UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor is being given very little chance in his Saturday night boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Most unbiased commenters understand that McGregor is unlikely to win this blockbuster battle, and the betting odds also reflect this.
Mayweather himself, however, has repeatedly assured that McGregor is, in fact, a very dangerous opponent.
“When you look at myself and Conor McGregor on paper, he’s taller, has a longer reach, he’s a bigger man from top to bottom,” Mayweather told ESPN in early August. “He’s a lot younger, so youth is on his side. And I’ve been off a couple of years. And I’m in my 40s. So, if you look at everything on paper, it leans toward Conor McGregor.”
Comments of this type from Mayweather have unfailingly been labelled as hype; as blatant attempts to sell tickets and distract from the fact that this fight could very well be a lopsided beatdown.
During yesterdays “grand arrivals” in Las Vegas, however, Mayweather defended his assessments of McGregor, once again assuring that the Irish MMA star is an incredibly dangerous opponent in the boxing ring.
“I mean, he’s still a tough competitor,” Mayweather today told MMAjunkie.com.” “He’s a tough fighter. And I’m going to continue to say this: He’s undefeated standing up. He got beat three times when he was on the ground in the octagon, but he’s undefeated standing up.”
When we last saw Conor McGregor in the cage, he produced a highlight reel KO of Eddie Alvarez to win the UFC lightweight title. Given that he still owned the UFC featherweight crown at that time, this made him the first fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two divisions simultaneously. He is 21-3 as a pro mixed martial artist, and 0-0 as a pro boxer.
Floyd Mayweather, meanwhile, is a flawless 49-0 as a pro boxer. After his last fight, a dominant 2015 decision defeat of Andre Berto, Mayweather chose to hang up the gloves. This lucrative crossover fight with McGregor, however, was apparently enough to pull him back to the ring.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 8/23/2017.