After months of sniping, speculation and plenty of negotiations from both sides, fight fans all over got the news of their dreams when Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather announced they were taking part in a historic bout, as the UFC champion switched sports in an unprecedented crossover between MMA and boxing.
Since then, bookmakers, pundits and experts have been in fervent discussion about the potential outcome ahead of the showdown on August 26.
Throughout the buildup (including four explosive press conferences) to the fight, Floyd “Money” Mayweather has kept the smack talk to the minimum, portraying an air of quiet confidence as he prepares to defend his unbeaten record when taking on the 29-year-old Irish fighter Conor McGregor.
After his latest comments, however, that confidence sounds like it may be more of a façade; Floyd Mayweather has made a startling admission with the fight being less than three weeks away.
When Floyd Mayweather steps into the ring with Conor McGregor on August 26, it will be the first time the 40-year-old has fought in nearly two years. Floyd Mayweather beat Andre Berto in a unanimous points decision back in September 2015 for his 49th successive boxing victory, and Mayweather was in retirement until McGregor’s challenge became too tantalising to resist.
Although there will undoubtedly be some serious rust to sort out before the historic fight, Mayweather is the bookmaker’s favourite to defeat McGregor for his 50th victory, further staking his claim as one of the best boxers of all time.
In theory, Mayweather should hold the advantage as the more defensive and experienced boxer, but the fighter himself isn’t so sure.
He’s been confidently mocking McGregor the entire time, predicting an easy win for himself in Nevada later this month, but recently, Mayweather has been more conservative about his chances, admitting he’s “lost a step” since his last fight, and conceding that the younger man may have the edge in this fight.
“He’s a lot younger. When you look at myself and Conor McGregor on paper, he’s taller, has a longer reach, he’s a bigger man from top to bottom. He’s a lot younger, so youth is on his side. And I’ve been off a couple of years. And I’m in my 40s. So, if you look at everything on paper, it leans toward Conor McGregor.”
Mayweather also addressed the nature of his last big fight, where he prevailed on points against Filipino fighter Manny Pacquiao. He may have won, but the defensive nature of his victory saw boxing fans criticise the fight for failing to live up to the hype. Mayweather knows that he’ll have to put on a show when he takes on McGregor at the T-Mobile Arena.
“This can’t be a defensive fight. I have to go to him. I owe the public because of the Pacquiao fight. They weren’t pleased with that. They’re gonna be pleased with this fight here.”
Are the latest comments from Floyd Mayweather an indication that he’s lost his confidence? Or is he trying to get in McGregor’s head before the fight? We’ll find out on August 26 at the T-Mobile Arena in Nevada, and now I really can’t wait to see how this fight unfolds.