After all the build-up, the most hyped boxing match in years is now only days away. Can the UFC’s Conor McGregor inflict the first professional boxing defeat of Floyd Mayweather’s career?
Many inside boxing don’t give the Irishman a chance, but confidence has never been a problem for McGregor.
He’s won 18 of his 24 UFC bouts by knockout but he’s completely untested as a professional boxer.
Will he cause an upset? We spoke to our boxing trader Tommy Young to get his pre-fight predictions:
Ladbrokes News: Floyd Mayweather is the huge favourite here. Do you think Conor McGregor has any chance?
Tommy Young: There is a reason that Mayweather is the overwhelming favourite with the bookies – he is one of the greatest boxers of his generation and Conor McGregor is a mixed martial artist making his professional boxing debut.
McGregor is one of the better boxers in UFC and his left is a very dangerous weapon. But landing it on the opponents he faces in the Octagon and landing it on Floyd Mayweather are very different propositions.
LN: Mayweather is 11 years older than McGregor and hasn’t had a fight since 2015. Will that have an impact?
TY: The main negative against Mayweather is that he’s been retired for two years and I have no doubt that he’s going to be rusty.
His whole style is based around timing and he needs to be sharp to be at his best. Coming back is going to be harder for him than it would be for someone who wants blast his opponent away.
A prolonged absence from the ring is likely to have affected Mayweather’s fitness too. There’s a chance that Floyd tires later on in the fight and McGregor is able to take advantage.
Mayweather is 40-years-old and been in 49 professional fight so has a lot of miles on the clock.
LN: McGregor’s lack of boxing experience makes him hard to predict. Will that cause problems for Mayweather?
TY: This fight has parallels with Ronda Rousey’s UFC fight against Holly Holm.
Rousey’s judo skills had taken her to the top of the sport. She forced her first eight opponents to tap out, seven of those in the first round.
Then she decided she fancied herself as a boxer – she even called out Mayweather himself. When she tried to defeat Holm, a former professional boxer, using boxing techniques, it ended extremely badly for her.
Holm connected with Rousey’s face pretty much at will until she brutally KO’d Rousey with a kick to the head.
I think it’s fair to say the gulf in boxing class between Mayweather and McGregor will at least be at a similar level to that of Holm and Rousey and I believe that McGregor will have no response to Mayweather’s accurate punching and clever movement.
LN: So you think this one could be over quickly?
TY: I see a cagey first two rounds with both fighters keeping their distance.
Then in the third and fourth rounds Mayweather will start to land on McGregor with increasing frequency and then he’ll finish the job in the fifth or sixth.
LN: Finally, what are your top tips for the big fight?
Agree with Tommy’s predictions? Let us know in the comments section!
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing