The Wood Word

COMMENTARY: “The Money Fight” Draws Near

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Photo by United States Government and Flickr [CC BY 2.0], W3C via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by United States Government and Flickr [CC BY 2.0], W3C via Wikimedia Commons

Nicolo Manzo, Asst. Sports Editor

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Whether you love him or hate him, the boxing world stops when Floyd “Money” Mayweather enters the ring to face the next challenger to his undefeated record.

The pound-for-pound “King of Boxing” will put his 49-0 record on the line against Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) superstar “The Notorious” Conor McGregor.

This super fight is a fusion of two different combat sports and two massive fan bases.

The “Money Fight” many viewed as an impossibility is now just hours away. The estimated $500 million fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas will be a 12-round junior middleweight bout with a 154-pound weight limit. The Nevada State Athletic Commission made a special exception that allows the fighters to use eight-ounce gloves rather than the customary 10-ounce ones.

In a majority of his recent fights, Mayweather fought mostly at the welterweight boxing classification, which has a 147-pound limit. In his UFC contests, McGregor fights in either the featherweight (145-pound limit) and lightweight (155-pound limit) divisions.

The Tale of the Tape shows a two-inch reach advantage for McGregor, coupled with his being 11 years younger. However, he has never fought a traditional boxing match, while Mayweather brings the experience of 49 such matches into the ring.

Styles make fights, and although both are outspoken outside the ring, their styles inside the ring are of particular interest.

It can be difficult to predict exactly what McGregor will do in a boxing ring, especially against Mayweather, but McGregor has been aggressive early, as he demonstrated by his 13-second UFC knockout of Jose Aldo.

Whether or not he will risk an aggressive approach against Mayweather’s superb counter-punching ability will only be known once the fight gets going. McGregor is a southpaw, while Mayweather fights from an orthodox stance.

ANALYSIS
When Mayweather announces his next opponent, I immediately focus on the lucky winner of the “Mayweather Lottery.” I try to convince myself that the latest challenger to Mayweather’s undefeated record will stand a chance.

Needless to say each time I watch, the result is the same. With each fight comes a new storyline; Floyd is rusty, the other man is too big or too strong, or Floyd is slowing down.

Whether it be against Diego Corrales, Oscar De La Hoya, Canelo Àlvarez, or Manny Pacquiao, Mayweather always answers the bell.

The beauty of boxing is that everyone has a “puncher’s chance.” So, with that being said, is it possible for McGregor to win? Sure.

The fundamental difference is while McGregor could win, he will not. I would challenge someone with an opposing view to justify any other conclusion.

Mayweather owns the “sweet science” of hit and don’t be hit. According to CompuBox, his opponents connect just 19 percent of the time while Mayweather lands 43 percent of his punches.

Mayweather will allow the fight to go on for a while before ending the bout with a late round stoppage after showcasing his trademark defense and pinpoint counter-punching.

It is often said that the Mayweather spectacle outshines the fight itself, so just have fun with this one. The fight may be one-sided, but it is an intriguing one. Even with no boxing background, McGregor still has a “puncher’s chance” to take down an empire.

Contact the writer: [email protected]

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