On Saturday, August 26, Floyd Mayweather Jr. will attempt to do something he hasn't successfully done in a boxing ring since September of 2011...stop an opponent within the distance.
When Money May faces Conor McGregor this weekend at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, the undefeated fighting enigma doesn't think he's going to win by knock-out, he knows he will.
"I'm coming straight, and I'm pretty sure he's coming straight," Floyd Jr. told Rolling Stone Magazine at the final press conference for the big Mayweather/McGregor event on August 26.
"I'm gonna win. It won't go the distance. I guarantee it. I believe in myself so much...100% chance that it won't go the distance. We're going to come out there from the opening bell and drop bombs."
Although most interested fight fans who have become familiar with Mayweather's no risk style of boxing exhibited throughout the final stage of his future Hall of Fame career find this statement to be a little difficult to fathom, here's why Money May is being truthful and telling the millions who will watch Saturday night's showdown exactly what he will do in the squared circle opposite Conor McGregor.
Historically, when faced with fast, strong counter-punching southpaws in the ring, Floyd has indeed adopted the "ear muff" defensive posture and marched forward to set up hard combinations to the body and head.
In April of 2006, Floyd tested his mettle against slick southpaw champion Zab "Super" Judah at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Although Mayweather began the contest fighting out of his now famous "roll/counter" posture, he quickly realized that his customary defensive stance isn't as effective against a left handed fighter.
(Floyd vs Conor prediction: Elite trainer issues warnings)
Because the success of the "roll/counter" technique is largely contingent on the ability to lean away from an opponent's power hand, the posture is ultimately rendered ineffective because of the tendency to lean in the direct line of fire of a left handed fighter. And when facing a skilled counter puncher with great reflexes and hand-speed like the aforementioned Judah, it becomes even less effective.
Mayweather vs McGregor
Date: Saturday, August 26
Venue: T-Mobile Arena
Location: Las Vegas
Division: Jr Middleweight (154 lb limit)
So after round four of the controversial 2006 PPV main event, Floyd began adopting a more conventional defensive stance and started to successfully walk his opponent down, applying intelligent mental and physical pressure while breaking Zab down to the body and head.
Against a left handed fighter with speed, power and quick reflexes like McGregor, Floyd will indeed implement a more conventional ear-muff defensive stance and move forward, looking to land single shots to the body and head of his abrasive Irish opponent.
But will Floyd be successful against an extremely unorthodox fighter like Conor McGregor?
(Floyd vs Conor prediction: A body shot KO)
All 35 years of Floyd's fighting experience as an amateur and a professional tell him that he will indeed stop the UFC two-division champion before the final bell sounds.
“I’ve been hearing plenty of times, guys say, ‘I’m going to go to the body on Mayweather, I’m going to hit him with the right hand, I’m going to hit him with the left hook,’” Mayweather said at yesterday's final press conference. “After 21 years, I’ve been hit with everything and I’m still right here."
“Last I checked, no one is walking me down. It’s called having smarts. It’s called having an IQ...it’s called having patience. And from day one, everything that my dad taught me, from day one, I still know to this day. Every combination that was taught to me, I know. Anything in boxing that can be done, I’ve done it. Not just once, not just twice, a thousand times.”
The best defensive fighter of our generation has spoken.