The “Notorious One” is going to need more than a minor miracle to swipe a W from the unbeaten “Money May.” He’s going to need a coup de grâce of epic proportions.
Don’t take my word for it. Follow the money. Fight odds in Vegas opened with Mayweather at -2250 and McGregor at +950, and it’s no surprise why. You’re squaring off a 49-0 pugilist wizard who’s won 15 titles and the lineal championship in four different weight divisions, against a 21-3 MMA fighter with a 0-0 professional boxing record.
This is not to say that Conor can’t box. On the contrary, he has great hands, along with Matrix-like timing and footwork that have led him to UFC titles in two weight classes simultaneously.
But this is boxing, not MMA. No matter how many solid punches Conor has landed in the octagon, he’s never thrown even one inside a boxing ring, and now he’s going out there his first day at the office trying to hit a guy’s that’s been caught flush maybe a handful of times over a 20 year career?
Ain’t gonna happen, even on Mayweather’s worst day. Let’s say he has the flu and his dog gets hit by a car on the same day, a fighter of his caliber should starch McGregor in his sleep…in a boxing ring. Any other stage — octagon, jiu jitsu mat or street fight — The Notorious would wipe the floors with Money May, dollars to doughnuts. But again, this is boxing. Or maybe it isn’t.
Maybe it’s a carnival sideshow. A lowest common denominator spectacle that has nothing to do with sport, and everything to do with the all-mighty dollar. ESPN has projected astronomical pay-per-view sales of $475 million for the bout, in addition to nearly $80 million in actual ticket sales.
Considering these figures, maybe this 3-ring circus isn’t such a bad thing, even for the purists. Not only will the match cross between MMA and Boxing, but it will transcend both worlds into the mainstream, reaching millions of viewers who’ve never seen a single round of either sport, and under any normal circumstances would care less.
My prediction? In a real boxing match, Mayweather beats McGregor every day of the week and twice on Sunday. But McGregor still can’t lose, regardless of the outcome. He either shocks the world and beats Floyd in the greatest upset in combat sports history, or he loses as predicted and walks away with $75 million — about $73 million more than the highest-paid UFC fighters — for one night’s work.
Hey, he wasn’t supposed to win, this is boxing. Even if he gets battered, bruised, and his teeth knocked out, Conor will be exiting that cage Saturday night grinning ear-to-ear, whether or not he has any teeth. Wouldn’t you?