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Mayweather: The “Notorious” Rain Man

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Listening to the rhythm of the speed bag being struck was an experience almost cathartic. It was not unlike the peace that accompanies the sound of falling rain, even as the distant thunder tells us it’s still a storm.

Not long before there was only a hint of grey, but nature dances when it wants to. An age old axiom at play, for what goes up must come down.

It never almost does.

“Money” is still crisp in print. There’s nothing about him in training that looked any different than the last time he occupied the biggest stage. Though still the biggest gym rat untrapped by the most gourmet cheese, this version appears weary from escape, while somewhat leery of an ostentatious cat in the room.

Last week, as I watched Floyd Mayweather sit uncomfortably at times through a rather hilarious guest appearance with Jimmy Kimmel (who walked arch nemesis Manny Pacquiao to the ring on a dreadful May 2), there was finality in body language that couldn’t be filtered.

Wouldn’t be.

Wednesday’s final presser revealed graphic evidence of the same, as a somber and cloudy Mayweather waxed conciliatory and gracious, while seemingly delivering a eulogy for both his “Pretty Boy” and “Money” personas.

Here’s what’s important about that: Both alter egos were absolutely manhandled by the ‘Notorious’ Conor McGregor during the run-up to this Saturday night @T-Mobile Arena. Which means only Floyd Joy Mayweather Jr will face MMA’s ultra confident animal– a man he has promised to confront mano y mano.

I believe him.

Shortly after checking Mayweather on Kimmel, I channel bounced into McGregor on Conan O’Brien, who shot down Floyd’s threat to ‘go out on your face or on your back’, with a very calm retort. “I’m going down in the history books, that’s the only “down” I’m going,” bottom-lined McGregor.

“He says he’s going to come toward me. I’m saying I’m going to come toward him. We’ll find out pretty early who’s telling the truth. So, we’ll see who takes a back foot first. I’m excited for the contest and I will go forward and put him away.”

He believes that.

 

MAYWEATHER VS MCGREGOR: 49-Whoa

The world will always choose convenience over reality. It is so much easier to hate, blame and fear than it is to understand. No one really wants the truth; they want entertainment. So I’ll try to give you both.

This fight, to me, is like a 40 year-old Sugar Ray Leonard (the one who got “spanked” by the late Hector Camacho) vs Jake LaMotta (not the real one, Robert DeNiro’s LaMotta). In perhaps a better comparative, it’s Sugar Ray Robinson at 40, facing a young and scientifically trained John L. Sullivan. In either case, it’s real sugar against an artificial sweetener.

What you need to know, more than anything else, is that Floyd can’t really win this fight in any way. He has absolutely everything to lose in defeat.

Mayweather should turn McGregor into a limited edition McDonald’s sandwich. At the very worst, he makes very expensive ramen noodles out of him. Floyd is the most perfect technical fighter I’ve ever seen in my life, but something tells me that Mac is about to make cheese out of him.

Just four short years ago, McGregor was cashing a $221 welfare check and totally supported by a woman, Dee Devlin, who loves him. Believes in HIM. That matters. All he’s done is reward her for that belief. It is amazing what love can do.

The extreme and unusual will that this man possesses, evens out the vast talent difference from a ring perspective. It will be a fight fought at a torrid pace– not unlike Mayweather’s intense war with Ricky Hatton. Speaking of that fight, Floyd explained to me during a media call that he wore 10oz gloves for Hatton and stopped him in 10.

What he did not want to discuss, is that he himself was 29 and the fight was fought at 147 in December 2007. The 10oz gloves were a concession for Hatton, who was contractually forced to fight Floyd beyond his natural 140lbs.

So Conor, bigger and stronger and just as crude as Marcos Maidana (and not giving a damn about making weight at 154); gets to strike and pound with 8oz gloves. He will care nothing for aesthetics or any type of boxing etiquette, while still approaching Floyd like he’s in an octagon.

Mayweather typically likes to clinch, but against McGregor, it’s a decided disadvantage, because it will allow Conor to manipulate Floyd physically and abuse him. I think Floyd will face more physical jeopardy in this fight than Pacquiao faced against Jeff Horn.

What can save Mayweather is his Rain Man-like ability to see things slight and expose them. McGregor’s face- particularly the area around his eyes and forehead, should bust up from Floyd’s laser sharp punches.

The body of McGregor should also present target practice for Floyd’s underrated inside game, but I just don’t think he has the physical strength to deal with what should be a 172lb man of iron and conviction on fight night.

Call it karma or a sign of the apocalypse; but I expect an impassioned Notorious to shock the sports world and Las Vegas itself, by ending boxing’s most notorious unbeaten streak at 49. For boxing’s sake I hope I’m wrong, but look for Conor McGregor to brute strength his way into an ugly, foul-infested 8th round TKO of Floyd Mayweather.

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