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Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor Pick

Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor Fight Preview and Prediction to Win
When: Saturday, August 26, 2017
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
TV: PPV
Weight Class: Super Welterweight: 154 Pounds
Titles: None
By Loot, Boxing Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Floyd Mayweather, 49-0 (26 KOs), Las Vegas, Nevada/Grand Rapids, Mich
Vs.
Conor McGregor, MMA Record: 21-3 (18 KOs, 1 Submission), Dublin, Ireland

Betting Odds: Floyd Mayweather -500, Conor McGregor +350

Floyd Mayweather will take on Conor McGregor in a boxing match on August 26 in Las Vegas. It's a unique event in combat sports, with the MMA superstar McGregor taking on the noe-unretired 49-0 former PFP king Mayweather. It's a fascinating and unprecedented pairing of top fighters from different sports. That alone makes it a noteworthy bout. Let's see if we can come up with a Mayweather-McGregor pick that can help us extract a little cash from the equation since everyone else is.

Granted, the chances are that now is the best time for McGregor to fight Mayweather. The 49-0 Mayweather is retired and has now been inactive for nearly two years. The inactivity is less of a concern for a boxer of Mayweather's caliber. He has been awfully-effective coming off layoffs before. And his layoff is certainly not a bigger problem than McGregor having never had a pro fight before. I'd suspect that age and retirement are bigger concerns. When a man resigns himself to the fact that his fighting days are over, it can be a really hard task to turn that pilot light back on. Floyd is also 40 years old and if there have been 40-year olds thriving at this weight before, this writer can't come up with any names.

Other than age and whatever fighting spirit may have left Mayweather's body after retiring, it's hard to see any daylight for McGregor. Some would argue the MMA standout's left hand is an equalizer. And it is. But at this level? On one hand, Floyd's shoulder-roll defense is more-suited to picking off right hands. He hasn't fought too many fighters with a great southpaw left like the one Conor wields. Fair enough. But you don't go 49-0 and become the signature fighter of your era by failing to account for your opponent's one viable weapon. Floyd knows about Conor's left and you almost have to figure he will have the answer for it.

This is not meant to impugn McGregor in any way. He's tremendous and you don't get to be a 2-division champ in the UFC by not being a serious handful when it comes to fighting. You can even say if you were to pick a UFC fighter around Mayweather's weight who had the best chance of beating him at his game, McGregor would get the nod. It's just unclear if that means a lot at the end of the day. If the best baseball player in the world wanted to play cricket for a living, you wouldn't project success despite some similar elements to both sports.

Therein lies the rub. There are elements to boxing for which McGregor is unaccustomed. There's the ring. McGregor has fought in the ring before, but not in big-time fights and it's really a different look. We've seen fighters who fight in a ring struggle once they fight in a cage and vice versa. You also have the rounds-structure, where boxing is a shorter round, just with more than twice as many rounds as they have in UFC title fights. Conor has only gone past three rounds once. How dependable would he really be in a drawn-out fight.

The gulf in boxing skills in this matchup is one thing. But McGregor is also dealing with a man in Mayweather who is a real rock. He's as dependable as it gets, never gets tired, and maintains his form throughout an entire fight. He is as steely and resolute as any fighter in history. His speed, skills, and trash-talk sometimes cover up the fact that he's supremely tough. The man is made of iron and just because he moves around a lot and is a pretty-boy doesn't mean he's not tougher than a $2 steak.

Granted, MMA is different and maybe McGregor will do well in more of a relaxed boxing setting against a cerebral fighter like Floyd, but his stamina is iffy. We've seen him gas before and his overall effectiveness seems to wane after the first round or two—in the event that he doesn't KO his opponent, which he has done a lot. This is in his own sport. In a foreign setting in a boxing ring against one of the best to ever do it, how much gas can he be counted on to have?

We just have trouble seeing McGregor being much of a threat after the first few rounds. One could say that Mayweather has become less-mobile over the years and was hurt by single shots more in the latter stages of his career than ever before. Also, growing old and being on the shelf doesn't usually do wonders for one's punch-resistance. He could catch Mayweather cold. Then we pause to think of all the feared punchers who couldn't do it to Money May. We think back to the punches Mayweather was able to absorb in his career. It makes even a scenario where McGregor catches him early seem less-plausible.

In boxing, striking with your hands is on a different level than MMA, where a combination of different skills is the preferred route. You see fighters in MMA who are considered good boxers and they wouldn't stand a chance against a top-50 boxer in that division, much less an all-time great. We saw McGregor struggle with the hands of Nate Diaz. In MMA, Diaz is considered expert with his fists. If he were in boxing, he'd need a ton of work just to get the level of, say, a Jesus Soto Karass. The contexts are all different.

Those looking for a McGregor upset will also point to Mayweather's lack of power. It's not an altogether poor observation. In the last ten years, Mayweather has stopped one opponent and that was Victor Ortiz in what was something less than a typical KO. That could conceivably give McGregor a bigger window to land his Sunday punch. It could. He will at least some margin for error upon which to operate if nothing else, taking punches with big gloves against a guy in Mayweather who is not known for his power.

Mayweather has been hit and stood up to everything thrown his way. Still, he's a master of not getting hit solidly. And if he is hit well, he won't be there for the second shot. And we're talking about opponents who were multiple-time champions. These were fighters with punches they had banked on their entire careers and against Mayweather, they could hardly land it. We're talking about guys with diverse arsenals. It just doesn't paint a great image for a guy like McGregor who will be coming into the ring with one viable asset—his left hand. What about ring generalship, stamina, ring IQ, knowledge of angles, controlling range, and all the other hallmarks of Floyd's excellence? What can McGregor reasonably be expected to do to combat those assets?

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At the end of the day, MMA fighters have no business in a boxing ring, just like boxers have no place in a UFC cage. But if you want to really break it down, a fighter with great hands will always have a chance to win in the octagon, however viable that chance is. Reverse the scenario and the odds of winning for an MMA fighter in a ring go down precipitously. They can't bring the majority of their weapons into combat. They have to battle only with their hands against fighters who will always have better hands than them. At least a boxer in the cage will have better hands if nothing else. An MMA fighter in a boxing ring has no clear advantage along any lines with which you judge fighting.

Still, one needs to exercise caution with this fight. Typically, it's not a good idea to bet with your heart. Fans who prefer boxing should avoid making a bet on behalf of the sport. We don't want to use betting as a way to make points. A lot of people think as a matter of principle that an MMA fighter without a dash of pro boxing experience has no business sharing a ring with an all-time great. We just can't afford to get all swept up in the sentimentality of it. By the same token, if Conor McGregor beats Mayweather in a boxing match, we have to completely retool how we look at fighting. I can't see it. We're on Mayweather for this one.

Loot's Pick to Win the Fight: I'm betting on Floyd Mayweather at -500. Did you know... that you could be wagering on boxing matches at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying inflated odds with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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