Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather without a shadow of a doubt is the most anticipated boxing match in this decade. The question has still been always lingering – can the highest calibre MMA guy can take on a boxer? It’s easy to dismiss Conor McGregor when putting him against the best defensive boxer of all time. After all, in MMA you have to specialize in every fight department. You have to be great with your hands, elbows, knees, feet, clinch, ground-game and the list goes on. In boxing you just use your arms. A fighter only has so much time in this world and you can spend a decade practicing all of these fighting areas or you can practice one.
Many fighters have taken on Floyd Mayweather, including superstars like Manny Pacquiao, Oscar De La Hoya, Marcos Maidana, Miguel Cotto and so on. None of these elite boxers were able to unlock a strategy that would take down Floyd from his incredible boxing winning streak. So why would someone like Conor McGregor stand a chance vs Floyd Mayweather. Let’s not dismiss Conor McGregor straight away but rather look at things objectively.
Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather - facts in favor of Conor McGregor:
Floyd Mayweather is no longer in his prime. Floyd Mayweather is coming out of retirement to fight Conor McGregor. Floyd is not the young bull any longer and is on the downslope of his physical abilities. Floyd was born in 1977 which puts him at 40 years of age. A boxer in his prime will usually be around 30 years of age. Not many boxers have been able to conquer boxing scene and be at the very top at the age of 40.
Floyd Mayweather has not fought for 2 years. His last fight was against Andre Berto. Although Floyd performed well in this fight, this is a long time for an elite boxer to go without fights. When preparing for a fight, you will go through a fight camp. Floyd hasn’t experienced this for a good while now and with the age comes rustiness if skills are not maintained. Surely Floyd has kept his skills up like many boxers do when they retire –but let’s not ignore the fact that he hasn’t prepared for any major fight in a while. This means he has not put himself through the extensive and physically demanding training sessions that he is used to. In a fight where we would see Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather – this is not good for Floyd.
Floyd Mayweather’s power and speed has been on the decline for a while. This obviously comes with age and it’s something that fighters experience when they hit their mid and upper thirties. In his last 10 boxing fights, 8 of them have gone to the judge’s decision. Floyd has gone to a decision in his last 7 fights in a row and he has not won an opponent by a KO or TKO since September of 2011. Whereas when Floyd Mayweather turned pro, in his first 20 fights, 14 of them were either by KO or a TKO. Some fans argue that in a fight Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather, Conor would be taken out in the first round against an elite boxer like Floyd. When speaking facts, this is very unlikely to happen since Floyd no longer packs that punch that can stop someone easily. Although Conor’s chin has not been tested as extensively as Floyd’s – we know from second fight of Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz that Conor’s chin ate many punches yet his main challenge was not his chin – it was his cardio.
Conor McGregor is known for his incredible power in his left hand. In a fight Conor McGregor vs Floyd Maywether, Conor will be the much stronger puncher. Let’s remember his fight against Nate Diaz. Nate Diaz has only lost once by a TKO which was against Josh Thomson. Nate was only rocked when he ate a very clean and powerful leg kick to the head. He was not KOd clean but rather rocked. Now, Nate can withstand punches yet Conor McGregor has dropped him multiple times with his punches. It took Conor one clean punch to disarm Jose Aldo – who was the only featherweight champion in UFC. Conor’s speed is incredible and his power is overwhelming to handle. In boxin gloves are obviously thicker so nobody really knows how Floyd will handle shots from Conor. But if Conor does land good clean shots, Floyd will definitely feel them.
In a fight Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather – Conor has a 2 inch reach advantage. Conor is 5 ft 9 in and Floyd is 5 ft 8 in. Conor’s reach is 74 inches and Floyd’s is 72. In a game of boxing, 2 inches can play a great advantage. Considering Conor’s and Floyd’s styles, it’s unlikely that Conor will want to engage in an up-close fight. Floyd Mayweather is known for his defensive abilities both in middle in the ring and in the pocket. He has no trouble at all in being up close. He will capitalize every opportunity he gets to counter punch. Conor can throw power punches but we don’t know how good he is up close while defending himself. We do know that his up-close boxing defensive will not be as good as Floyd’s. Conor will want to keep his distance and the 2 inch reach advantage will favour Conor with this boxing style.
Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather - the facts in favour of Floyd Mayweather:
Floyd Mayweather is an undefeated boxer holding a perfect record of 49-0. As we mentioned previously, Floyd has fought elite fighters his entire life and he has not lost once. He has dominated every fight and has won his fights easily. Only one of his 49 fights has been won by a split decision and this was against Oscar De La Hoya. If he dominates boxing world against boxers that have trained for decades – can Conor McGregor beat him? It is easy to dismiss Conor McGregor and his chances to win, however, let’s not forget that Floyd is a retired boxer coming out of retirement.
Floyd Mayweather is the best defensive boxer of all time. Some fans and fighters might think otherwise, but he is arguably the best defensive boxer. In a fight Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather, Floyd will be superior in his technical abilities. Again, Floyd is comfortable in any place of the ring. He will not be bullied by Conor and won’t be in danger while in the corner unlike MMA fighters would be against Conor when pressed against the cage. Conor McGregor might be in for a surprise when Floyd bounces his shots off his shoulders and counters Conor’s chin.
Floyd Mayweather does not get rocked or stunned easily. In his 49 fights against all types of power punchers, Floyd has been rocked only a handful of times. His chin is very solid and with thicker gloves it will not be as easy to take Floyd out as Conor will be used to in UFC. If Floyd can withstand Conor’s punches, what else is left for Conor to defeat Floyd? It sure won’t be the technical side or defensive abilities.
Conor McGregor needs to adapt his fighting style to boxing. This might be one of the most underestimated facts that favor Floyd when comparing Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather. MMA demands different type of defense and you don’t cover up like you would in boxing. You generally don’t see MMA fighters even standing in boxing stance unless they come from boxing background. Conor will have to adapt his style to boxing and this means keeping his elbows tucked and being smarter about his defense. In MMA you often can see fighters trading power punches and in boxing it’s not something you see as often. This is because in boxing you can counter punch after blocking punches whereas in MMA you can’t block well with such small gloves. This will be perfect for Floyd as he will find Conor’s chin with counter punching much easier than he would when fighting against a classical boxer.
Chris van Heerden has tested Conor’s boxing skills and confirmed that in Floyd Mayweather vs Conor Mcgregor match, Floyd will defeat Conor McGregor. For those that don’t know, Chris van Heerden is a South African pro boxer with a record of 25 wins and 2 losses. He is a former IBO welterweight champion who is rumoured soon to be facing off Manny Pacquiao. Here is an interview with Chris van Heerden who gives his take on Conor’s boxing skills and his chances against top level boxers. A humble guy that gives a good understanding of what Conor’s boxing level is after having sparred with him.
Conor McGregor does not have the stamina of an elite boxer. Conor is known to get tired quickly and this may well be because of his super explosive fighting style. Usually he lands a few shots and the opponent is done. In boxing you have a lot more rounds than you do in MMA. Conor can build up his stamina until his next fight but it will be very difficult to challenge Floyd’s endurance. Floyd can stand and keep up with the pace for a long time. We expect this to be a challenge for Conor.
What makes this Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather fight so exciting?
Both of these athletes are elite that have left an unforgettable mark in boxing and MMA. Conor McGregor is the most known MMA fighter in the MMA history. Floyd Mayweather is one of the best if not the best boxers ever. Everyone wants to find out what will happen if these two fighters clash together. It sure has had an incredible build up and will be the most anticipated fight in this decade. Conor McGregor will be the underdog of this fight and it will be an uphill battle for him. But if there is one thing that the fighting fans have seen is that Conor can prove the sceptics wrong again and again. Can he do it against Floyd Mayweather?
Another interesting fact about these fighters is that they are both known for the strength of their mind-sets. It is fascinating to get an insight in their minds and what goes on in the mental side of things to become the greatest fighter. We anticipate Floyd Mayweather to win this fight but we should never underestimate Conor McGregor.
For those interested in some of Floyd's training gear, we did a review on what boxing shoes he prefers.