By: Kirk Jackson
It’s fight week and as Aug 26. approaches, we’ll find out how the “Money Fight” between Floyd Mayweather 49-0 (26 KO’s) and Conor McGregor 21-3 (MMA) will play out.
Photo Credit: USA Today
Much to speculate strategically for each fighter, as McGregor boldly predicts he’ll stop Mayweather in four rounds and Mayweather insists the fight will not go the full 12 rounds and that he must bring the fight to McGregor.
This of course can all be talk to sell the fight, but here’s a prediction as to how McGregor will fight Mayweather come Aug 26.
McGregor naturally strikes me as a counter-puncher and this will be more evident within the realm of boxing.
Although McGregor has a tendency to come forward, especially against smaller opponents, his intent is to lure attackers within his range, so he can pick them off with sharp punches as they cross into his zone.
Because McGregor has a longer reach than most of his opponents, often time, they have difficulty stepping within McGregor’s range successfully to mount an attack without getting clipped on the way in; they would typically have to shoot for a takedown or find some way to get McGregor to the ground in the Octagon.
The Irishman wants Mayweather to come to him; he has the intention of picking Mayweather off with his left hand coming in.
McGregor, just like many of Mayweather’s opponents in the past, believe he is too small and too weak.
So if Mayweather is to get past McGregor’s left hand and get in close quarters, McGregor wants to rough him up in hopes of wearing the “Brittle and frail,” 40-year-old fighter down.
Watching McGregor talk about boxing and expand on his favorite fighters is quite telling. He mentioned the likes of Roy Jones Jr., Prince Naseem Hamed, he almost slipped up and mentioned Mayweather as well; remarking on Mayweather’s technique for working the pads while warming up.
What we can take from this assessment is McGregor is a fan of unorthodox styles of fighting; not believing in general rules applying to the laws of fighting. So he’ll try different looks, take a different approach in carving his path towards the attempt of achieving victory.
Hamed landed powerful shots on opponents due to his speed and unorthodox southpaw style; Hamed also moved like a snake charmer and could strike from odd angles.
Jones possessed uncanny reflexes, lightening-like speed and his rhythm was nearly impossible to track.
It can be assumed McGregor believes in a path or look not yet witnessed for the experienced Mayweather, may provide McGregor with that opportunity to get his shots off or land that one big punch to end the night.
The very short series of edited sparring clips against Paulie Malignaggi may reveal McGregor’s game plan as well.
There is a great possibility McGregor’s team believes Mayweather will fight utilizing the shoulder -roll defense; which explains why Malignaggi emulated the stance during their sparring session.
The clip also shows McGregor is able to shoot his straight left hand directly on target sending Malignaggi’s head back with a flush shot.
The game plan is centered on beliefs, which may actually be misconceptions.
McGregor believes one of his greatest strengths is his footwork and believes Mayweather is not accustomed to facing guys with such fancy footwork.
Although Mayweather faced the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton and others renowned for pretty decent footwork.
Perhaps McGregor thinks his awkward angles will give Mayweather problems; which may explain McGregor’s media open-workout routine, showcasing his shadowboxing and unique punching techniques.
Of course Team McGregor will not give everything away during a media open-workout, but one can ascertain much from watching.
They must remember Mayweather is not a stranger to facing opponents with odd rhythms or opponents throwing from unorthodox angles; Emmanuel Augustus fits the bill, along with Marcos Maidana and Pacquiao.
Regarding the shoulder-roll defense McGregor is preparing for, Mayweather may rarely use the shoulder-roll defense against McGregor, due to its overall ineffectiveness against southpaws because of the lack of angles.
Mayweather will probably implore more the high-guard defense primarily against the Irishman, until he feels comfortable enough to fight with his hands down. Like how he did against southpaws Robert Guerrero and Manny Pacquiao.
Team McGregor must take caution because Team Mayweather may have a grasp of the strategy.
We’ll find out Saturday if McGregor can figure out the puzzle 49 others failed to crack.