The fight that has intrigued the world is finally on.
After more than two years of teasing, boxing’s undefeated pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. and MMA’s concurrent UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor will face each other on August 26th, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Both Mayweather and McGregor made the announcement via social media. Showtime Sports, who will air the event, also officially announced the fight on Wednesday:
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) June 15, 2017
Impossible Now Done
Mayweather vs. McGregor looked like a dream fight when McGregor first told Conan O’Brien in 2015 that he would fight Mayweather if the opportunity was presented to him. The Irishman has never boxed, professionally or as an amateur, although he is considered one of the best strikers in the sport of MMA.
Mayweather himself was already retired and had not fought since beating Andre Berto in September of 2015 in what he called was the final bout of his storied boxing career. However, Mayweather had already retired before and has always said that he would return to the ring for a hundred million dollars. With that small opening, both camps tried to make a deal.
There have been several times in the last two years that the fight was reported to be close to being done. But it was never closer to reality than when Mayweather booked the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas for August 26th. Although it was subsequently reported that Mayweather cancelled the reservation, the fight itself was officially announced this Wednesday. What fight fans once thought was impossible is now done.
UFC President Dana White also revealed on Wednesday that Mayweather vs. McGregor will be held at the T-Mobile Arena (although there has been no official announcement on the venue) and that the bout will be fought at the boxing junior middleweight limit of 154 pounds. The pair would also use 10-ounce gloves and while White didn’t say it, it’s likely that it will be fought under pure boxing rules. McGregor has always maintained his willingness to fight Mayweather under boxing rules, although that may not be a good idea.
Put the pair in an MMA octagon with four inch gloves and McGregor will have the advantage. The Notorious has a powerful left hand that can knock anybody out, Mayweather included. But the pair will be fighting in a boxing ring where Mayweather has eluded the great boxer likes of Pacquiao, Cotto and Canelo. With that kind of real estate to work his bicycle, McGregor may find it difficult to find his target. Even Max Kellerman thinks that McGregor may not land a punch on Mayweather. That may sound like an exaggeration, but Kellerman may have at the very least meant this is a clear mismatch.
Odds and Prediction
Mayweather is a -1100 favorite to defeat McGregor, who is a sharp underdog at +700. The odds are expected to move once the Irish money starts coming in. But in reality, this line reflects the mismatch we could be seeing. Mayweather was one of boxing’s best defensive genius. He was a very smart fighter who employed the hit and run tactic like no other. If the fastest of opponents in Pacquiao and the hardest hitting in Cotto could not lay their hands on him, what chance does McGregor have?
Conor McGregor may be here primarily for the money. He’s set to make more for this single bout than what he’ll earn in his entire MMA career. But you can’t count him out because he does have punching power and speed. If his left hand connects, it’s going to be a different story. The problem is, well, if it doesn’t connect. Without his leg kicks setting up his left hand, it’s going to be a long night for Conor McGregor. Mayweather is going to dance his way to $100M. Mayweather wins this easily. No knockdowns, no dramatics. It’s just going to be a boxing lesson from the best boxer ever. Floyd Mayweather Jr. by a very very unanimous decision.