Well, it’s happening.
Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor will square off in a boxing match Aug. 26 in Las Vegas.
That’s really all you need to know.
“Just like Mayweather/Pacquiao, which had a five-and-a-half-year buildup, this fight also does not need to be sold,” CBS Sports boxing and MMA writer Brian Campbell said on CBS Sports Radio’s Reiter Than You. “It’s the No. 1 attraction in all of combat sports: Conor McGregor going up against the retired No. 1 attraction, the man who broke all of the Pay-Per-View records. That alone, the carnival aspect alone, will have people willingly opening up their wallets. My question to the hardcore fans is, is this a good thing? That’s really the question.”
Unfortunately for McGregor fans – and Mayweather haters – the 28-year-old Irishman is a heavy underdog. Mayweather is a -1,100 favorite at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, while McGregor is paying +700.
What would have to happen for McGregor to win?
“A lot would have to happen,” Campbell said. “He’s really, in theory, out of his element here. Now look, McGregor is an excellent boxer for a mixed martial artist. He has an incredibly quick left hand. Some people believed through the years that southpaws have given Floyd trouble, although that’s been more of a myth than a reality. He’s going to have a puncher’s chance like anyone else who steps in the ring with Floyd. He was very strong at 145, knocking people out. That power carried up with him with the small four-ounce gloves at 155 in MMA. But boxing is 10-ounce gloves. It is a different ballgame. And when you break down the technical nature, outside of one winning shot, he really has no chance. That is the reality.”
McGregor (21-3) is the first UFC fighter to simultaneously hold titles in multiple divisions. He’s one of the best and most popular UFC fighters in the world.
Unfortunately, he’s making his boxing debut against Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs), who is widely considered one of the greatest boxers of all-time.
“You are getting into this, if you are excited, for the carnival and circus that I mentioned,” Campbell said. “McGregor is the best trash-talker combat sports has seen since Muhammad Ali. I say that with no hesitation for as large of a statement as that is. Mayweather might be the second-best. We know the build-up will be great. But in the ring, unless you’re expecting Conor McGregor to get disqualified and take Floyd down or hit him with a spinning-wheel kick, this is going to be like the boring side of a lot of Floyd Mayweather fights: minimized risk down to the bare bones. The winners here are going to be the two fighters’ checkbooks and everybody associated with it who can gain money from it. There’s really not an argument I can give you (for McGregor).”
But what about Mayweather being 40? Or not having fought since September 2015?
“Floyd’s ring rust is not a Floyd thing,” Campbell said. “He is an all-time great for many reasons. One of those is he can be out for one to two years and come back looking like a million bucks.”