The waiting is almost over as the seemingly never-ending countdown to Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor in Las Vegas nears its conclusion.
Whether you love or loathe one, the other, or both of these fighters, the build-up to their megabucks showdown in the T-Mobile Arena on August 26 has been nigh-on impossible to ignore.
The big question now for fans of boxing and mixed martial arts alike has got to be, will this fight match the hype that preceded it?
On the face of it, it really should not. Mayweather has been the pound-for-pound standout boxer of his generation. His 49-0 record is tantamount to the fabulous defence the American has been able to call upon throughout his career.
Despite being 40-years-young, Mayweather’s ring craft should allow him to outwit McGregor in a discipline at which the 29-year-old Irishman holds no previous professional experience. At odds of 1/5 to win the fight, nobody is going to get rich backing Mayweather here however.
Instead, those inclined to get behind the favourite might do well to consider the 19/10 offered that Mayweather will win only after the fight goes the distance.
In his background in the UFC, McGregor is routinely enamoured with accepting the brutal physical punishment that accompanies that career choice. Of all the traits that Mayweather has used to define his career, raw power is not one that springs to mind quickly. Technically inferior he might be, but do not discount the theory that McGregor can absorb all the punches that Mayweather can land on him.
By contrast, the underdog must surely be reliant on his ability to catch Mayweather with one, or more, stunningly powerful hits that result in a knockout blow. The recent announcement of 8oz gloves for the fight looks certain to work in McGregor’s favour in this regard.
Surprising nobody, McGregor has been bullish in regards to how he sees this fight playing out. ‘The Notorious’ expects that he will knock his opponent out within four rounds (McGregor to win Rounds 1-3 is 11/1).
It is a bold and brash prediction but McGregor’s career to date has been littered with such claims and he has, more often than not, delivered the goods. Mayweather too has a proven habit of delivering on his promises, so something must give.
Boxing purists will abhor at the notion McGregor could inflict defeat on such a decorated ring artisan on his first attempt in this arena. But more and more there is a feeling the Dubliner can pose some threat in Las Vegas.
For those inclined to hope the fight at least goes some way to matching the hype, the 15/2 offered that Mayweather will be knocked down and still go on to win looks like a solid market in which to invest.
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