The megafight fans have been clamoring for almost is here, but the outcome already seems like a foregone conclusion.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. still undoubtedly is the best active boxer and he can make history Saturday in Las Vegas by claiming his 50th win without a single loss on his résumé.
Standing in “Money’s” way arguably is the best mixed martial artist on the planet in UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, who’ll step outside the comfort of the octagon and into Mayweather’s domain for the superfight of the year.
But how will McGregor’s skills translate to the boxing ring, where he’ll have to face the best defensive boxer of all time? If you had to guess, probably not very well, although McGregor is always a threat to land a knockout blow.
The problem for McGregor, though, is he probably won’t even have that chance thanks to Mayweather’s defensive skills. Fight fans saw those skills on full display during “Money’s” last superfight, a resounding decision victory over Manny Pacquiao. And as OdddShark.com points out, Mayweather’s opponents only have landed 18.9 percent of their punches over the course of 15 fights since 2005.
And those were against all-time greats like Pacquiao and Oscar De La Hoya. While McGregor already is an all-time great in the octagon, this will be his first time in a boxing bout. So, if this fight goes as expected, McGregor will struggle to hit Mayweather more than 20 percent of the time, and “Money” will cruise to a unanimous decision victory.
Sure, one punch can change that, and that’s McGregor’s best shot, especially early. So, not getting caught up in trying to fight at Mayweather’s pace will be key, too. And if McGregor can do that, he won’t even realize Mayweather converting his demoralizing defense in a significant strike until it’s too late.
But perhaps the thing Mayweather must avoid most is complacency. Sure, this is a boxing match where he should have a big advantage, but McGregor is a capable fighter who can turn any complacency into a shocking upset.
And if Mayweather can avoid that and do what he does best in the ring, he should be 50-0 by the time everyone wakes up Sunday morning.
Thumbnail photo via Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports Images