Okay, let’s be honest: Unless you are a dyed-in-the-wool hardcore Floyd Mayweather fanatic, who wouldn’t like to see Conor McGregor shock the world on Saturday? Imagine the sheer excitement you’d feel if McGregor caught Mayweather with one of those fast, almost glancing blows he uses to such great effect in MMA, and Floyd crashed face-first to the canvas, out cold. It would be jaw-to-the-floor shocking, and it would make the seismic events that are Trump’s presidency, the Brexit vote and Leicester City FC’s Premiership win seem like everyday occurrences by comparison.
It would be one of the single greatest moments in sport, maybe the greatest ever. Only boxing – and now MMA – has the capacity to end an event in a second like that. A huge upset in a team sport still needs on average an hour to play out, the same with a tennis match. A golf event takes four days. Only a sport which involves striking as part of its DNA like boxing or mixed martial arts has the capacity to end in an instant – and provide the watching fan with an instant hit of adrenaline like no other.
Remember the shock and awe you felt when Juan Manuel Marquez, nose broken, absorbing a shellacking and on the verge of being stopped, suddenly producing the biggest and best straight right of his life, and rendered Manny Pacquiao unconscious? That kind of raw, visceral, instantaneous thrill is unique to boxing.
That’s why Mayweather vs McGregor is going to shatter all existing PPV records – because people genuinely believe they are going to witness something dramatic, stunning, jaw-dropping. And the truth is, despite what the critics and naysayers say, the Irishman has a strong chance of pulling it off. He’s eleven years younger than the 40-year old Mayweather, physically much bigger and stronger, and with a level of self-confidence and self-belief that makes Tony Robbins look shy and retiring.
If Conor McGregor has won you over, it’s only natural that you will want to mark this momentous, historic, one-off event with a wager or two, so here are The Boxing Post’s five best bets selected for you to back Conor and win big!!
1. McGregor To Win (7/2 Boylesports)
Boxing fans, pundits, writers and those employed within the boxing industry (fighters, promoters, managers, trainers etc.) are virtually unanimous in their belief that a McGregor victory is an impossibility. This united mindset is born out of a great deal of snobbery and conceit, and a belief that a fighter from the MMA, no matter how skilled, could not possibly compete with a high caliber professional boxer in a boxing ring using the Marquis of Queensbury rules, never mind win.
Those of a more open mind, i.e. sport scientists, neutral professionals from other sports, and competitors from other combat disciplines disagree completely, and believe that ultimately a fight is a fight, and while the parameters may differ, the dynamics of punching and blocking remain the same in boxing and MMA.
The bottom line is this; Conor McGregor is a 29-year-old athlete at the absolute peak of his powers, whilst Floyd Mayweather is a 40-year-old man a good decade past his prime. McGregor possesses five key factors that will lead him to victory – his skill as a fighter, his speed of hand and foot, his punching power, his chin and last but by no means least, his unshakable self-belief and will to win.
Unlike Floyd’s previous 47 opponents, McGregor has no fear and little respect for Mayweather, and as a result won’t be entering the ring already 75% beaten. Also, again unlike many of Mayweather’s opposition, McGregor isn’t simply grateful for the opportunity and the paycheck. He is his own man, a superstar in his own right and creator of his own destiny, and he believes that Mayweather is yesterday’s man, and we are now entering into the Notorious Conor McGregor era.
2. McGregor To Win In Round One (25/1 William Hill)
What might seem like the most far-fetched of betting options is actually the most logical of all; McGregor’s best chance of beating Mayweather could, in fact, be by catching his rival cold with an all-out Blitzkrieg of punches in the opening stanza. Mayweather is a slow starter, and typically uses the opening rounds of a contest to “feel out” his opponent, make the necessary adjustments he needs, before coming up with the blueprint that inevitably results in a twelve round decision victory.
McGregor is obviously a fast starter, exemplified by his 13-second devastation of Brazilian MMA legend Jose Aldo in December 2015, a man who had been unbeaten for a decade.
If McGregor start fast, a-la Marcos Maidana, throwing bombs from all angles – many of which Mayweather hasn’t previously encountered – while Floyd is still trying to work his way into the fight, chances are he will land with something big, and as we have seen in the past, Conor only needs to connect once to end a contest, or to set up an opponent for a KO finish.
3. Mayweather To Get Knocked Down (3/1 William Hill)
The chances of Floyd Mayweather escaping all twelve rounds of this contest without hitting the deck once are in reality minuscule. He is now entering his fifth decade on the planet, he has spent two years out of the ring, and has slowed down to such a degree that even the crude, wild swinging Marcos Maidana found him easy to trap on the ropes and tee-off against three years ago. If the bigger, stronger, faster and more powerful McGregor follows the Maidana blueprint, Mayweather will be in a world of trouble, and knockdowns will be inevitable.
4. McGregor To Win By KO, TKO Or DQ (9/2 Boylesports)
Nobody, not even Conor himself, would fancy McGregor’s chances of winning a twelve round decision over Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas. For one, Mayweather is a master boxer and defensive specialist, and going the distance and winning points decisions is his bread and butter. Secondly (and crucially) for all intents and purposes, Vegas is Mayweather’s town. He’s generated multi-millions for the local economy via his stream of 15 consecutive fights there, he owns real estate there, (a mansion and a strip club), hell, even the local judge that sent him to prison for three months (instead of 15 years) allowed him to box first before starting his sentence so his bout could benefit the Las Vegas economy once again.
For McGregor to win on Saturday, he is going to have to either KO or TKO Mayweather, but that will be par for the course for a natural power-puncher who has KO’d 18 of his 21 MMA victims, and is looking to add to that number in his pro boxing debut.
5. McGregor To Win Within Rounds 1-4 (7/1 Paddy Power)
A month ago, Conor McGregor was predicting a knockout in the fourth round. Recently, he has cut that prediction in half, stated that he will finish Mayweather in two. All along, however, he has been intimating that he wouldn’t be surprised if he knocks Mayweather out in the very first round, and that Mayweather’s “tiny head” won’t be able to handle the McGregor power.
Certainly, Conor will be at his most effective in the opening four rounds. Mayweather will be finding his way into the fight, and therefore will be at his most vulnerable. It’s easy to envisage McGregor going for broke in those early rounds in a bid to capitalize on that factor, and his energy levels will be at their highest during those first twelve minutes to support such an all-out offensive.
Logically, McGregor will land with something very big during that time frame, and even if that opening shot doesn’t finish Mayweather, he will be stunned, and while he will be clinching for all he’s worth – as he did when Shane Mosley rocked him with two thunderous rights in 2012 – this time he will be up against a master grappler who will position him for further contusive shots to his “tiny little head, like a Malteser with eyes” as Conor so eloquently put it.
And that could be curtains for Mayweather. Buster Douglas KO’ing Mike Tyson in ten rounds in Japan back in 1990 will always be the biggest upset in boxing history, due to those 42/1 odds, but the reality is even that iconic occurrence will be dwarfed should Conor McGregor knock out Floyd Mayweather on August 26, 2017!!