By Kirk Jackson
Some spectators suggest Conor McGregor is going to have to borrow magic from leprechauns or rely on the luck enchanted four leaf clovers if he has any shot of defeating Floyd Mayweather Aug. 26.
The lucky charms may not be necessary however.
The brash Irishman talks a big game and better hope his fists can back-up his tough talk. Some of the advantages McGregor alluded to in pre-fight promotion actually hold weight.
He is younger, bigger and in his physical prime. At 29-years-old, McGregor is eleven years younger than Mayweather.
It would be wise for McGregor to impose his size against Mayweather; we may see McGregor attempt to bully and bruise Mayweather against the ropes and in the trenches. Make the older fighter feel his age and constantly apply pressure and weight against the smaller fighter.
Many mixed martial artists are accustomed to dropping an extraordinary amount of weight prior to the weigh-in for a fight.
Look for McGregor to rehydrate to the 170 lbs. range the night of the fight. Whatever deficiencies he has from a technical standpoint may be covered with sheer athleticism.
As a seasoned mixed martial artist with a specialty in striking, McGregor has a weird rhythm comparatively to boxing.
Also as a southpaw, McGregor presents a different look; something Mayweather is not accustomed to. McGregor presents a dissimilar appearance and marches to a different beat. With this in mind, it may take Mayweather a few rounds to gauge and compute McGregor’s style.
With that lapse in time, presents the opportunity for McGregor to strike and catch Mayweather with something unexpected. He must use his awkwardness to his advantage and not try to conform too much to a traditional boxing style.
From what we can see from sparring footage and his fights in the UFC, McGregor can throw straight, precise punches, along with loopy, awkward punches; the same punches that caught the retired, former two-time world champion Paulie Malignaggi.
Marcos Maidana presented problems with his awkward punches in two appearances against Mayweather back in 2014.
Southpaw DeMarcus Corley visibly wobbled Mayweather with peculiar punches although that was more than a decade ago.
The Rocky Marciano effect:
Although Julio Cesar Chavez lost his first professional fight 80 plus wins into his career, a few legendary fighters fell victim to the Marciano curse.
Larry Holmes was 48-0 with 20 successful title defenses when he went up against the light heavyweight king Michael Spinks. Holmes lost a controversial, unanimous decision to Spinks, losing his titles and his shot at matching Marciano in the process.
Former lightweight champion Paul Spadafora lost to John Perez after his 48th win.
Lineal light heavyweight champion Dariusz Michalczewski was 48-0 when he lost to Julio Cesar Gonzalez.
Multiple division champion Chris John was also 48-0 when he was stopped by Simpiwe Vetyeka.
Perhaps McGregor can host a séance meeting. Mayweather may want to be mindful of the Marciano curse.
The Money factor:
There’s much at stake for this fight. Reputation, legacy, perfect records but most importantly for Mayweather, the money factor.
If the pay-per-view revenue for this event stays in line with the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout, the fight purse is likely to be worth $300 million or more, with total revenues at $700 million.
When all the earnings are tabulated, Mayweather can earn anywhere from $100 to $300 million. With that in mind, how much can a rematch earn if McGregor pulls off the unthinkable?
Why settle for $300 million when you can double the earnings or even triple the earnings with a trilogy?
It’s feasible Mayweather could throw the fight; the majority of the audience tuning in would like to see Mayweather lose anyways and it could potentially set-up more fights and more money.
There is this belief by most observes Mayweather will win based on the obvious; his skill-level, boxing intelligence, speed, experience, resume, etc.
But what must be remembered is every favorable trait of Mayweather in this match-up is predicated on previous accomplishments and past showcases from Mayweather.
He is 40-years-old and two years removed from the sport.
Although Mayweather possesses a perfect record, Father Time has the most remarkable record of all.
Father time dominates in all sports and has felled the likes of many an athlete. Mayweather is no exception, it’s just a matter of how long the boxing legend can fend off the harsh attacks of time.
How far removed is Mayweather from his physical prime? How far is he removed from the 2015 version of himself?
Many people related to or entrenched in the boxing world underestimate McGregor’s boxing ability and chances of winning.
The belief that the Irishman stands no chance can be a grave mistake.
McGregor genuinely believes he can win. Like famed basketball father, entrepreneur and head of the Big Baller Brand Lavar Ball, McGregor tends to speak his actions into existence.
He believed he could make it to the UFC and become champion. He believed he could win two world titles and hold the titles simultaneously.
He believed he could lure Mayweather into a fight and he believes he can beat him.
Belief is one thing, but belief aligning with reality is another. Self-belief is the first step towards reaching success; most successful people will mention that.
Too perfect a scenario:
Doesn’t this scenario appear perfect for Mayweather? Rarely do we see a picture perfect situation, in this case, Mayweather can potentially finish his career with a perfect professional record, exceeding Marciano’s historic mark, while earning another $300 million.
It appears too good to be true if you’re a supporter of “The Money Team.”
At least that’s the angle most of the media covering this fight is presenting. It’s like many are trying to situate the perfect scenario in case McGregor pulls off the upset.
Many members of the media are probably hoping for the upset because that outcome would lead to more stories and more business.
Besides, much of the media appears to not like Mayweather, as he isn’t afforded the same courtesies as some of his contemporaries.
There is a double standard in boxing, mma and combat sports in general. Prime examples are Terence Crawford, Andre Ward, Mayweather, Demetrious Johnson, Tyron Woodley and many others.
Back to the matter of belief, who do you know personally that has the perfect or near perfect life? Mayweather has his off days, trials and tribulations, but man it seems like he wins more than he loses – outside the ring.
With such a perfect set-up on paper, it seems likely something will be off.
In all seriousness, looking past the Marciano curse, all of the trash talk and bravado from both sides, the history of the more decorated fighter (Mayweather), McGregor has a legitimate chance to win.
He has a chance to win inside the ring because all it takes is one punch. One punch can change the round, change the fight, change your life.
McGregor is a great physical specimen; he’s far from a pencil-necked geek, he’s not a scrub and he’s confident.
Mayweather is older, we have not seen him in the ring for two years and it’s obvious he wasn’t in his physical prime then.
Whether McGregor leaves the ring with his hand raised, or leaves on a stretcher, there is one thing for certain.
Win or lose McGregor already won overall. The vast majority does not believe he can beat Mayweather and his annoying legion of die-hard fans will make plenty of excuses for him in light of a potential defeat.
He leaves Saturday millions of dollars richer and he can resume life in the Octagon if he chooses or live a life of luxury away from combat sports altogether with a nice retirement check courtesy on Mayweather.