By Steve Silverman
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This is not the kind of fight that we are used to seeing.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. has built a 49-0 record in the ring and is one of the all-time greats in his sport. You may not like him, but there have been few fighters who have stepped inside a ring with his defensive skills.
Conor McGregor is preparing for the first professional boxing match of his career. He has dominated in his sport, but this is not a mixed martial arts bout. He is in over his head.
Nevertheless, this a huge event, and this megafight has caught the attention of the public. Perhaps it’s the school-yard aspect of the two biggest bullies meeting each other.
They come from different worlds, and it’s time to find out if our tough guy is better than your tough guy.
Of course, figuring out the camps is quite difficult. There’s the American vs. the Irishman. The boxer vs. the MMA guy. The showoff vs. the braggart.
The racial aspect also enters into it as well, as McGregor has referred to Mayweather as “boy” on more than one occasion.
When it comes to figuring out a righteous combatant, it’s hard to get behind either man. There’s not much to like about either one, even though both have accomplished so much in their respective sports.
While McGregor has never hesitated when it comes to espousing his opinion on how the bout would turn out – he has been predicting that he will knock out Mayweather – it may be just a bit different when he is alone with his thoughts.
McGregor is trying to pick up boxing as he goes, and he is a neophyte. He may be a strong striker in his sport, but he has never been in the ring with anyone as quick as Mayweather. It seems quite questionable as to whether McGregor can connect on any truly punishing shots against his opponent.
Many dislike Mayweather for his showy ways and his questionable behavior outside the ring, but outstanding fighters such as Canelo Alvarez and Manny Pacquiao could not hurt him. Both of those opponents are highly skilled professionals, and Mayweather made both men look unsure of themselves.
It’s clear Mayweather has little respect for his opponent’s ability. When it comes to training, Mayweather has been spending time in his strip club, taking lavish vacations, showing off his stacks of $100 bills and buying presents for his family.
When he has gone to the gym, his training sessions have been half-hearted.
McGregor has been all business when it comes to training. He has been determined to learn the nuances of boxing, and he has been training hard to get in the best shape possible. He has ridden his bicycle in the desert in an attempt to get his stamina to where it needs to be.
That’s admirable, but, again, he appears to be in over his head.
Many believe the only way McGregor can win is with the early knockout. He has shown excellent power in his sport with his striking, and he should be most explosive in the early rounds.
Mayweather knows this as well and will be looking for McGregor to launch his bombs in the first round. Perhaps McGregor should play it cool in Round 1 and even try to comes across as cautious. Then he should launch his offensive in the second round when Mayweather may no longer expect it.
Other than connecting with a couple of huge punches early, it’s difficult to believe that McGregor has a real chance to win.
This fight should follow Mayweather’s familiar pattern: He will pile up the points with crisp punches, and he will avoid being hit. He will make McGregor look awkward in the ring, and the Irish fighter will grow frustrated.
While McGregor’s backers have inundated the Las Vegas sports books with McGregor money, the wise guys are almost all going with Mayweather.
They will not be disappointed when “Money” takes a one-sided decision and McGregor will be left with nothing to say.
Follow Steve on Twitter at @Profootballboy