional boxing match, but he does not have to box traditionally.
Win or lose, he will come out of this rich enough to do what the hell he wants with the rest of his life. And the underdog loving idiot inside of me wants to see him produce a miracle and put Mayweather on his ass.
Do you think Conor McGregor can beat Floyd Mayweather? If so, how?