A Left Hook As Deadly As a Rattlesnake’s Bite – McGregor Could Well KO Floyd
By: Oz Ozkaya
Now, of course, as you may have gathered from the title, this piece delves into the more hypothetical territories. But allow me to get stuck into to the point, why would Conor McGregor knocking out Floyd Mayweather in this hugely anticipated, yet a still to be an unannounced fight, be such an unrealistic notion?
Respect where it is due first, Mayweather is the greatest boxer of all time. His record speaks for itself, and his defensive technical abilities are beyond belief. Can you recall the fight against Saul Canelo Alvarez? A few years ago, now, but that fight still sticks vividly in my mind; I have never seen a fighter so flawlessly dodge and weave a far younger, fitter and more aggressive fighter in such style.
However, that was 4 years ago, and I believe that on the night, had Mayweather been just 5% more off from his game, then Alvarez would have claimed victory on that night in question. 4 years on, and the parameters have shifted. Conor McGregor is the big thing in this “newish” jack of all trade mixed martial art ‘Ultimate Fighter Championship’, and he, and only he is gathering the PPV audiences that reach the comparable highest of boxing’s most recent hyped fights.
So why is this? In analogical terms, he’s an agitated venomous rattlesnake boxed into a cage offering bargain entertainment before, during and after an event. A rattlesnake that has toppled the likes of Nate Diaz (a brick wall with arms and legs that will morph from time to time into a deadly tarantula), Jose Aldo (A highly skilled yet inferior and petrified python) and most recently Eddie Alvarez (A seasoned lion with no mane, nor chin). The former being the only one capable of stopping the fighting Irish man at the only weakness in his game, the ground work, the submission.
This is where I see McGregor excelling for a potential match up with the Money. Floyd, obviously, won’t be taking him to the ground, and McGregor will, as we’ve seen, have a left hook far quicker and substantive than that of Canelo or Cotto or even Oscar De-La-Hoya. As we all witnessed with Jose Aldo, all it takes is a nanosecond.
I know that Mayweather possess ability way beyond most fighters, but I don’t think he will be as confident as his record should entitle him to be. Mayweather has a very big mouth, and McGregor has a mouth just as big, if not bigger. He has the ability to get inside the mind of the opponent, and again, as we saw with Aldo, it can leave a man trembling. His menacing approach will prove quintessential if he and Floyd are to dance.
But, I won’t get ahead of myself. If McGregor can’t take Mayweather’s head off inside the first 3 then Floyd will more than likely skillfully outbox McGregor until the bell and claim a points decision victory.
I digress from my brutish prediction, though. This fight, in terms of the intensity, will be an easier ride for McGregor. He is going to be in a scenario where he needn’t worry about being kicked in the head, about being grappled to the floor and being choked, about being wary of the opponent’s jujitsu abilities, all he needs to watch are Mayweather’s hands, easier said than done but it should make McGregor more focused.
Yet, I play McGregor’s left hand up like it was a double barrel sawn-off shotgun with the deadliest of results. As we saw in his Diaz match up, a man can withstand his punches. But, as I played on earlier, Nate Diaz is a brick wall. He can succumb an assault like no other. For the record I actually think it is astonishing that Diaz didn’t incur any brain damage after the mesmeric encounter with McGregor last August. But that is what makes these two far more dangerous than a Mayweather or an Anthony Joshua.
Mayweather and boxing are more sporting, more gentlemanly. The goal, predominantly, is to outscore the opponent. Yes, you can knock out an opponent, but in Mayweather’s case, due to the kind of craftsman he is, this has rarely, in the last decade at least, been the case. He has scored two knockouts in ten years. An emphatic stoppage over Ortiz in 2011, and the unforgettable – at least from a British perspective – decimation of Ricky Hatton.
In UFC, there is rarely a pre-fight strategy to try last the distance and claim a points victory, if you do your research you will see that so few fights reach the final bell. The aim is to go out there and destroy your opponent with your desired niche. McGregor’s niche is knocking men out. He has knocked many fighters out since his birth into the UFC 4 years ago.
Boxing is a more refined, charming and more tactical heritage fighter sport. UFC is utterly brutal, and therefore a lot more people would rather call for it to be nonexistent than boxing. The likelihood of someone dying in a cage fight in comparison to a boxing ring is much higher. Just look how well trained and skilled the referees are in the UFC. When they know it is time to stop the fight, they are straight in there like a bullet. Unfortunately, UFC referees are a level above the referees of the more amateurish forms MMA.
The first 3 rounds of this fight are going to be up there with the most difficult of Mayweather’s illustrious career. Let us hope and pray that a deal can be sealed and we will get to watch and embrace what will be one of the biggest match-ups in sporting history.