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ABSLOTS August 24, 2017

Mayweather’s defence will definitely give his opponent a run for his money. While boxing newbie McGregor s machismo is only equalled by his unshakable drive. Two greats meet in the ring and the world is in for a historical matchup that could redefine combat sports.

The bets are wrestling in the money ring as the Floyd Money Mayweather vs Conor The Notorious McGregor staredowns grow in intensity prior to the Saturday night spectacle on The Strip s T-Mobile Arena.

The Megafight: Is It About the Pay-per-views or the Pure Fighting Urge?

So far, everything went according to script. The trash talk, the media hype, the drama of two champions rising to fame “Rocky” style from the poor suburbs of New Jersey and, respectively, Dublin.

The final bout between these slumdog millionaires who’ve carved themselves a path through the grime with their fists reads either as a money-spinning, masterful stroke of PR or an inevitable clash of the titans that’s been on the cards for longer than necessary.

I’d place my bet on the former. The most flamboyant, richest men throwing punches for money happen to face each other in a crossover? It’s as probable as the far-off plot of Batman v Superman.

However, given the fan(atic) investment in the pre-match PR theatrics, the Man of Steel Resolution (who else but McGregor) and the heavy-weight Dark Knight boasting that nice, blingy Money Belt girdling his waist (wink, nudge, of course we’re talking Mayweather here) should better put overkill showmanship aside and share some authentic backfists and knee-buckling blows.

Which of these household names is favourite in the bookies’ saloons? And whom should your wallet root for? This is not a lightweight decision, especially since the very survival of the smaller betting shops seems to hang on the outcome of this Saturday’s brawl.

The Odds on the Mayweather-McGregor Match Have Not Changed. Only the Bets

In Nevada, a knockout defeat of Mayweather in the first four rounds could cause a financial crash for Nevada’s sports books.

Apparently, 6,500 punters have placed their bets on McGregor at the MGM Resorts properties with only 300 tickets spelling Mayweather’s name.

The Notorious has been playing the underdog role so expertly that he succedeed - only through verbal jousts so far- to convince bettors to defy the odds and the rules.

Sports books say that traditionally about 90% of gamblers start pouring in the last 36 hours prior to the match. But the gambling establishments have been in consistent and heightened activity for the last two months now, a floury of wagers usually reserved for presidential elections or World Cups.

An Irishman on the Shores of the American Dream

The market has been buying big time into McGregor’s vocal self-confidence, especially with the recent announcement that the NAC has approved lighter, 8oz gloves for the UFC flag-bearer.

But what is the source of McGregor’s extremely convincing cockiness? Undoubtedly, Ireland’s native son is both a quote machine and a Terminator of will in the MMA world.

He may launch a witty joke about his “Bruce Lee shit” poses at the final pre-fight news conference, but he’s at the heights of mixed martial arts at the moment.

Almost a decade has passed since Conor McGregor first entered the MMA Octagon, and his ride to the peak is worth remembering, now more than ever.

Trading Muhammad Ali for Bruce Lee

Bare-knuckle boxing is not entirely terra incognita for McGregor. Before he got a taste for MMA’s grappling-based techniques in Dublin’s Straight Blast Gym, 12-year old Notorious was kicking the bags in the Crumlin Boxing Club.

Any combat sport that kept him off school or off a monotonous career as a plumber (as his father would have wanted) would have done the trick, but it soon became apparent that McGregor’s shorter stature and fast and furious reflexes fell in line better with MMA’s ground-and-pounds and clinch-fighting.

The Secret? “You Become What You Think About Most”

And what thoughts did Conor twist and turn in his head as he was ascending through the ranks, headlining historical fights, his committed gaze staring into the hearts of millions of young fans from the glitzy posters on the wall?

The Secret, a self-help book written by Rhonda Bryne, has been consistenly hailed as a main source of inspiration for Dublin’s hero.

The writer posits that optimism and positive thinking can catapult anyone to the top. Conor, by his own admission, says that he has taken the lesson to heart and up into the ring.

To that extent, the champion’s prefight verbal shenanigans can be interpreted as the “I can do this” speech each one of us has in the mirror before a crucial life event.

Confidence has always been a key element to McGregor’s persona, at times intimidating to his adversaries and at times infuriating to older-generation Irishmen who’d rather boast a humbler sportsman as national treasure than a puffed-up, mink-laden Twitter fashionista.

McGregor’s Love for Mayweather

One enduring dream that McGregor couldn’t put a pin on till recently was a “date in the ring” with childhood icon Floyd Mayweather.

Now that’s on the table and McGregor can’t fit in his mitts for happiness. Wait, now that they’re two sizes smaller, yes, he can!

49-0 Floyd Mayweather Packs a Fair Punch

40 year-old Floyd Mayweather was born to be a boxer. He was continuing a family tradition, and even his grandmother pushed him into the ring to carry on his father’s fighting legacy.

Thousands of punches and vicious brawls later, as well as multiple financial records (including the highest-grossing, single-day sporting event ever, aka Mayweather vs. Pacquiao 2015 fight) and 49 consecutive victories spanning a 20 year old career, Mayweather shakes off his retirement rust to beat Rocky Marciano’s all-time 49-0 record by defeating a braggy Irishman in a $600 million PR gimmick.

Bread and circuses, folks, come up for the bread and circuses!

Mayweather vs McGregor: Two Combat Styles Clashing

How Floyd Jr. Weathers the Incoming Irish Storm

Floyd Mayweather can run a marathon in the ring. A natural born sprinter, the former five-weight boxing world champion’s endurance and lightbolt punches draw constant sighs of admiration from the sport’s purists and boxing technicians who have lived through Muhammad Ali’s Marvin the Martian feather-like footwork.

Imagine the precision of a sting of a bee combined with the evasions techniques of a flash-fast butterfly, and you’re right on the Money in the Mayweather equation.

  • Out of 49 consecutive victories, Mayweather scored 26 knockouts.
  • Mayweather’s forte is his chameleonic boxing style. He can improvise a jab “on the go” based on his opponent’s technique.
  • “The Money” is a welterweight: 150lb, or 69kg. He stands 5ft 8in tall.
  • According to Forbes, Mayweather's net worth is around $340million.
  • Following Saturday’s bout, Floyd Mayweather will cash in the big bucks, somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 million, adding more ka-ching glow to his nickname and, hopefully, getting square with the IRS.

Them’s Fighting Words Better Have a Fist To Lean On

Conor McGregor, the UFC champion challenger, knows how to strut in the ring. He owns the dignified and elegant pose of an Irishman fighting the good fight against its multitudes of enemies- or simply, the Brits.

McGregor can certainly raise the level of boastfulness (and the crowd) by cultivating his own cult of personality. He’s a master at landing verbal little jabs in the direction of his adversaries, causing a pre-game fan stir and awakening that ancient Irish pride to call.

  • 29-year old Notorious can parade some 21 MMA wins and 18 knockouts so far. That’s not bad, out of a total of 24 fights.  
  • McGregor’s groundbreaking record happened in 2015 when he needed no more than 13 seconds to knock out Jose Aldo.
  • McGregor could have an ace up his sleeve: the self-proclaimed Celtic Tiger is a southpaw with a notoriously heavy left hand.
  • According to Forbes, the UFC fighter’s net worth stands at $34 million.
  • In the end, the final check will be determined by the pay-per-view buys, but Conor McGregor is said to walk home with at least $150 million, if not his pride intact.

Higher Stakes Than Money: Boxing vs MMA

Beyond the eight-zero figure that will make a whole lot of people with vested interest filthy rich following the game, the stakes are actually higher than the money.

Why is the best boxer of his generation polishing his mitts to face a self-aggrandizing MMA champion in a Las Vegas 12-round combat? After all, Mayweather and McGregor are both brilliant but in two very different sporting codes.

For years, commentators have complained about how boxing is losing relevance to younger, more millennial sports like mixed martial arts.

Revenues and pay-per-views seem to indicate that the public’s appetite has indeed shifted a few degrees south of the waist, where MMA fighters can throw a ballerina kick to wow the audience.

On the surface, the interspecies matchup on Saturday is mostly about the obscene cash windfall that the hype and bets will generate.

But it also speaks of a battle more ancient than a titanic clash of egos between Mayweather vs. McGregor. And that’s the KO of a generational sport whose historical scope was to even out incompatibilities of class, race, and social background and deliver poetic justice through a rightful, well-aimed punch.

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