5 Reasons Why Conor McGregor Could Beat Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Published on January 16, 2017
Until something concrete comes to fruition, all of the Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. rumors are just that – rumors. It’s fun to speculate whether a super right could end up happening, of course, especially since the once quiet chatter has turned into some pretty bold claims.
Mayweather himself got the McGregor vs. Mayweather rumors going again recently, as he was asked if he wanted to make the fight happen. The answer? Absolutely:
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) January 15, 2017
Money Mayweather got his name because he makes money, but also because he fights for it. As Mayweather admitted himself, he’s a “business man” when it comes down to it, and he isn’t about to pass on a huge chunk of change (nor the bright lights) that a Conor McGregor fight would entail.
The odds have been updated for this tentative fight, and Mayweather is the overwhelming favorite at top betting sites like Bovada:
The early odds for a fight that isn’t even official do suggest Mayweather would stay undefeated in the pro boxing world.
Money and odds aside, of course, most people want to know if this fight would even matter. In all reality, would Conor McGregor stand a chance? You could probably provide a harsh “no”, but there is actually some logic supporting a win by The Notorious. Let’s see why:
Aside from moving up yet another weight class in the UFC, what else is there for Conor McGregor to do in the MMA scene? The living legend has never been knocked out in his pro fighting career and seems to have learned from all of his mistakes along the way.
There are certainly other UFC challenges ahead of him, but McGregor has met every single one to this point, and even with some minor bumps along the way, he’s prevailed. After mastering one sport, it makes sense for him to move on and try his hand at something else. And given his track record at such a devastating and demanding sport as MMA, it might be fair to assume he’d be a fine boxer – if only for just the one fight.
Perhaps the biggest reason of all to back McGregor in this proposed fight is that his expertise coincides with the boxing realm. McGregor is an elite striker and has done the majority of his damage in the MMA standing up and using his fists.
McGregor has gone up against bigger and stronger fighters than Mayweather Jr. and of his 21 career MMA wins, 18 have come via KO/TKO. The guy has proven his toughness and defensive ability, but his ability to destroy his opposition with his speed, quickness, placement and raw punching power has been extremely impressive.
Combining all of that into the perfect fight against arguably boxing’s greatest fighter ever would be a challenge, but there is no denying McGregor’s specialty meshes with Mayweather’s world. They are different fighters and you could argue striking in MMA isn’t close to striking in boxing, but it’s still McGregor’s most pronounced attribute in his fighting skill-set.
You need to be confident anytime you’re going up against someone else in a fighter, and that confidence and swagger are two things The Notorious has in spades. Mayweather also has all of the confidence you can imagine after never losing a professional boxing match, but what does The Notorious have to lose here?
At worst, McGregor is stepping outside of his comfort zone and getting paid a ton of cash to do it. At best, he’s diving into a whole new world of fighting, getting paid millions of dollars and possibly making history with a crazy upset.
While that may seem like a reach to some, it probably isn’t to McGregor, who has very likely never met a matchup he didn’t feel good about.
The nice thing is Conor McGregor isn’t the only person who believes he could beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. The striking coach of Eddie Alvarez came away highly impressed with McGregor’s striking ability after The Notorious beat his guy late in 2016:
Maybe Henry is just taking advantage of a hot topic at the right moment. Perhaps he’s even trying to help boost McGregor up so he’s over-confident. Or maybe he’s seeing the pure upside in a younger fighter who just might have a more fluid swing, a little more power and enough confidence to shock the world.
The point here is McGregor and his camp feel he can beat anyone. But once you start looking at his skill-set and how he could match up with Mayweather, it’s hard to ignore the clear advantages he might have in such a fight.
Perhaps bigger than any point we could make is that Floyd Mayweather Jr. could be playing with fire. The law of probability opens the door to any one thing being played out continuously and giving way to numerous results, but we could potentially apply that to Mayweather’s career.
Mayweather is a perfect 49-0 at this point in his boxing career and had previously retired, but who is to say he’s destined to keep winning if he keeps fighting? Eventually the odds are going to start to turn away from a fighter who is seeing longer gaps in between fights, not training quite as rigorously or regularly, while also seeing the natural impact of age and skill-set decline.
Then again, it’s highly possible a great athlete (and fighter) like Money Mayweather doesn’t fit into a box and “father time” isn’t ever going to be a true concern. That being said, Mayweather isn’t a young pup (40 in February) and he hasn’t exactly been dominating lately (last knockout came five years ago).
It would only be fitting for two of the cockiest fighters in either sport to meet up and Mayweather see his unblemished boxing record finally take a mark in the loss column.
As fun as it is to ponder the reasons why McGregor could beat Mayweather, we do need to look at what is realistic. As good as Notorious is, this is a big step up in terms of striking. There are rules that apply in boxing that don’t in the UFC and McGregor’s strong striking ability isn’t something Mayweather hasn’t come across numerous times during a truly brilliant career.
Mayweather isn’t an elite hall of fame boxer because he’s rushed into boxing matches like a fool or gone for the knockout punch every time out. He’s made it to his current status because he’s got amazing footwork, impeccable timing and is probably the best defensive boxer in history.
Mayweather can certainly pack a punch, but he knows the angles and the boxing ring like the back of his hand. He’ll study McGregor’s strengths and while he personally probably wouldn’t knock McGregor out, he’d possibly tire him out and one way or another work his way to an easy Decision win.
McGregor has really only ever had to worry about lasting three to five rounds for most of his MMA fights. In a legit boxing match with Mayweather, we’re talking 12 rounds and a lot of movement without a ton of action happening.
Mayweather has made a living on patience and thinking one step ahead of the guy he’s going up against. McGregor does have some raw power and with +800 odds could be a fun flier bet, but what we’re really bound for – if anything – is a fight that gets hyped up more than possibly any fight we’ve ever seen, just to watch Mayweather dance around and bore us with another Decision win.
Mayweather via Unanimous Decision