By William Mackay: Floyd Mayweather Jr. doesn’t see his fight with Conor McGregor going the full 12 rounds on August 26. Mayweather sees it as a very serious fight that is going to end with one of the two getting knocked out when they meet up on Showtime PPV at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
McGregor, 28, will be making his pro debut in a boxing ring. Dana White, the president of the UFC, says McGregor must knockout Mayweather to win. He sees McGregor as having no realistic chance of beating the 40-year-old Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) by a decision. White pictures the younger, bigger and stronger McGregor going after Mayweather from the opening round, looking to rough him up and hurt him with one of his big shots.
It’s going to be tough for McGregor to knockout Mayweather, because he would be succeeding where more skilled boxer/punchers like Saul Canelo Alvarez and Marcos Maidana have failed. McGregor is different fighter from those guys, so there’s always the chance that he could succeed where they failed. The circumstances are a lot different for McGregor fighting Mayweather now than when those guys fought him. Mayweather has been retired for the last 2 years, and he’s 40 now. He’s not the younger fighter that Canelo and Maidana had to deal with.
“I don’t think this is going to go 12,” said Mayweather in discoing with the boxing media his fight with McGregor. “It’s kill or be killed, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Either he’s going to get me or I’m going to get him. It was great entertainment,” said Mayweather in talking about him telling his bodyguards to swarm McGregor during the New York press conference. “I mean, trying to add more buys. Remember, everything I do is calculated,” said Mayweather.
Mayweather doesn’t mean the bit about killing literally. He obviously means that he and McGregor will be looking to knock each other out. The quickest way to beat your opponent is by knocking them out. The boxing public wants to see Mayweather knockout McGregor and vice versa. Both guys will be looking to get the fight over with as fast as possible.
It’s in McGregor’s best interest to knockout Mayweather, as a win over him will give a good chance of getting a big money rematch. McGregor might make $100 million for the August 26 fight against Mayweather. If McGregor beats Mayweather, then he’ll stand to gain another $100 million for the rematch. With money like that, McGregor would have no real reason to go back to the UFC to risk his health fighting in that rough sport. There would be no reason for McGregor to continue in the UFC if he can get two fights against Mayweather. A win for McGregor would make him a huge star in two sports. The sky would be the limit for McGregor.
”I don’t fight for free,” said Mayweather. ”I do it for real money. I do it for 9 figures. I don’t do it for free. I could have stayed in boxing. I could have kept fighting for $35 million for each fight, but why do that. I can do it for bigger numbers. I didn’t have to take this fight, but I wasn’t stupid. I always keep my composure at the podium. He was upset. He was rattled. Before I go into a fight, it’s all about keeping my composure. I’ve been there before. I know what I have to do,” said Mayweather.
Mayweather-McGregor could break the PPV record of 4.6M set by Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao just 2 years ago. The fight is priced to break the record with the PPV going for $89 to $99. The interest in the Mayweather-McGregor fight doesn’t seem to be as strong as it was for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. There was a lot more hype for the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight. What the boxing fans didn’t know at the time was how bad the fight would be. It didn’t live up to the high expectations and the high costs.
Pacquiao had a shoulder problem that he had to deal with during the fight, and there wasn’t much action. Neither fighter looked like they were willing to take risks. With all the negative flak that came from the boxing fans in the aftermath of the fight, I’m sure that Mayweather and Pacquiao wish they could have done it over again so that they could put in more effort to give the boxing fans a great fight instead of the disappointment that they saw.
“I’m the best when it comes to trash talking,” said Mayweather. “He can’t out-talk me. He’s not a bad trash talker. I rate him at No.2. I’m No.1. He’s not bad. This is my last fight. it’s grueling. I gave Al Haymon my word that this is my last fight. I thought the [Andre] Berto fight would be my last fight, but I’m still a business man. I made a smart business decision. The fans demanded this fight,” said Mayweather.
McGregor did appear to out-talk Mayweather during their recent 4-city press tour. The fans were on McGregor’s side in all 4 cities, and McGregor seemed to do a better job insulting Mayweather.
“All I’ve seen is videos he’s sent me,” said UFC president Dana White about McGregor. “Listen, he’s not a boxer. Conor McGregor is a fighter, not a boxer. In a 12 round fight, Conor McGregor is the bigger, younger, stronger guy. He needs to fight Mayweather and he needs to hurt him. I don’t see him outpointing Floyd in a boxing match. I see him turning it into a rough fight. In this fight, Floyd is going to fight traditionally the way he always fights. I think he’s going to stay on his toes, move around a lot, use the ring to try and stay away from McGregor. I think McGregor is going to go straight after him, try and rough him up and try to knock him out. I stopped doubting Conor McGregor a long time ago. In my history with him, this guy has done everything he said he would do, including picking the round he would do it in,” said White.
Dana White is being brutally honest in saying that McGregor has to knockout Mayweather to win the fight. You don’t get that two much with people in the management business. White isn’t McGregor’s promoter. He’s the UFC president, so he can tell it like it is. White’s comments are echoed by a lot of boxing fans, who see McGregor needing a knockout for him to have a chance of beating Mayweather. There’s a chance that McGregor can knockout Mayweather if he can get in close and nail him with a big shot. He’s not going to be able to knockout Mayweather if he stays on the outside for 12 rounds. Mayweather is too elusive, and McGregor won’t be able to land his longer punches.