The Truth Behind the "The Money Fight" - Mayweather v McGregor
With the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight all set, I see more and more people creating scenarios in their own minds and the public eye on how Conor can win this fight. The people doing this are the same people who really don’t understand the science of boxing, are only MMA enthusiasts, or are just simply hoping for a shot in the dark so they can say “I told you so.” Now I ask you this. If you have to create these long shot scenarios to justify 1 or 2 ways for Conor to win this fight, would it be safe to say that is a major red flag? We can all align our minds to believe anything and the media can master manipulate many of us to believe in miracles, but at the end of the day there is a method behind the media machines madness. This is a business, and promotions understand that if they can’t bait your mind into an amazing story line, then no one will buy the fight. Everyone loves an underdog story, and let’s face it, we have all participated in viewing Mayweather fights just to see if someone was able to nail down his blueprint. However, in 49 fights the top boxers in the world have failed horribly outside of a very small few. I am not here to take wind out of your sails, but I will always be realistic in my approach with my delivery of what I feel is proper knowledge in any combat sports arena. There are realists and there are dreamers, and just because someone is an analyst doesn’t mean that they don’t have the love for the underdog story within them. We are all human in nature and we all have that fabric within us to look over the wall creating avenues that will feed our belief in the miraculous outcome. With that said, I feel that this article will at least prepare you for the inevitable. The power of media is strong and packaging is everything, but sometimes you open that package and it just wasn’t what you were sold. So if anything else it will help you raise an eyebrow to not being sucked into the brain food of what the media machine is trying to feed you.
If you watch film on Conor in the MMA Arena, I think it’s safe to say that his stand up skills are extremely polished, sharp, and well calculated. His left hand is extremely dangerous and his overall hand speed allows him to get to his spots before his opponents for the most part. One thing you all have to remember is that in MMA you are not just engaging in a stand up war. An opponent has to be wary of punches, kicks, and the possibility of being taken down. Therefore, in the grand scheme of it all you are preparing to defend a multitude of attacks and can’t focus just on hands. In turn this will obviously allow much more openings and opportunities in one department. Take juggling for instance. I can flip a baseball up and down in my hand while talking to someone without too much concentration or concern in dropping it. Now if I were juggling 3 baseballs I would need to concentrate much harder to make sure I don’t drop any of the balls in the process. In MMA you are juggling balls where in boxing you are flipping a single ball. My point is that in MMA you are compromising your defense in one category to protect yourself in others, giving your percentage of punches landed a far greater success rate. In Boxing it is all about hands and footwork creating your angles to land those punches in the safest spots possible without getting countered. In MMA if you are getting picked apart on your feet you have options to either keep a fighter at range with leg kicks or you can take it to the ground to possibly gain an edge there. In boxing there is no other outlet, and if you are eating leather on your feet, you have nowhere to run or no other outlet to fall back on. You need to make adjustments in that department to find success, and doing that on the fly against any boxer coming from the MMA arena isn’t an easy task never mind with Floyd. Boxing is a much more strategic sport and there truly is a science behind it. They don’t call it the sweet science for nothing.
If Conor was fighting a boxer that had a very brawling type style, then we can absolutely sit here and say, “Hey you never know. Fighter A may just walk into that left hand” The problem here is we are not talking about fighter A. We are talking about Floyd Mayweather Jr. who started throwing his first punches at the age of 4. He comes from a bloodline that was born for fighting. The lineage that this man comes from knows only one thing and that is the science of the squared circle. He mastered the form of defensive boxing like no fighter has ever been able to do in the history of this sport. Now, I am not sitting here saying that Floyd is the best of all time because he isn’t on my list, but what I am saying is that he is the greatest “Defensive” fighter that we have ever come across. His ability to make adjustments and figure any style out is on a level that most of us can’t even comprehend. Everyone he fights is playing checkers while he is playing a game of high-level chess. Floyd watches you for about 2 or 3 rounds and within this time frame a fighter may even look promising. What people fail to understand is that for those rounds he is just computing in his mind your every move, pattern, and tendency until he hits enter on the keyboard and your code is written. Once he figures you out your chapter is closed and I can assure you that whatever adjustment you try to make after that he will just figure you out again 1 round later. Floyd will never wow you in the ring with his offensive output which sometimes leads to a boring fight, but if you are a purist of the sport like I am you will see beauty in the art that he creates from a defensive standpoint.
From a statistical standpoint let us look at some numbers that may bring things into some clearer water for you. Mayweather mastered what we today call “The Shoulder Roll” and at times we look at this like a show boat type stance, but the success rate of this technique is jaw dropping. There were studies done to show that when Mayweather activates his Shoulder Roll he takes away 50% of his target in 1/10 of a second, helping him become 40% less hit than the professional boxing average, leaving fighters at an astounding 19% success rate with their punches against him. When he is not shoulder rolling his way out of trouble, Mayweather has the ability to avoid punches by moving away with his body and head. Now you are probably saying, “Ok what if he is caught by one of Conors punches when his hands are down”? Well, let’s just say when Floyd is hit using this technique his movement cuts the impact of the punch by up to 60% due to its deceleration phase of the actual movement. I want you all to think about this for a second and really absorb what I am trying to say. In 387 rounds of fighting the highest level boxers in the world, Floyd has been only put to a knee officially one time against Carlos Hernandez in 2001 when he took a knee due to injuring his hand and not by an actual blow. So when you look at the overall big picture here, if so many fighters that trained their entire lives in this craft of boxing couldn’t draw the proper blueprint, couldn’t solve his riddle, and in some cases couldn’t even land a glove on this man. What makes you honestly believe a man with no true professional boxing credentials is going to be the knight in shining armor to unlock the code? This is not me being bias one way or the other, this is just common sense and pure facts. If this were an MMA then we would be having the same exact conversation in the honor of Conor. However, this is boxing and this is Floyd’s world. If you are still not swayed away from your possible Conor prediction, then you are just living in denial and buying into exactly what the media is trying to sell you. The build up will be absolutely amazing and Conor will probably win every presser in the trash talking arena, but once it hits the ring Floyd switches on his mental computer and Conor’s code will be written by the 3rd round. Floyd will find his comfort zone more and more every round after that and the fight will become lopsided and boring. You will then hear Conor say what every other fighter says after the fight. “He was much faster than I thought, much more slippery than I thought, and I couldn’t quite get a glove on him.” It will be the same tale told as the other 49 fights.
I will be posting more detailed articles leading up to this fight. Until then, enjoy the press conferences, as they should be epic and possibly more exciting then the fight itself.
Michael is the Combat Sports Director providing MMA DFS content at GuruElite.com
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