Floyd Mayweather Junior v Conor McGregor prediction: A complete mismatch, but all that counts is the money
- Credit: PA
Let's get something straight. The 'superfight' between UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor and boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Junior is about one thing - and it's not boxing.
Indeed, the Showtime posters for the clash, on August 26 in Las Vegas – where else – acknowledge just that, branding the battle 'The Money Fight'.
Because ultimately that's all it is - an event which will make two already filthy rich men, filthy richer. It's estimated they'll both make north of £80 million, and I'd imagine that's a conservative figure.
On paper, it's an easy sell - two master trash-talkers, both iconic and transcendent in their field of combat sport, have a dust-up to decide who's best. And of course, with a win Mayweather moves to 50 victories and no defeats, eclipsing the mark of the late, great Rocky Marciano.
But as a fight, it's a farce. The duo will meet at light-middleweight, wearing 10 oz gloves, but that's all they'll have in common on the night.
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McGregor is a brilliant fighter, a two-weight UFC world champion who has incredible movement and timing, and a lethal southpaw left hand which has slept many of his foes.
But 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, who has taken on a who's who of the noble sport and beaten them all.
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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.
After all, if the likes of 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?
I'll tell you - none. The mechanics and distancing of boxing at an elite level are very different to striking in MMA, and Floyd is a master of that art, especially when it comes to not getting hit.
I'll also tell you what to expect over the months leading up to the fight, and in the 'fight' itself. Trash talk, so much trash talk - but at least that will be competitive.
You will have the Mayweather camp doing everything they can to convince the public that McGregor can win, that his incredible left hand is a weapon unlike which Floyd has ever faced, that he's always struggled with southpaws.
Armchair pundits will be everywhere – MMA fans who've never really watched boxing will insist McGregor will KO Mayweather because he's a double hard cage fighter, while old school boxing fans will belittle MMA as a sport and Conor as a fighter.
The odds will narrow as the fight approaches, McGregor highlight reels will increase exponentially on the PPV provider and some physics expert will come out of the woodwork to say the Irishman punches harder than a grizzly bear.
All the while Mayweather will be playing along, rubbing his hands together and watching the cash stack up.
Then we get to the fight itself. After the most over the top walk-ins and fighter intros of all time - I fully expect live music, flamethrowers and 100-foot mechanised effigies of both combatants – we will finally get to see them fight.
And it will be dull. Achingly, soul-crushingly dull. It will become evident in the first minute that McGregor can't get near Mayweather, let alone actually hit him.
Thus begins a 12-round dance, with Mayweather shoulder rolling and playing with McGregor, firing off combos at will and evading ever-more desperate lunges from the MMA fighter.
At no point will Floyd look like actually stopping his foe though - unless McGregor's at times suspect cardio dwindles to the point that he can't lift his arms – and after 12 incredibly frustrating rounds the American will be declared the winner, 120-108 on all the scorecards.
In the post-fight interviews, Mayweather will call it his 'hardest fight ever' and point to his new record of 50-0 as evidence that he is indeed the greatest fighter of all time.
McGregor will be gracious and deserving of respect for taking on the challenge, return to MMA and defend his lightweight belt in style on the UFC's end of year show.
Both men will walk away as winners. The only losers will be the ones who bought the fight.