The long anticipated and much talked about fight is finally official! As confirmed by ESPN, Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is now set to take place on August 26th, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. As of right now, there’s still a lot that we do not know — how many rounds it will be, what weight class it will be in, how much drug testing there will be, or even the potential rule set given the different disciplines both men hail from. What we do know is that mixed martial arts and boxing will meet again on the big stage for the first time since Randy Couture fought James Toney, and that “Money Mayweather” is wasting no time promoting the fight.
— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) June 14, 2017
Let’s put aside what we don’t know though and talk about what we DO know about this fight — the opening odds for McGregor vs. Mayweather. If this were a strictly trash talking battle, it might tip the way of the “Notorious” McGregor, but “Money” Mayweather opened as the heavy favorite at -1100 (bet $1,100 to win $100) with McGregor a big +700 underdog (bet $100 to win $700). Let’s delve a little deeper into the reasons behind that line, which has since come down to Mayweather -900 and McGregor +600 at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
In a fight which is expected to be contested under strictly boxing rules, given that Mayweather Promotions requested and was approved for a boxing license for August 26th, you have to feel that the undefeated 49-0 king of welterweights (among several other boxing weight classes) has the natural edge. The hallmark of Mayweather’s style has been unchanged for a majority of his career — hit and don’t get hit. He’s fleet of feet and he rolls with punches when they come his way. Mayweather seldom gets knocked down and often outpoints his foes. It’s not that he doesn’t have the power, as 26 of his 49 wins have come by knockout, but Mayweather embraces the “sweet science” of the sport and has used that to garner seven straight decision wins over fearsome opponents like Manny Pacquiao, Canelo Alvarez and Andre Berto.
McGregor may be just as good at trash talking as Mayweather, but he’s not even undefeated in MMA, and in a match where there are no takedowns and no submissions, he may simply be out of his depth. While McGregor has certainly shown incredible stopping power in his career, knocking out Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds and finishing natural boxing style fighter Eddie Alvarez three minutes into the second round, he’s been in there with opponents who use MMA-style striking. They come forward looking to take one on the chin and to counter with an even better hook, uppercut, knee or head kick. Mayweather will not be looking to do any of those things. He’s not going to come forward at McGregor in a straight line, present his target or let the “Notorious” one take his best shot. He’ll make McGregor fight his style — literally.
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