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He’s taken the belts. He’s taken the fame. He’s taken just about everybody that’s challenged him to the cleaners. And most importantly, to himself anyway, he’s taken lorry loads of dollar bills from the fight game to amass a staggering personal fortune.
But this weekend in Las Vegas, boxing needs Floyd Mayweather Jnr to give something back. And that’s a comprehensive, face-saving victory.
Adrian Clarke weighs up this weekend’s big money clash between Mayweather Jnr and McGregor.
Will it happen?
While this match-up has pricked the world’s interest greatly, and provides us with an extraordinarily exciting spectacle at the T Mobile Arena, a first ever defeat for one of the greatest boxers of all-time would be catastrophic for the sport’s reputation.
If MMA mega star Conor McGregor takes Mayweather’s ‘0’ in his first ever appearance in the ring, I can’t imagine the embarrassment it would cause.
Will it happen? Never say never, but I very much doubt it. Odds of 13/4 on the Irishman creating history seem extremely fanciful.
A puncher always has a chance, though, and there can be no disputing that McGregor can bang.
The way he sets up big left hooks in the Octagon is impressive, and were he to land one clean on Saturday night it will be fascinating to see how well the American handles it. A two-year absence from the ring may have softened Mayweather up.
While I’d suggest the 8oz gloves – double the weight of MMA equivalents – will lessen the impact of his most crunching blows, I wouldn’t completely discount a flash McGregor knockdown punch.
The 8/1 on Mayweather Jnr getting knocked down but winning the fight will be taken by plenty of punters, I’m sure.
Personally, I don’t see that happening.
While McGregor’s awkward style is likely to throw Mayweather for a round or two (let’s face it, he will never have fought anyone so unconventional) we are talking about the most brilliant defensive boxer that’s ever laced up a pair of gloves here.
The 40-year-old has phenomenal reflex, sensational hand speed, a wonderful boxer’s brain, and quite handily, a career’s worth of experience inside the ring to help keep his face clean this weekend.
Once he has worked out the MMA hero’s skill set and game plan, it should be one-way traffic. He is far too savvy to get drawn into a bar room brawl, so I’d expect him to pick off his man with ruthless precision.
Should the judges be needed at the end of 12 rounds in Vegas, I’d envisage a total shutout points’ success for Mayweather Jnr.
Let’s be honest, ‘Notorious’ and his camp talk a wonderful game, and his charisma is a joy to behold – but the bottom line is this: McGregor has never been in a professional boxing fight before.
This is like pitting Frankie Dettori against Sir Tony McCoy over the Cheltenham fences;
It’s like putting Badminton’s Gail Emms against Serena Williams at SW19; it’s like asking an Olympian archer to take on Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor over the oche at Ally Pally.
We wouldn’t take those contests seriously, yet thanks to a great PR campaign and some outstanding hyperbole, many now give the Irish underdog a genuine chance.
These two men are fantastic sportsmen, but to me it makes zero sense to expect an MMA fighter to overcome somebody that’s spent two decades skipping past the best boxers in the world, barely bearing a bead of sweat in the process.
The only way Mayweather loses this fight, and his sport’s reputation, is by being over arrogant or complacent.
I’ve seen more than enough of ‘Money’ down the years to know that he’s far too smart to let that happen.
Floyd Mayweather Jnr to Win by TKO 13/10
Intrigued as to how much money Mayweather and McGregor could earn this weekend? Use our Money makers tool and find out!