Anything can happen when two men square off for a one-on-one battle in a boxing ring, and no one knows that better than someone like Floyd Mayweather Jr., who has given 20-plus years of his life to professional boxing.
And that knowledge is why Mayweather is not counting out his next opponent, Conor McGregor, despite the latter’s lack of traditional boxing competition. McGregor is a two-division champion in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, but has never boxed professionally.
Mayweather and McGregor will square off in a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on August 26.
“It’s going to be exciting,” Mayweather said. “He’s going to come fight. He’s going to come out. He’s upset. I’ve seen it before. When these fighters get upset with me, they come out like they’re going to try and kill me. My job is to do what I do, just keep my composure.
“He does have a chance. Every time two warriors go out there and compete, anything can happen. We just saw a week ago, two weeks ago, a guy who started boxing at 18, a teacher, beat one of the best fighters of all time, which was Manny Pacquiao, so anything can happen in a combat sport.”
Prior to his retirement in 2015, the 5-foot-8, 151-pound Mayweather won the WBC super featherweight, lightweight, welterweight and light middleweight crowns, along with the IBF welterweight title, WBA (Super) light middleweight and (Super) welterweight titles and WBO welterweight championship.
On his way to the 49-0 record, Mayweather defeated Manny Pacquiao, Canelo Alvarez, Miguel Cotto, “Sugar” Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Marcos Maidana (twice), Arturo Gatti, Ricky Hatton and Oscar De La Hoya, all of whom are current or were former champions across several weight classes.
“Last time I checked, he’s still a professional fighter,” Mayweather said. “At the end of the day, he’s a stand-up fighter. The only time Conor McGregor did take an L is when he was on the ground. He never took a loss standing straight up, fighting head up.”
Although Mayweather is not counting out McGregor, the odds makers sure have their doubts.
Mayweather is currently a 7-1 favorite to win the bout, and a 11-8 favorite to win by knockout, technical knockout or disqualification.
“He’s a warrior and he’s a fighter,” Mayweather said. “I’ve said this before, every time he wins, he wins standing up. He’s a fighter.
“We both shoot from the shoulders. He’s not the type of fighter that can fight on the ground, and I’m not even fitting to be getting on no ground and kicking my shoes off. I ain’t got to do all that. We’re going to do it the old-school way. We’re going to shoot from the shoulders.”
Like the odds makers, current and former boxers believe this will be a quick fight for Mayweather, but the pound-for-pound best pugilist of his generation expects the bout to play out much differently.
“He wants to win bad,” Mayweather said. “He really wants to win bad, extremely bad. With other fighters, it plays out two ways when you’re facing Floyd Mayweather. You’ve got some guys that play it safe. You’ve got some guys like Maidana that go straight for the kill.
“He’s going to come out and go for the kill like Mayweather-Maidana I. He’s going to come out and go for the kill. He’s a heavy hitter, so I’ve got to be cautious. Remember, I’m older, so I can’t move like I used to move, so it’s basically going to be a toe-to-toe battle.”
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