Boxing

Debunking 7 Misconceptions About Mayweather-McGregor As A Contest

Debunking 7 Misconceptions About Mayweather-McGregor As A Contest

Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor is happening. Very little more needs to be said.

Nevertheless, here's a lot more, based purely upon a number of misconceptions about the fight which you'll have seen peddled on your various social feeds in recent days.

Lets debunk a few myths:

'Mayweather is 40!' (not in itself a myth)

Advertisement

The fact that Mayweather is 40 obviously can't be disputed, but the notion that he'll be a withered, aged fighter when he takes to the ring on August 26th is a work of total fiction.

The undefeated five-division world champion doesn't drink or smoke and remains in impeccable physical shape during his downtime, walking around near fight weight even during his several retirements.

In boxing, ageing tends only to accelerate a the tail-end of a war-laden career, with the wear and tear of slugging eventually taking its toll on a fighter's explosiveness and reflexes. Mayweather's career has been a stark contrast; he's been notably hurt just twice - versus Shane Mosley and Marcos Maidana - in 387 rounds of man-on-man combat. He has undoubtedly shipped the least damage of any fighter in history who's enjoyed similar longevity.

None of this is to suggest Mayweather hasn't aged in the ring. The point is that he's aged and slowed down extremely gradually due to his not shipping any severe punishment in 49 contests. Nothing has happened to alter that trajectory. If 'Money' looked imperious as he toyed with Andre Berto in his last outing - then aged 38 - he won't have noticeably deteriorated at 40.

'Mayweather hasn't fought in two years!'

Advertisement

See above, but also add the following: After knocking out Ricky Hatton in 2007, Mayweather retired for almost two years before making his ring return against a far superior fighter to Hatton, in future Hall of Famer Juan Manuel Marquez (although the Mexican was admittedly a lot smaller than the pound-for-pound great). Mayweather won the fight by unanimous decision, with the judges scoring the bout 120-107, 119-108, and 118-109.

Mayweather cruised past an aged Shane Mosley in his next fight before taking a year-long sabbatical. He returned once more in 2013 to fight red-hot, four-division world champ Robert Guerrero, with 'The Ghost' fresh off a fight-of-the-year-worthy victory over Andre Berto. Mayweather shook off any semblance of ring rust after an inaccurate opening round and won 117-111 x3, but the verdict was deemed generous to Guerrero.

Point being, inactivity is only a concern for a boxer of Mayweather's calibre when they're removed from the sport entirely. Mayweather is rarely more than a stone's throw away from his own gym, and will have ample opportunity to find his rhythm in the opening exchanges with a fighter who doesn't move his head in McGregor.

'Mayweather struggles with southpaws!'

Advertisement

How many of the seven southpaws that he's faced, all of whom were infinitely more experienced and proficient boxers than August's opponent, have beaten him?

This oft-peddled narrative can be laid to rest on the simple basis that Mayweather eased to victory over the finest southpaws - and indeed boxers - of his generation in Manny Pacquiao.

However, if you explore the theory further, there is some credence to it; Mayweather has struggled versus southpaws - for a couple of rounds, at least - during his career, most notably versus DeMarcus Corley in 2004 and Zab Judah in 2006. Only these labours don't align with the proclamations of Dana White and others in that it was his opponents' counter right hooks which caused him the most hassle, and not the nuclear straight left with which McGregor has carved his extraordinary MMA career.

In any case, in both fights, Mayweather adapted to his opponent's most prolific weapon, nullified it, and coasted to victory.

He's 7-0 versus southpaws with three knockouts. Zab Judah, who caused more problems for Mayweather than the vast majority of his 49 opponents to date, landed a mere 19% of his total shots. So too did all-time great southpaw Manny Pacquiao in May of 2015. MANNY PACQUIAO.

Advertisement

In his entire career, Mayweather has never been noticeably hurt by a left hand of any description.

'154lbs is a win for Conor!'

Advertisement

It is in the sense that he won't have to emaciate himself in order to reach 147lbs, but Mayweather is equally comfortable at both welterweight and light-middleweight, having won multiple titles at both. He'll likely weigh in two pounds below the limit on August 26th.

You might find yourself asking why Mayweather 'conceded' to McGregor's optimal weight, and there are two reasons:

1) One of the most cautious and controlling fighters in boxing history doesn't truly view McGregor as legitimate challenge.

2) This one is more pertinent, and slightly contradictory to the first. Nevada State Athletic Commission rules dictate that any fight at 154lbs requires 10oz gloves as opposed to 8oz a division below. In essence, the gloves are heavier, more cushioned, and inflict less damage. Mayweather, equally proficient with either mitt in that he's not a power-puncher regardless, has essentially neutralised McGregor's one weapon: raw power.

McGregor meanwhile will be using gloves over twice the weight to which he is accustomed; that in itself is an enormous transition, in that heavier gloves naturally detract from a fighter's speed.

Advertisement

He'll have to significantly fine tune his timing.

'They're splitting the purse 50:50'

Floyd Mayweather does not split purses down the middle. He didn't versus an all-time great boxer in Manny Pacquiao, and he sure as shit won't with a fighter from the UFC. Simply put, he's a far bigger egomaniac than McGregor, and he doesn't get in the ring unless he's the financial A-side.

Advertisement

The fact that both fighters have a clause in their contract which prevents them from disclosing the purse split says enough; Mayweather is content in the knowledge that most people understand he's taking the lion's share, while McGregor and the UFC don't have to swallow any pride, and can basically say what they like.

What Dana White did say during Wednesday night's conference call was this:

Nobody’s bummed out about this deal. I promise you that.

That, too, says enough. McGregor will make an absolute killing, regardless - probably well north of $75m, which is several times larger than his most lucrative fight in the UFC. And fair balls to him.

The total purse will be revealed on the night of the weigh-in as per NSAC rules, but the split will not be disclosed.

'Floyd will knock him out in a round'

Advertisement

He won't. He likely could, but he won't. For one thing it simply won't suit him; if three million American households fork out $100 for a pay-per-view that Mayweather has shamelessly sold as competitive, and Mayweather ices his foe inside the opening minutes, there'll be holy war. It simply wouldn't be worth the fallout.

Instead, Mayweather will box in ones and twos. He'll drop the odd flashy combination to snap McGregor's head back for the cameras. He'll dazzle with footwork, and he'll enjoy it. But his task will be to put on an exhibition, not to 'get in, get rich, and get out'.

In any case, it's been a decade since Mayweather last exerted himself in search of a stoppage. He was once a legitimate puncher, but as he moved up through the divisions and developed as a fighter, he became more pragmatic. He has been leagues above the majority of his opponents - many of them future Hall of Famers, some of them current Hall of Famers - and by 2009 seemed to gain most satisfaction from comprehensively outclassing opponents from first bell to last, all the while taking as few risks as possible and cementing his legacy.

As the fight progresses, it's unlikely that he'll go looking for a knockout. It would almost be beneath him, as he perceives it, at this stage in his career - particularly versus a boxing novice in what amounts to an exhibition fight. Mind you, he might not have to look too far, given McGregor - granite chin notwithstanding - will have been developing a defensive guard for all of six months, and generally refuses to move his head.

'This damages boxing's credibility!'

Advertisement

Sorry, boxing fans, but if you think this fight in particular is a blow to the sport's credibility, you obviously haven't watched enough of it in the past 20 years.

McGregor merely tapped into boxing's long-existent dark side for a whopper payday, and who could blame him?

SEE ALSO: The Commentary Team For Mayweather-McGregor Has Been Confirmed

Gavan Casey
Article written by
Former handwriting champion. Was violently bitten by a pelican at Fota Wildlife Park in 2001.

You may also like