After months of speculation, the decision for Floyd Mayweather Jr and Connor McGregor to fight was finally confirmed and they will now clash in Las Vegas on August 26th. Both are world-renowned fighting champions, but in different disciplines. Mayweather is a boxer, but McGregor is a mixed martial artist who is currently signed to the Ultimate Fighting Champion.
Because the fight is taking place under regular boxing rules, Mayweather is the clear favourite for victory. But McGregor is much more versatile as a fighter, despite never boxing either as an amateur or in the professional ranks. The boxer also retired in 2015, unbeaten after 49 fights, having also hung up his gloves ten fights and seven years earlier. During his career, he became a champion at five different weight levels, while McGregor became MMA’s first dual champion recently.
There are a number of factors in McGregor’s favour. Firstly, he is in peak condition, having won two divisions in MMA only last year before taking a hiatus from the sport to focus purely on boxing and in particular Mayweather. There is also a game-pla12-year age gap, and Mayweather is coming out of retirement, so you’d imagine if the fight went the distance, McGregor’s chances of a shock victory will grow.
The Irishman had challenged Mayweather to a fight under MMA rules, but it is the American who has won the first battle by making the fight happen under the rules he is most comfortable with. McGregor is not a boxer, but neither is Mayweather likely to stamp his authority on the fight by aiming to knock his opponent out early.
One criticism of Mayweather throughout his career has been his tactical approach to fights. He will often stifle the other fighter, conserving his energy and waiting it out and winning on points, thus making him appear to be boring in some viewers’ eyes. Not that he will mind, it has worked throughout his career, making him one of boxing’s greats, and it would be silly to bet against him repeating his tricks once again when faced with McGregor in a few months time.
THE FIGHT IS ON. pic.twitter.com/KhW0u3jRft— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) June 14, 2017
But that also makes McGregor’s game plan obvious. He is the one with points to prove and he is the one who will need to think about the match less from a tactical point of view. Only doing something no one ever has, and ending it early against Mayweather, will give him a genuine chance of winning the bout. So McGregor will undoubtedly look to start fast, particularly in the first five rounds, to try and catch Mayweather off guard, but that could open him up to a knockout blow from Mayweather.
This fight is all about the glamour. The location, the fighters and the money it will generate show as much, but it must also live up to the expectation. In truth, it is tough to see it being a very entertaining fight, both because of Mayweather’s propensity to put efficiency first and McGregor’s lack of experience in the sport.
It should also be remembered that in Las Vegas, Mayweather will have the support of a home crowd, which will only add to the pressure on the inexperienced McGregor.
Understandably, the odds are stacked highly in favour of a Mayweather win, and the best offer in terms of value, with Betfair, is on points at 7/5, or whether the fight will go the distance, with ‘yes’ being at 13/10. If McGregor does get the upper hand, he may be worth backing with a KO at 13/2, but this does look to be something of a mismatch.
For more information, visit Mayweather v McGregor betting.