In ten days time, the world will finally get to see Floyd Mayweather take on Conor McGregor in their long hyped and awaited boxing clash.
Both fighters have been firmly in the spotlight since before the fight was made official, with both making confident claims about what they will do to the other when they meet on August 26th.
McGregor, the man of many a prediction, has committed to knocking out the undefeated boxing supremo inside of four rounds, a claim that the boxing world has unanimously laughed off.
Given that this will be McGregor’s professional boxing debut and the fact that in Mayweather he faces perhaps the greatest defensive boxer ever and a man that has never been beaten or stopped, it is understandable for those immersed in the world of boxing to scoff at the MMA star’s assertions.
The Irishman is not alone, however, when it comes to making a bold statement as Mayweather himself has also given a knock out prediction.
Not quite as definitive as McGregor, the former pound-for-pound king has merely stated that it will not go the distance. Reported by Fox Sports, Mayweather is succinct.
“It won’t go the distance. I look forward to ending the fight early. It’s not going the distance.”
While McGregor is known for his thundering knockouts, the same can no longer be said for Mayweather. The last time he ended a fight via KO was all of eight fights ago back in 2011, when he stopped Victor Ortiz.
In fact, that somewhat controversial stoppage is the only one Mayweather has recorded in his last ten fights and has to look back as far as 2001 since he last recorded consecutive KO’s.
The reason for Mayweather’s sharp decline of knock out successes is not due to a lack of skill or power. It is, rather, his long history of hand issues that has seen him become a smarter, more defensive fighter that relies more on counter-strikes than all out attack.
For him, therefore, to claim he will be the aggressor against McGregor comes as something of a surprise. While he is claiming he will stop the Irishman early, Mayweather’s own father Floyd Mayweather Sr, has previously insisted that it is simply not possible, citing the hand issue as his reason for disagreeing with his son.
“I ain’t gonna say a knockout, because my son got a hand problem. That’s a true story, he got a hand problem.”
He did, however, insist that the boxer would make a show of the MMA star.
“He gonna make Conor McGregor look like a fool. Believe me.”
Mayweather’s history of hand problems going back almost 20 years, with cutman Miguel Diaz previously speaking to the Daily Intelligencer back in 2015 about the fighter’s ‘brittle hands’ being a two-generation trait for the fighting family.
So, what for Mayweather’s bold prediction to knock out McGregor? Yes, he has the skill set and experience. Yes, he has the power. However, on the evidence of the last decade, does he have the tools to deliver the killer blow?
It could come down to whether or not he is willing to take a chance. Will he risk his questionable hands in the pursuit of a finish?
Or, will he, like he did against Manny Pacquiao and Andre Berto, rely on his defensive tactics to secure a points decision over the Irishman?
In ten days, we find out.