Fight week is here. I believe we have ourselves a fight.
The hype train has long since departed and is now hurtling down the tracks but a sizeable segment of boxing fans seem to hold a large amount of scepticism heading into this and have been labelling it a farce.
Despite initially being slightly sceptical about the fight, I am on board with the combatitive element of the contest now. This is not caused by the intense hype but largely after seeing the sheer physical size difference between the pair when facing off on the world tour. I previously noted that Mcgregor has had no problem in beating bigger fighters like Cotto and Canelo but Mcgregor is actually bigger than both of them. The size difference on fight night will be as big as we have seen in a long time in a boxing contest.
Those calling this a farce are going over the top in my opinion and are failing to see the rare qualities within the Irishman’s skillset and progressive mental approach which make him a genuine danger to anyone, in any code of combat. I do believe Mcgregor is a good enough boxer to make this into a good fight despite his lack of experience under the Queensberry rules.
Whilst I emphasised my take on the relatively poor level of boxing within MMA as a whole beforehand, which I stick by, I don’t believe that when it comes to taking punches, that MMA fighters are any worse than boxers.
I feel like it is due to them failing to see punches coming as early or being over aggressive so they feel the full effect of the punch. I don’t think there is really such a thing as conditioning yourself to take a power punch. From a purely physiological standpoint, any human skull can only deal with a relatively low amount of trauma, including Floyd’s. Mcgregor certainly has enough power in his left hand to put him to sleep should he sneak one in with impact.
If he is to catch Floyd, it will most likely be the missile-like, left counter or a long whipping uppercut. Mayweather’s talk about being forward and aggressive early on in the fight is a worry and I am really not sure whether to believe it. If floyd comes out too aggressive, too early it will increase the Irishman’s chances of catching him with a deadly left hand.
No fighter, no matter how great they have been, can defy the sands of time. There is an age where the body starts to deteriorate. For most it happens in mid-thirties but ,Floyd, through living clean outside the ring and taking all the right steps inside of it to prolong his career has defied it to a degree. However, he is 41 years of age now. No matter how he looks in training or how he feels within himself, his body will have aged and every month past the age of 40 will age even the most diligent of elite athletic bodies. The line between experience and age gets thinner and thinner and thinner.
In contrast, Mcgregor is in his prime now. He is at the point where his all round physical atributes such as his strength and speed are at their highest point. His reach is long and he is of course a southpaw.
Some have called his approach a disrespect to the ethics of boxing… but I believe that the wrong way to look at it. The UFC star has no inferiority complex like so many of Mayweather’s previous opponents and is not stifled by preconception about which way to throw a shot. His weight and ability to take shots off men a lot heavier than Floyd mean he can be confident of letting his hands go without being knocked out. As long as he doesn’t get frozen into tracking Floyd around the ring without letting his hands go like so many opponents before him due to his stinging potshots, he will have a chance to show what he can do.
He has the self awareness already in that regard. It just depends whther he can impose himself. He has already stated that he intends to be creating rather than reacting and I think he hit the nail on the head with that statement. Mayweather has always come out on top when it comes to this in the ring. He is always one step ahead mentally, mesmerising his opponents into falling for his feints. Mcgregor needs to hold this thought in his head at all times to keep it a contest.
Mcgregor’s former dance partner, Nate Diaz, has sparred numerous rounds with Andre Ward and his trainer Virgil Hunter has had plenty of praise for his boxing ability. Mcgregor was able to drop him on multiple occasions in their UFC fight. Diaz also weighed closer to 190lbs in that second fight and he has a solid chin so this is not to be disregarded.
Finally there is of course The Mcgregor Factor. He has shocked the MMA world with something comparable when he cleaned out undefeated champion Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds. He has a good record of proving doubters wrong. It would almost be a shock if he didn’t go out and shock us.
A whole host of boxing matches have been absolutely terrible veiwing for the fight fans recently. Broner v Garcia was a major dissappointment as was Chavez Jr versus Canelo. So why are we being so critical about this fight? Mcgregor is not like any other MMA fighter and besides, why do we want to watch yet another belt holder be outclassed by Floyd in the exact same fashion as every other fighter then moan that Floyd doesn’t entertain all over again?
Both fighters are proven big time performers who turn up under the lights. Nobody really knows whats going to happen and that is the best feeling before a big fight.