Almost nobody expects UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor to beat Floyd Mayweather when they step into the squared circle in August… nobody accept McGregor that is.
In fact, McGregor intends to knock Mayweather out inside of four rounds.
McGregor and UFC president Dana White are preparing to embark on a world press tour alongside Mayweather to promote the bout. It’s a whirlwind that begins in Los Angeles on Tuesday and covers Toronto, New York, and London in the ensuing three days.
McGregor, flying in from Ireland, and White, arriving from Las Vegas, met on the tarmac when they landed at the same time on Monday in Los Angeles.
“I was waiting for him to get out of the plane,” White recounted on Monday’s edition of “Speak for Yourself” on FS1. “He gets off, flight from Ireland, looks like he was just fitted at Armani. Walks off the plane and he says, ‘I will knock this man out within four rounds.’”
To have any chance at all against one of the greatest technical boxers in the history of pugilism, McGregor is going to need that brash confidence he is known for. Of course, that alone doesn’t get the job done, but as most pundits and oddsmakers alike are estimating, it will take a quick knockout for the Irish power puncher to win the fight. Otherwise, Mayweather is likely to dance around him and pick him apart for 12 rounds.
Regardless of how lopsided the fight appears on paper – and no doubt about it, this fight is lopsided – White isn’t buying into the criticism of the likes of competing promoter Oscar De La Hoya, who thinks that the spectacle of a 49-0 Mayweather versus a debuting McGregor is bad for boxing.
“I think this is a good fight for combat sports. Other people out there – Oscar De La Hoya – are saying that this thing will be bad for boxing. Yet, he wanted to do (boxer Canelo Alvarez) vs. McGregor, let’s put that out there. This is great for combat sports,” said White.
“It’s like when Floyd and Manny (Pacquiao) had that huge fight and pulled that massive number. First of all, you look at that and good for them, number one. Number two, that shows me the bar. That shows me where the bar can be set with the right fight at the right place at the right time.”
Make no mistake about it, despite all of the criticism that Mayweather vs. McGregor draws, it’s getting talked about like no other fight before it. What could drive it to be an even bigger fight than Mayweather vs. Pacquiao isn’t simply the crossover of boxing and mixed martial arts audiences, it’s the curious onlookers from outside of both sports that simply can’t look away.
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It is that spectacle that is likely to drive the bout to record numbers unseen in combat sports history, and White knows it.
“Am I saying that this is going to be the greatest boxing match in the history of the world? I am not,” he admitted. “But two men are going at it, they’re gonna fight, and we’ll see what happens.”
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