Sunday 27th August. 4AM. Sky Box Office
The months of anticipation and after talking the talk, the respective kings of boxing and MMA will now have to walk the walk in what is set to be a bout for the ages.
Whether you think it’ll be a farce or a war, it’ll be anything but a bore. Nevada is ready, the worldwide television is ready, and the two headline attractions are ready too.
Let’s get ready to rumble!
Size & Youth On McGregor’s Side
The Notorious has never stepped inside a professional boxing ring, but the 29-year-old has shown immense confidence in the build-up to an event that has gripped everyone from die hard fanatics to casual punters. On paper, at least, he has every reason to fancy his chances.
By the time the first bell rings, his weight advantage will be far greater than it was at the weigh-in. In truth, he’s likely to be closer to 170lb than the official 154lb limit. With a longer reach, awkward stance, and sense of the unknown about him, many will consider him to be Floyd Mayweather’s toughest opponent in years. Not least because the five-weight boxing champ has been out of the game for so long.
McGregor has suggested it’ll be a quick finish with the 8oz gloves, and he certainly has the power and timing to hurt his opponent. However, the big question will be whether he can actually hit the evasive target. After all, so many experienced stars have tried and failed.
The Dubliner has nothing to lose, though, which could make him a very dangerous proposition indeed. Anything can happen in this game. After becoming the first two-weight UFC champion, can he now go one better by dominating the boxing ring too?
Mayweather Aiming For The Perfect Ending
McGregor may be a great fighter, but Mayweather Jr is arguably the best pound-for-pound boxer that has ever lived. Sunday morning’s showdown offers a chance for him to cement his legend by going one better than the iconic Rocky Marciano to rack up an undefeated half-century.
The American seems relaxed, confident, and ready to prove that MMA stars cannot switch disciplines and expect to beat world class opponents. Aside from clinching another piece of history, the gigantic purse will give the Money Team another huge incentive to perform.
Mayweather’s main danger is whether he’ll be hit by ring rust. Assuming he’s still at his best, though, it’ll be almost certain that he’ll ride off into the sunset with a 50-0 record – even if McGregor will always have a puncher’s chance.
Whatever happens, it’s been a fascinating build-up and is set to reach even greater heights in the hours before the first bell. Once it rings, we should be set for fireworks.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. v Conor McGregor
While Mayweather is predictably the odds-on favourite, it’s interesting to see that he is now as 4/17 at 888sport compared to the 1/6 shot he was earlier in the build-up. McGregor, meanwhile, has shortened to 10/3.
Before the headline bout, there’s a strong undercard to sink our teeth into. British eyes will be turned to Nathan Cleverley’s WBA light-heavyweight title defence against Badou Jack. Sadly for the 30-year-old Brit, there’s a good chance that he’ll be losing it to the Ripper. While most will have it down as a points victory, we’re backing the Swede to end it within the distance.
As for the main event, we’re not ruling out a McGregor upset altogether, but it does seem unlikely given that the likes of Manny Pacquiao and Canelo Alvarez couldn’t find a way through the impregnable defence.
Mayweather has said he owes the fans, and we think he’ll get the knockout as McGregor will surely leave himself open at times. Despite being the younger man, questions remain over the Irishman’s ability to last 36 minutes. More importantly, though, it’s still two completely disciplines.
McGregor is arguably the best standing fighter in MMA right now, and has better boxing abilities than any other UFC star. However, without that dedicated experience, it’s hard to see him doing what the world’s top welterweight stars all failed to achieve.
One thing is for certain, the Irishman won’t give up easily, which is why we’ve also picked a 12/1 Request-a-Bet special.