The eyes of the boxing and MMA worlds will be on Vegas on Saturday night as Sin City serves up a meeting of combat worlds that is in turn, slightly intriguing, slightly exciting, but for the most part simply appalling.
The unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr steps out of two year retirement at the age of 40, to take on Irish MMA titan, but wholly novice boxer, Conor McGregor in a battle of generations, styles and personalities that frankly has most boxing fans praying for an outcome in which both lose !!
Mayweather has never been bettered in the ring, and in a long and provocative career, has never been beaten outside the ring when it comes to disrespect of opponents and thirst for money. But at least outside the ring he has finally met his match in the trash-talking Dubliner, who, if anything has prevailed narrowly on points in the pre-fight build up in what the BBC accurately described as “a nauseating race to the bottom”.
In the ring however, all logic dictates only one outcome. McGregor’s punching power in the MMA octagon is unlikely to translate into the boxing ring with a potency to match the likes of Ricky Hatton or Manny Pacquiao, both of whom Mayweather comfortably beat.
Mayweather’s essentially defensive and highly skilled counter-punching style lends itself to overwhelming points wins or late round stoppages. He was never the type to come out blasting early. All logic suggests a stoppage in rounds 7-12 in favour of Mayweather (5/2 Skybet), or a points win for Floyd (3/1 Paddy Power). McGregor’s hopes are possibly best invested in the possibility of Mayweather’s ageing and fading skills and punch resistance than the Irishman’s own abilities in the four-sided ring.
Logic however misrepresents this as a standard fight. It is not. This farce is primarily about earning both fighters an estimated $175m. An opportunity neither will ever have again….unless there’s a rematch.
We would never suggest any collusion, corruption or other misdeed in a Vegas based fight, but the two outcomes most likely to fuel making this money all over again would be a disqualification or a draw.
A disqualification of McGregor (let’s say for a kick or a Judo move !!) is an 8/1 chance and somewhat tightly priced.
The draw however can be backed at 50/1, and whilst highly unlikely on a 12 round scorecard given the obvious skills divide, the capacity to engineer a draw as an outcome from some early end to the fight looks high, given the sums of money involved for a rematch, and the un-sanctioned fringes-of-the-rules basis on which the fight takes place.
At the very least, collecting on the draw offers financial compensation for the unsavoury prospect of having to watch these two besmirch the name of boxing all over again in the build up to the rematch !
Recommendation: Mayweather v McGregor, A Draw, 1pt win, 50/1 Betfair.
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