The Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight will actually happen. McGregor has been on board for some time now, and he’s been taunting Mayweather’s camp in an attempt to make it happen. And it is happening with a date in late August, and the fight is on.
The question now is whether or not McGregor can become the first man to beat the arrogant but extraordinary American boxer.
The logical answer would seem to be no. Mayweather rubs a lot of people the wrong way, and McGregor is a fan favorite, so there are a lot of people who will be following their hearts to the conclusion that the fight is a toss-up. But realistically, it’s not. Yes, Mayweather has been retired for a couple of years now, but he’s arguably the best pound-for-pound boxer in history, and he’s never been beaten. Throw in the fact that McGregor is an MMA fighter and not a boxer, and this could be pretty lopsided. When the fight is confirmed, expect to see Mayweather tabbed as a heavy favorite—just as McGregor probably would be if they were to meet in the octagon instead of a boxing ring.
But that doesn’t mean there’s no chance it will be competitive. McGregor is no Mayweather in terms of career accomplishment, but he’s definitely no slouch either. Last time we saw him in the Octagon, at UFC 205, McGregor was going up against a fighter with more experience and more wins in Eddie Alvarez. He was considered a strong favorite anyway and came through to win the fight in a second round knockout, securing the Lightweight title. In some ways, it felt like just another win for the fiery Irish fighter, but it’s also a good reminder that last time we saw him he seemed to be at the top of his game.
At age 28 (29 by the time the fight with Mayweather will occur), McGregor is probably in his prime, and that could at least give him some hope against the 40-year-old boxer. It’s also worth mentioning that Mayweather himself, usually swaying more than a little toward the cocky side, has stated that it could be a competitive fight. You can never really take a fighter’s word for it in a situation like this, because these are athletes who play head games, both with each other and with the media. But it’s a slightly unexpected tone from Mayweather, particularly given how hard McGregor has been needling and taunting him. One could almost wonder if Mayweather has his doubts about his own abilities a couple years removed from competition.
Because of the vast differences between the two fighters, it’s genuinely difficult to compare them. In a lot of ways, it’s like the apples and oranges of combat sports. Even so, that hasn’t stopped predictions and odds being available from a collection of some of the biggest betting markets. These include not just odds for the fight but also articles analyzing the events from a strategic perspective to help fans make more informed decisions. The difference in age and experience is huge, and it makes calling a clear winner a difficult task. Mayweather made his professional boxing debut when McGregor was only 8 years old, and it’s difficult to understate the value of the extra experience. The fact that Mayweather is pushing 40 is probably the best thing McGregor has going for him, but it’s hard to bet against Mayweather when you look the two of them side by side on paper.
Whatever happens, this fight is going to be sure to draw massive viewership. The outcome is probably predictable, but we’ll all just be hoping for a great spectacle.