On August 26th, 2017 Floyd Mayweather will come out of retirement to face UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championships) Conor McGregor.
Pure boxing meets, what some consider to be the premier form of martial arts; and if all the media hype is to be believed, it will be one of the most anticipated and intriguing boxing matches since Muhammad Ali fought Japanese wrestler, Antonio Inoki in 1976!
Many boxing purists will not understand the reason for this match, however, sports fans have been calling for it for years; and there is no doubt that one of the main driving forces for these two men meeting up in the ring, is due to the massive amount of public interest and pay per view revenue that it is set to generate. Now, finally, the details and contracts have been agreed, and the stage is now set to allow both men to prove their skill and determine which fighting art form is the dominant one.
In the boxing ring, athletes can only strike above the belt, and just with their fists, however, the rules of UFC allow competitors to use punches, kicks, elbows, knee strikes, takedowns and submissions to win a contest. There are a few restrictions, but fighters are allowed to strike each other both above and below the belt.
Is the result a foregone conclusion?
Mayweather, who turned 40 this year and retired, for the second time in 2015, after beating WBA interim champion, Andre Berto; has an unblemished (49-0) win history and is the firm favourite for fans and sports betting operators alike. Most reputable bookmakers have priced Mayweather as being the huge odds on favourite to to win the match; so for example, Sportingbet has Mayweather as being 1/7 odds on favourite to win, with McGregor priced at 4/1 to walk away as victor after the match.
There is good reason for anyone to expect a relatively easy win for Floyd, even though he has been out of game for some time. To begin with, Floyd is arguably ultimate boxer and has never lost a match in his professional career. There is of course, the fact that it is going to be a boxing match and not strictly speaking a UFC fight; which therefore gives Mayweather the natural advantage. Furthermore, looking at Floyd practicing and going through his boxing routine, it is clear to see that the guy still has lightening fast hands.
On top of all of this, McGregor hasn’t fought since November due to his partner giving birth to their first child last month; and although his success in the UFC is well documented, he hasn’t competed in a pure boxing competition since his late teens. His career began at the age of 12 yrs, becoming All-Ireland Boxing Champion at youth level before his attentions turned towards other marshal arts. There are, of course, many who consider McGregor not having the boxing ability to gain ground over Mayweather, even if Connor manages to land some big shots.
“I don’t think there’s anybody that doubts Mayweather is the best boxer on the Planet, and I don’t think there are many who would argue that he isn’t the best that has ever lived,” said expert Dan Hardy in an interview with the Express Sport, adding “He has mastered the technology of boxing better than anybody else; even to the point where the others, who should be able to compete with him, cannot.”
History in the making?
On the other hand, there is always the chance of an upset, no matter how slim the chances are. This is why sport and more specifically, this fight is attracting massive interest; there are quite a few boxing and UFC fans who will hoping that McGregor lands that one, hard, clean punch, which may lead to Connor making history as well as a whole heap of cash! The fact that both fighters will receive a massive purse has not gone unnoticed; this fight is expected to be the most lucrative of all time, with some anticipating it could generate as much as $1billion (£770million) in revenue.