Top 10 reasons why Conor McGregor has zero chance to beat Floyd Mayweather
19 Jun 2017
By Gary Trask
By Gary Trask
With apologies to those who are now hyperventilating over the now-locked-in boxing match set for 26 August at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, I'm not counting down the days. I'll probably just be a casual observer of all the hysteria that is sure to follow in the next few months, complete with jaw-to-jaw press conferences, made-for-movie outfits and outlandish predictions.
Why the cranky "get-off-my-lawn" attitude, you ask? Because the Mayweather-McGregor "event" that will pit perhaps the greatest boxer of all time against the biggest and most popular UFC star in the world is a blatantly contrived gimmick, plain and simple.
It's also a profound reminder of just how far the sport of boxing has fallen. Heck, the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin middleweight championship fight that will be held a few weeks after Mayweather-McGregor in the same city in the same building will receive a microscopic amount of publicity, but is the much better "boxing" match, on paper.
Having said all of that, here's where I become a hypocrite. While the idea of putting these two guys in the ring is laughable to me, I'm pretty sure I will be sitting in front of a TV somewhere on the evening of 26 August watching the whole spectacle, and not just because of my obligation as a member of the casino/gaming media. I'll also more than likely have a financial interest on the outcome, because the more UFC fans sell the fact that McGregor is an actual threat to win, the less you will have to lay on Mayweather as the favorite.
And that's a good thing. Because McGregor has NO SHOT at winning this fight. That's right. Zero chance.
Now, I realize I'm not exactly sticking my neck out too far here. Let's put the current odds of around -800 on Mayweather in perspective. That's about what the money line was on the New England Patriots back on 4 December when they hosted the LA Rams. But upsets do happen. UFC bettors have to look no further than last year when Holly Holm stunned the "unbeatable" Ronda Rousey as an 8-to-1 underdog.
That won't be the case here. Kudos to UFC President Dana White and everyone who got this fight to happen. "Notorious" versus "Money" will generate boatloads of money (more than $600 million is the current estimate). The entire world will be captivated. It's what the fans wanted. But the actual "fight" is going to be a bust. Mayweather will cruise to victory — whether it's by knockout or decision — and, as often happens in the squared circle, it will not live up to the hype.
Here are 10 reasons why:
10. The public is backing McGregor – big time
Dave Mason at BetOnline Sports tells me that 91% of the early bets on the fight have been on McGregor, forcing them to drop the line from an opener of -2000 on Mayweather all the way to -700.
"We will need to write some Mayweather bets, including sharp bets, just to limit the exposure," he said. "Yes, the public will continue to bet Conor. We will be huge Mayweather fans. I predict this will be the biggest non-Super Bowl exposure in the history of the company."
In Las Vegas, the number opened even higher. The veteran bookmaking tandem of Jimmy Vaccaro and Chris Andrews at The South Point Hotel Casino and Spa posted Mayweather as a 27-to-1 favorite back in February when the fight was merely a dream. But that number continues to fall up and down the Strip and could drop even further come fight weekend, particularly when all those crazies from Ireland land in the desert to back their hometown hero with cold, hard cash.
Take it from someone who has been betting sports a long time: It's never a bad thing to be on the same rooting side as the bookies. If this number somehow drops to -500 or below on Mayweather (more than four times less than what some bookmakers originally made the price), it may be the best value bet we've seen in a long, long time.
9. It's boxing, not MMA
This may seem elementary, but it's a vital point. If this were a fight with UFC rules in the octagon, McGregor would surely be the favorite. But the fact that this is a boxing match with all of the regular boxing rules, Mayweather is the benefactor. No using your feet. No kicking. No elbows. No bare feet. It's a different animal for McGregor, and his introduction to the sport will come against one of the best fighters to ever put on the gloves.
Speaking of gloves . . .
8. 10-ounce gloves
I am by no means a UFC expert. But from what I have read (yes, there is research involved when you're planning to bet a favorite of this size) the gloves used by UFC fighters have to be six ounces or less. McGregor typically uses gloves that are four ounces in UFC fights, but when he steps in against Mayweather, they will be wearing 10-ounce gloves, thus hurting the Irishman's chances of a one-punch KO. Remember, 18 of McGregor's 23-career wins have come by KO or TKO. This has to be a factor and serves as a huge advantage for Mayweather.
7. Cardio and conditioning
McGregor is 21-3 as a pro, but the longest any of those fights has gone came last summer when he won a decision over Nate Diaz in a highly anticipated rematch. The total time spent in the ring was 25 minutes (five rounds of five minutes each). Now that he's a "boxer," McGregor is going to have to play by boxing rules, which, in addition to meaning he can't use his feet to kick, means he'll also have to fight as many as 12 rounds.
Even at 40 years of age, Mayweather, who is coming out of a two-year retirement for this fight, will be the one more prepared and more experienced for the kind of physical toll it may take to win this fight. He's 49-0 in his career, and since 1998, he's had 33 fights. All but eight of those bouts went the distance, and Floyd rarely looks gassed after a fight.
6. Aggression will work against McGregor
Of all the possible methods of victory, McGregor winning by decision is the longest shot at a whopping 30-to-1. (By comparison, according to the good folks at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, McGregor by KO is 6-to-1, Mayweather by KO is 5-to-9 and Mayweather by decision is 2-to-1).
This means McGregor will most likely have come out and be the aggressor in this fight. He can't leave it to the judges and expect to win a fight that goes the distance. The problem for McGregor is that this plays right into Mayweather's hands. As we pointed out above, the more exerted McGregor becomes and the longer this fight goes on, the less chance McGregor has at winning.
So being the aggressor and the one doing the chasing instead of sitting back and being patient will work against him and eventually spell doom.
5. Code red
Call me a pansy, but one of the reasons I find the UFC so difficult to watch is the blood. It makes me queasy when a guy (or gal) is hemorrhaging all over the place and the ref continues to allow the fight to go on.
If you saw the highlights from the Joe Sotat-Rani Yahya match earlier this year, you know what I mean:
By rule, boxing refs must be more stringent about stopping fights and calling for a TKO when a fighter turns into a bloody mess like above. If Mayweather jabs and jabs and jabs the face of McGregor and we see too much blood, the fight will be stopped and handed to Mayweather much quicker than if this were a UFC bout.
4. How much "fight" does McGregor have?
For all of the bluster and swagger McGregor shows outside the ring, I can't get past the way he lost his first fight against Diaz back in 2016, when he tapped out in the second round. In other words, he quit two rounds into a championship fight in which he was a heavy favorite at -380 or so.
If you didn't see the fight, here's a quick video recap:
Far be it for me to sit here behind my keyboard and criticize a guy for saying "no mas" as he gets his brains beat in, but in that fight I saw a guy turtle when the going got tough. Oh, and McGregor's other two losses also came by submission. It's not difficult to imagine a similar result against Mayweather, especially because . . .
3. The money
It's rumored that McGregor could make around $100 million for this fight. That money will be in his bank account as soon as the opening bell rings. So, let's face it. If he starts to take the kind of beating we expect him to endure, there won't be much of a reason for him to stand there for any longer than he has to. The money will be the same no matter what the result.
2. Defense wins championships (and belts)
One of the common knocks against Mayweather, aside from his obnoxious personality and outside-the-ring legal troubles, is that he's a "boring" fighter. It's true. Mayweather has never been involved in any kind of Hagler-Hearns back-and-forth punching match (YouTube it right now if you have never seen that epic three-rounder), and he isn't about to start now.
The bottom line is that, love him or hate him, Mayweather is the best defensive boxer of all time. He's been almost impossible to hit over his legendary career, and that's while facing actual boxers who have been trained in the sport their entire lives. Now a guy making his professional boxing debut is going to come into the ring and land punches with a purpose? Now way.
Honestly, if Floyd really wanted to he could just dance around for 12 rounds, work the jab and walk away with the win. And if that's what he has to do, trust me, he will do it, because . . .
1. The legacy
In addition to having one of the biggest bankrolls in sports, Mayweather, whose net worth is estimated at $400 million, also has one of largest egos. During the later stages of his career he was very cautious about who he fought and what the parameters were. I firmly believed he ducked Manny Pacquiao for years until he knew it got to the point where he was assured victory because of declined skills and stamina.
On 26 August, Mayweather will be looking to make history by ending his career 50-0, surpassing Rocky Marciano, who currently shares the all-time record at 49-0. There will be a lot more at stake for Mayweather in this fight than simply millions and millions of dollars. He has a legacy to protect. A legacy that he has safeguarded carefully for the last decade.
He's not about to let a career-MMA guy ruin it. He would not be stepping in the ring for this fight if he didn't feel he has a 99% chance of winning. And that's exactly what he will do. Win, and win easily.