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Mayweather vs. McGregor preview: Who has the edge?

The biggest fight in history is finally going down Saturday night. Undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. will take of the UFC’s top fighter Conor McGregor.

The fight is finally upon us after so much talk and preparation. Arguments can be made for why both fighters can win.

Fans everywhere are excited for this matchup. The fight is currently second all time in StubHub sales. The only event that tops it is Mayweather’s fight against Manny Pacquiao.

Let’s take a look at each of these guys and preview how the fight could go down.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is arguably the best ever. There is a reason he is 49-0 in his career. The dude can fight.

He has generated over $1 billion over his career, earning him the nickname “money.” He has been fighting for over 20 years. He knows what he is doing.

Mayweather vs McGregor preview
Floyd Mayweather Jr. looks to get his 50th victory and retire undefeated. (Photo by Mark J Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Mayweather does not seem too worried about McGregor, even with the change to smaller 8 oz. gloves. Mayweather is probably banking on McGregor getting very few hits on him due to his defensive fighting style.

Mayweather has also not trained as hard as he has for opponents like Manny Pacquiao and Canelo Alvarez. This speaks to the amount of respect Mayweather has for McGregor. Perhaps he is fine with 8 oz. gloves for the fight so McGregor can’t make any excuses should Mayweather earn his 50th victory.

Honestly, why should Mayweather fear McGregor? Yes, McGregor is younger and also a dominant fighter in his sport, but Mayweather has been doing this for 20 years.

“Everything in boxing that can be done, I’ve done it, a thousand times,” Mayweather said at Wednesday night’s press conference. “I was born a fighter and I’ll die a fighter. I have the skills.”

Make no mistake, Mayweather does know how to hit. Twenty-six of his 49 victories have been by knockout. It is not as high of a percentage as McGregor (86 percent), but it is still over half his fights. He just hasn’t won by knockout in six years.

Conor McGregor

So how does McGregor plan on beating Mayweather? He believes his training speaks for itself.

“You see the work I’ve put in, I’ve taken this very seriously,” McGregor said. “I will go out and perform. I will go out and outbox this man at his own game.”

Mayweather vs McGregor preview
Can Conor McGregor win against boxing’s best in his first match? (Photo by Getty Images)

There has been plenty of video showing McGregor’s training. He has had a lot of work to do and a lot of ground to cover. Like Mayweather said, he has done it all when it comes to boxing. McGregor has just been trying to learn how to box.

McGregor does not boast an undefeated record like Mayweather, but 21-3 is nothing to be upset about either.

McGregor has earned his victories as an MMA fighter. He is referred to by UFC president Dana White as a knockout artist due to the fact most of his victories have been knockouts.

Another thing McGregor has working for him is age. He is 11 years younger than Mayweather and fought three times last year. Mayweather has been enjoying retirement and hasn’t been in the ring in almost two years.

McGregor’s attacking style earns him a lot of knockouts, but it also takes energy to fight like that.

The UFC fights a maximum of five rounds, each lasting a maximum of five minutes. Boxing fights a maximum of 12 rounds, each lasting three minutes. The only five-round fight McGregor has been in was his victory over Nate Diaz last year. Most of his fights have been one or two rounds.

Mayweather, on the other hand, has not fought less than 12 rounds since 2011 when he knocked out Victor Ortiz. Based on that, it would appear Mayweather has greater endurance than McGregor.

This also may have to do with Mayweather’s defensive fighting style. He is arguably the greatest defensive fighter ever and is known for always being on the move in the ring. He does not wear himself down by throwing punches.

Who will win?

Who does Vegas think is going to win? As of now, Mayweather is a -400 favorite. McGregor sits as a +300 underdog. Originally, Mayweather opened as a -2,250 favorite with McGregor being +950.

What kind of result can we expect to get? Everybody is saying this fight will end in a knockout. Who wins by knockout has continued to be debated.

McGregor wins by knockouts, so if he wins, it will most likely be a knockout. Mayweather’s team has stated that they plan to win the fight by knockout. It is uncharacteristic of Mayweather to fight offensively, but that is the strategy he has going in.

Also, how well will McGregor do as a boxer just throwing punches? He definitely has a big task ahead of him going up against the undefeated Mayweather in his first boxing match.

McGregor is used to fighting with smaller gloves in the UFC. It will be newer to Floyd, but with smaller gloves, both guys will be able to swing faster.

Prediction: Mayweather by decision

I’m going with the experienced Mayweather in this fight, but not by knockout.

I don’t doubt McGregor’s boxing skills. However, I do have a hard time believing he can beat boxing’s best in his first match. I also don’t think it will end in a knockout due to history. Mayweather wins by defense, not by attacking. If an opportunity to knockout McGregor presents itself, maybe he takes it. Mayweather most likely has some rust he’ll have to shake off since he hasn’t fought in two years.

If the fight goes to decision, regardless of who looked better, I believe the judges will choose Mayweather. Remember, they are fighting in his hometown and why would they give Mayweather his first loss ever on a decision?

If McGregor wants to win, he is going to have to knock Mayweather out, but I think Mayweather is just too defensively-talented to let that happen.

 

Featured Image by Getty Images

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