Search

Floyd Mayweather Junior versus Conor McGregor: Everything you need to know, preview and prediction

PUBLISHED: 11:11 24 August 2017 | UPDATED: 11:53 24 August 2017

Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Conor McGregor will fight in Las Vegas on Saturday. Picture: AP PHOTO

Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Conor McGregor will fight in Las Vegas on Saturday. Picture: AP PHOTO

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

A fight billed as the biggest in combat sports history takes place in Las Vegas this weekend. MARK HEATH previews and predicts the madness that is Floyd Mayweather Junior versus Conor McGregor.

Depending on who you talk to, Floyd Mayweather Jnr boxing Conor McGregor is either the greatest fighting event in history or a complete and utter farce which will only serve to make two filthy rich men filthy richer.

But whatever you think about it, one fact is unavoidable – it is happening. And there’s certainly a level of intrigue in seeing what happens when two gents at the top of their respective fight sports clash, under the Marquess of Queensberry rules at light-middleweight, wearing 8oz gloves.

McGregor is a brilliant MMA fighter, a two-weight UFC world champion who has unusual movement, incredible timing, and a lethal southpaw left hand which has slept many of his foes. If this were an MMA fight, he’d eat Mayweather alive in under a minute.

But, and this is important, he has never had a single professional boxing fight. This event pits a 0-0 novice against a 49-0 legend of the squared circle, a man who has taken on a who’s who of the noble sport and beaten them all, while barely being touched.

If this fight were mooted between any other boxers with identical records, there would be an outcry – lamb to the slaughter, disgrace to the sport, you name it. In fact, it would never get sanctioned.

After all, if the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Canelo Alvarez couldn’t beat Mayweather – indeed barely lay a glove in anger on him – what chance does McGregor have?

Floyd Mayweather Junior is 49-0 as a boxer and has held world titles at multiple weights. Picture: AP Floyd Mayweather Junior is 49-0 as a boxer and has held world titles at multiple weights. Picture: AP

Let’s take a look at the ‘Money Fight’...

WHEN AND WHERE

The fight will be in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night, USA time. Over here, the main event is due to start at 4am, but with the no doubt extravagant walk-ins and frippery, it might be closer to 5am when the duo actually trade leather.

Sky Sports Box Office will screen the battle live, priced at £19.95.

WHAT’S ON THE LINE?

In terms of titles and belts – a token ‘special’ strap from the WBC aside – absolutely nothing. This fight is entirely for prestige - can Mayweather reach the fabled 50-0 mark, thus bettering the legendary heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano’s record, or can McGregor pull off what would be the biggest upset in boxing history, making Buster Douglas’ 42-1 triumph over Mike Tyson back in 1990 look like a mild shock? If Mayweather were to lose, his incredible legacy would be tarnished forever.

BETTING ODDS

Mayweather is the overwhelming favourite, as he should be, at around 1/4 to win and 4/5 to claim a KO. McGregor’s odds are incredibly narrow given his lack of experience – 3/1 to win, 4/1 by KO.

Conor McGregor is a two-weight UFC champion, but has never boxed professionally. Picture: PA Conor McGregor is a two-weight UFC champion, but has never boxed professionally. Picture: PA

HOW DO THEY MATCH UP?

Mayweather, 40, is 49-0 in the boxing ring and has held world titles in five weight divisions, from super featherweight (9st 3lbs) all the way up to light-middleweight (11 stone). He’s 5ft 8ins tall and has a reach of 72 inches.

McGregor will be the younger, bigger and probably stronger man on the night. He’s 29-years-old, 21-3 in MMA, including those two UFC titles at featherweight (10st 5lbs) and lightweight (11st 1lb), and has fought – and won – as high as welterweight (12 st 1lb). He’s an inch taller than Mayweather, and has a two-inch reach advantage.

TACTICS

With McGregor having never boxed professionally, this is hard to predict. However, he will undoubtedly be trying to walk Floyd onto his ‘touch of death’ left hand. If that lands, he can stop Mayweather, especially wearing 8oz gloves.

Floyd Mayweather Jr, left, lands a left on Oscar De La Hoya in their fight in 2007. De La Hoya is one of numerous boxing legends to have lost to the brilliant Mayweather. Picture: PA Floyd Mayweather Jr, left, lands a left on Oscar De La Hoya in their fight in 2007. De La Hoya is one of numerous boxing legends to have lost to the brilliant Mayweather. Picture: PA

I’d imagine he will start like his shorts are on fire, try to back the American up, bully him and throw multiple big shots.

Of course, his problem is that Mayweather is probably the best defensive fighter in history, and has – big right hand from Shane Mosley aside – never really shipped a heavy punch.

He will be looking to make McGregor miss, and then make him pay. Floyd has vowed to march forward and take risks in this fight, but, given that would seem to play into McGregor’s trademark step back left hand counter, I doubt we’ll see that.

Of course, both men are counter fighters by nature, so we could have a few exchanges where neither fighter wants to lead.

SO WHAT HAPPENS?

Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Conor McGregor will box over 12 rounds at light-middleweight. Picture: AP PHOTO Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Conor McGregor will box over 12 rounds at light-middleweight. Picture: AP PHOTO

The multi-million dollar question. McGregor does have a puncher’s chance – he is certainly the heavier hitter in this dust-up – but I honestly can’t see him landing much at all. He’ll give it everything, but Mayweather will have seen it all before, and it will soon become apparent that he’s on another level entirely.

PREDICTION

When the fight was announced, I immediately predicted a wide points win for Mayweather. But as it gets closer, I like Floyd by stoppage in the middle to late rounds. He’s not knocked anyone out for years, and has brittle hands, but I think the sheer volume of punches he’ll land, plus McGregor’s fading cardio as he keeps missing big shots, will see the Irishman stopped on his feet somewhere between rounds 7 to 11. Surviving 12 rounds would be a moral victory for him.

Latest from the EDP

Live

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Opinion: It’s been a very eventful few days for Norwich City, and it all started with that brilliant 1-0 win at Ashton Gate. This win was thanks to another wonderful James Maddison goal and one hell of a save by Angus Gunn, one his old man I’m sure would have been proud to make. Sadly Norwich went out of the FA Cup at the third round stage for the fourth consecutive season, but gave a magnificent account of themselves and pushed Chelsea all the way – but it wasn’t to be as they were knocked out in the cruellest way, on penalties. The win against Bristol City means the club have won nearly twice as many away games as they have done at Carrow Road, Norwich are now unbeaten in their last four league games while conceding just one goal in those four games. Saturday gives City an opportunity to win back-to-back league games for the first time at Carrow Road this season, which is quite astounding considering we’re now in mid-January. I guess it just goes to show how they’ve struggled to break teams down and how inconsistent they have been on their own patch. Chris Wilder brings his out-of-sorts Sheffield United down to Carrow Road – I’m sure he’ll get a nice warm welcome from the Norwich faithful after some of the remarks he made after Norwich’s very impressive win at Bramall Lane in a bad-tempered game earlier in the season when the Blades we’re flying in the league, something they aren’t quite doing at this moment in time, having won just one of their last 10 Championship games. I think tomorrow gives the lads a real chance of closing the gap even more on the teams in those play-off positions. I scored a few goals against Sheffield United in my career, especially when I played at Bramall Lane – a brace for Leicester springs to mind. I scored a couple for Norwich against them at Carrow Road and looking back on my 96 goals for the Canaries, one of those was one of the most important that I scored for the club. The first of those two City goals came in a thrilling game when we found ourselves 2-0 with just 24 minutes gone, but we made the boos and the jeers turn to cheers with goals from Phil Mulryne, Tony Cottee (his one and only for Norwich), Chris Llewelyn and yours truly seeing us make a tremendous comeback to win the game 4-2. The other goal I was talking about came in our Championship-winning season on January 31 and, as I said, it’s right up there with some of the most important goals I scored for the club. It was a top-of-the-table clash as both us and Sheffield United had had a very good first half to the season and were fighting it up at the top of the league. It was a very close game with not many clear-cut chances until a ball broke to me in the 59th minute. It came to me perfectly, about 12 yards from goal and without breaking my stride I smashed it past the helpless Paddy Kenny and Carrow Road erupted. It was a very important win for us and as a forward there’s no better result than winning the game 1-0 with you getting the winner. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish both Russell Martin and Cameron Jerome all the very best at their new clubs. Both have been magnificent servants to the club and have been ultimate professionals while they’ve represented Norwich City and have always given everything when they’ve played. Both have taken harsh criticism in the last two or three seasons and at times been made scapegoats, but one thing is for sure, they’ve never hidden and taken everything on the chin and got on with things. Let’s hope that whoever comes in to replace Russ and Cameron will show the same level of commitment to Norwich City over the next few years.

Most Read Sport

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 3°C

min temp: 1°C

Show Job Lists