A McGregor/Mayweather update for the casual fan

By Adam Zipple

Undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather will fight UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor on August 26, at the T-mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It will be a standard 12 round boxing match at 154 pounds, warranting 10-ounce gloves. The fight was originally thought to materialize at 146 pounds, with 8-ounce gloves. Instead 10-ounce gloves will be required, which could either diminish McGregor’s power or allow him to pack on extra muscle before the fight.

Photo: Sankei Archive/Getty Images

As outlandish as this fight may seem, all-time great Muhammad Ali had a similar encounter with pro wrestler Antonio Inoki back in 1976.

Of course, this bout will go the traditional 12 rounds at three minutes apiece, but many similarities can be drawn from the two spectacles. Inoki was prohibited from grappling or attempting takedowns on Ali, which led to a lackluster draw, even though the fight was billed as having “special rules.”

The fight served as a precursor to modern day mixed martial arts as Ali attempted to answer the ever-elusive question–which style is the dominant fighting discipline?

Now that we have that out of the way, we can begin a legitimate discussion of this highly anticipated bout.

Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

Let’s begin with the betting odds. Mayweather opened as a massive -2250 favorite over a +950 underdog in McGregor as early as November of last year. Because Mayweather’s last seven wins have come by decision, the odds initially indicated a decision win was most likely. Even now Mayweather is a +220 favorite to McGregor’s +1600 odds of winning by decision. The boxing community agrees with this outcome, attesting that Mayweather will toy with McGregor, humiliating him with his evasive, ghostlike, defensive boxing. This belief can be observed in the nearly impossible odds that McGregor will win by split decision.  

However, as we get closer to the fight, the odds of the bout ending in a knockout have increased for both fighters. McGregor’s odds jumped from +550 to +425 and Mayweather’s have drifted from -125 to -175.

Maybe fans are giving McGregor more respect despite his 0-0 record in professional boxing. Perhaps betters are recognizing that if Mayweather were to rack up another KO before retiring, his best shot would be against McGregor.   

The gap continues to narrow as the anticipation becomes reality, although the odds of Mayweather picking up yet another win are still very high (-650 to +425).      

With talk of who is the A side of this fight, it must be acknowledged that both will make an insurmountable amount of money, win or lose.

Photo: Julio Cortez/Associated Press

McGregor, who is sponsored by Reebok in the UFC, is essentially a free agent in terms of sponsorship for this fight. A $10 million asking price has been set for the top sponsorship position, which almost doubles boxing’s largest single fight sponsorship – Mayweather vs Pacquiao in 2015.

At the end of the day, we’re talking combat sports, so anything could happen. Can McGregor land a lucky punch? He will look to have the luck of the Irish on his side on August 26.              


Professional Boxers weigh in on the fight:

Oscar De La Hoya:

“Look, Floyd Mayweather is one of the best boxers in our generation, and for McGregor to think that he can out-box Mayweather is a little delusional. It’s speaking the truth, but hey, may they have a good fight.

Manny Pacquiao:

“McGregor has no chance in this fight. There is no way [McGregor] will land a meaningful punch on Floyd.”

Tyson Fury:

“I think McGregor will do him inside one round. I think Conor McGregor will knock him out in the first 35 seconds, much like he did to Jose Aldo, to be honest.”

Bernard Hopkins:

“That shows you the lack of respect that [Mayweather] has for the sport.”

Mike Tyson:

“[McGregor] doesn’t win in a boxing match. But if [Mayweather] goes in there with the UFC stuff, now this could be pretty interesting.”

George Foreman:

“He’s famous now. He’s almost a household name and he was not until the talk of him fighting Mayweather.”

Lennox Lewis:

“You are talking about one discipline where you can use only your hands and only a few can do it. Every battle sport starts with your hands but they are two totally different sports. Floyd will stop him. He’s just too good at boxing for McGregor and McGregor is too inexperienced at boxing. He can’t use his other styles.”

Floyd Mayweather Sr.:

“If Floyd stops him or not, it doesn’t make a difference for me. As long as Floyd beats the hell out of him. And that’s what I believe is gonna happen. I think that there aren’t too many other things he can do to stop Floyd from doing what he does. Because what Floyd does, he does very good, very well.”

Dashon Johnson:

“I was fortunate enough to be a part of the biggest boxing fight in history against Floyd Mayweather. Now I’ll be part of this mega-fight which should surpass all records. I will give every ounce of me to make sure McGregor is at his best so we can really make history.”