A host of top boxing personnel have thrown their weight behind a Floyd Mayweather knockout on August 26 against Conor McGregor despite the fact of the former pound for pound king being bereft of a stoppage for over a decade.
Granted Mayweather does have a debated TKO on his record against Victor Ortiz in 2011, although the general consensus is the 40 year-old didn’t score a bona-fide knockout due to Floyd hitting the Californian after the bell.
A 2007 halting of Ricky Hatton remains the 25th and final stoppage on Mayweather record in most eyes, meaning Conor McGregor could potentially rest his chin easy in their Las Vegas blockbuster.
Does UFC’s top star McGregor really possess a weaker capacity for punches than Andre Berto? – Who was the last opponent Mayweather faced and never once looked like being taken out early back in September 2015.
Despite the stats, several high-profile figures – including world champions and top promoters, have gone so far as to urge fans to back a Mayweather knockout on Saturday week.
So, is this merely the safe bet or does Mayweather really have the fire power at 40 and with his problematic hands to fulfil the bookmakers odds on prophecy of knocking McGregor out?
Judging by the information available it’s hard to see how Mayweather can really pull it off, but I guess it all comes down to how much McGregor has learned since entering the boxing world on the back of massive success in MMA.
Mayweather has promised to break tradition and fight McGregor toe-to-toe, even lobbying the Nevada State Athletic Commission to allow the fight to go ahead with eight once gloves.
This could be a genius move by Mayweather to make even more money than before as the casual fans, and even the oddsmakers, are beginning to believe McGregor now has a bigger chance of scoring the knockout himself.
Although he’s older, Mayweather is certainly wiser, so the even smarter money could be on the boxing legend avoiding McGregor’s huge left hand completely for the duration and picking off the inferior skills to bank the rounds.
Should the opening appear, Mayweather may well then go for it, but who would be surprised to see ‘Money’ happy taking every round of twelve and in the process preserving his undefeated record via his usual method?
There’s also the opportunity of overhauling Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 feat to score a 50th triumph to take into acount, and both of these facts make it unlikely Mayweather would go straight for the jugular against McGregor from the off.
Caution always wins the day for Mayweather, meaning the shrewder stakes may be on the five-weight world champion frustrating McGregor for 36 mins at odds against of around 9/4.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay