With the big Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor superfight right around the corner, everyone has an opinion on how the fight will go down, especially on McGregor’s chances coming from MMA into boxing straight away against one of the most proficient pugilists of all time.
MMAWeekly.com has enlisted former fighter Jake Hattan, who fought his way to an 11-2 record before pursuing other avenues, to drop his years of experience on the fight, and weigh in on the 40-year-old former world champion boxer versus the UFC’s first dual-division champion.
Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor Fighter Breakdown
It starts with the mental warfare
- Floyd is not used to being an underdog when it comes to true Alpha stature. He knows deep down inside that Conor would crush him in a real fight and that does effect how you look at your opponent.
- Conor speaks incredibly well and you might not be intimated by him, but he will get under your skin, which often leads to being an emotional fighter and making mistakes.
- Conor is one of the best trash talkers we have ever seen. He strategically uses his words and actions to test his opponents. Make no doubt about it, this is a big machismo contest and Floyd has lost this battle before it started.
- Floyd has mentioned he is done after this fight. Is he one foot out the door already? He has mentioned this multiple times. Is this an out for him? Hearing and listening to somebody is completely different.
- Conor believes he can win and that will come into play for this fight. He is powerful when it comes to self belief and in combat sports this is extremely important.
- If Floyd wins a decision, I still believe he has lost. He then is beating a guy by decision who has never boxed before. I believe Floyd will have to go for the knockout. If he wins a decision, he will be ridiculed even more than ever. Does the ego come into play here?
- If Conor has to chase, he will stop in middle of ring, drop his hands, and talk trash to get Floyd to engage. Conor has great fight IQ and should test Floyd’s patience and ego.
- Floyd attempted to gain some sort of advantage from asking for 8-ounce gloves instead of 10-ounce gloves. Both could potentially benefit from the 2-ounce difference, but I believe Conor will benefit the most. It’s not hard to drop down in glove size as much as moving up to a bigger glove size. Conor was going up 6 ounces originally, which is more then double his current glove size. However, cutting off any weight should benefit the more powerful puncher. Floyd is fast, regardless, so this was a definite benefit for Conor.
- Floyd is 40, while Conor is just 29.
- I question Floyd’s motives, if he is really doing this for his legacy to be one of the greatest of all time or if his reckless spending habits have forced him into this fight. This could play a major role.
- The body starts slowing down at a certain age. Will that come into play?
- Floyd has had two years off. We don’t know what kind of shape he stayed in. This could be an advantage to help heal his body, which he said in several interviews was breaking down, or hurt him because of inactivity.
- In MMA, it can be difficult to plant your feet when punching because if your weight is too heavy on your legs, it opens up the possibilities of takedowns, leg kicks, etc.
- Conor will not have to worry about the other attacks you face in MMA. He will not have to defend the takedowns, block leg kicks and high kicks or knees, and the list goes on. Just having the luxury of using one weapon might make it easier for Conor. Of course, it could backfire not having all his other weapons, which is what has helped make him great.
- Stylistically, Conor is a tough one to get a true read on. In MMA, we can understand much of his movement, but in boxing we don’t know how he will come out and what to look for. You can watch film on Floyd and study his movements (not that anyone has had much success breaking down the footage and applying it in a fight), but not being able to prepare for Conor and what to look for could pose problems. Conor’s unpredictability is either going to win this fight or cause him to lose badly.
- Boxing has not progressed that much in quite a while. Conor will be bringing fresh blood along with a strong fight IQ. I would imagine he will be innovative with his movements, which could either benefit him greatly or destroy him, we will see. Regardless, Conor will be tough to get a true understanding of how to approach him before he steps into the ring.
- I would imagine Conor using some interesting tactics to bully Floyd. Floyd will not be thrilled to tie-up and Conor will use that to his advantage bullying him around against the ropes.
- MMA guys tend to walk through punches to get to the target and tie-up. This can benefit Conor if he can take the punches and bully Floyd a little bit and make him feel his size and strength.
Size & Power
Conor will be coming in with a distinct size advantage. In MMA, you have to work on so many elements from wrestling to kickboxing to Jiu Jitsu, along with strength and conditioning, etc. You have to be very strong physically, not just maintain speed and power like in boxing. Floyd has faced bigger fighters, but no one with the unpredictability of Conor coupled with his size and strength.
Conor has kept his weight around 160, which is an extremely great weight for him. He hasn’t had to carry as much muscle mass and train in all the arts. He should have been simply working on speed, accuracy, movement, and endurance. With his weight at 160, it tells me they are doing the right thing to prepare for this fight.
- The 154-pound weight of the fight benefits Conor’s bigger size.
- Conor was too heavy and slow at 170 pounds.
- 145 pounds was a difficult cut for Conor.
- 154 is Conor McGregor’s sweet spot. He’s never looked better in the cage than when he fought at lightweight.
- Conor being the bigger fighter and a mixed martial artist, he should be able to walk through punches to close the gap. He is not afraid of Floyd knocking him out. This could play a major role because traditional boxing is different.
Conor has won already
- He is supposed to lose, therefore he has nothing lose. If he loses, he will say Floyd is a better boxer and in everyone’s mind, he was supposed to lose anyway. This takes much of the pressure off being a fighter. It allows you to use your critics’ negativity to motivate you more, and Conor has the luxury of coming into this fight with little pressure and already being a very relaxed fighter.
- If Floyd loses, his legacy is done. His critics will all come out of the woodwork talking about all the guys he ducked, etc. For Floyd, he truly has everything to lose. His 10-plus-year legacy is at stake. All the pressure is on Floyd.
- It is a huge mental advantage as a fighter when you feel you have nothing to lose. It makes you come in more relaxed. When you’re relaxed, everything is more fluid.
- I believe Conor had the advantage by training at a true state of the art facility at the UFC Performance Institute. They have all the latest equipment and teams working with him non-stop.
I believe regardless of the outcome, this may be the shot of adrenaline that boxing needs to rekindle its glory days.
I don’t believe this is Boxing versus MMA. Boxing is an integral part of what makes a mixed marital artist. Every fighter trains boxing every day. Win lose, or draw, boxing is not going anywhere. MMA and boxing work synergistically together and MMA fighters use the most effective striking method for hands in combat sports, that being boxing, and that will not change. I believe boxing has a chance of reinventing itself and growing just like MMA has and always will.
– Jake Hattan