Floyd Mayweather Jr. either is being brutally honest with himself or is upping his mind games as he prepares for his Aug. 26 fight with Conor McGregor.
Mayweather will enter the much-anticipated boxing match as a heavy favorite, yet the 40-year-old explained Tuesday in a sitdown interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith why McGregor, who turned 29 last month, actually has an advantage in the upcoming superfight.
“He’s a lot younger. When you look at myself and Conor McGregor on paper, he’s taller, has a longer reach, he’s a bigger man from top to bottom. He’s a lot younger, so youth is on his side,” Mayweather said of McGregor, via ESPN.com. “And I’ve been off a couple of years. And I’m in my 40s. So, if you look at everything on paper, it leans toward Conor McGregor.”
Mayweather raises some interesting points ahead of his first fight since defeating Andre Berto in September 2015. McGregor, who defeated Eddie Alvarez to win the UFC lightweight championship at UFC 205 in November 2016, has a lot working for him physically based on age and size. Perhaps it’s fair to wonder whether Mayweather, one of the best pound-for-pound boxers of all time, has regressed to the point where McGregor could pull off an upset despite it being The Notorious’ first pro boxing match.
“I’m not the same fighter I was two years ago. I’m not the same fighter I was five years ago. I lost a step,” Mayweather told Smith, per ESPN.com. “A fighter like Andre Berto isn’t even supposed to go the distance with Floyd Mayweather, but remember, I was 38. It’s obvious I’m slipping a little bit to even let a fighter like that go the distance with me.
“I’m not what I used to be.”
McGregor packs quite a punch, so Mayweather certainly will need to be on his toes despite his opponent’s inexperience inside the squared circle. But could McGregor really do the unthinkable?
Probably not, according to Mayweather, who’s still confident he’ll emerge victorious after heaping praise on the UFC champ.
“I didn’t say I couldn’t fight,” Mayweather said. “I just said I’m not the same Floyd Mayweather I once was.”
Thumbnail photo via Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports Images
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