LAS VEGAS – When Floyd “Money” Mayweather and the “Notorious” Conor McGregor square off at T-Mobile Arena, we’ll see the classic match of youth versus experience, power against skill.
Which will win, the precise, pin-point punching of the pugilist or the dynamic knockout power of the MMA fighter? Thirteen Action News went to One Kick’s gym and City Boxing to get the experts to weigh in.
Stephan Bonnar is a UFC hall-of-famer. His allegiance is with McGegor. “My heart’s with MMA. I love the underdog. I love seeing an upset, so yeah, I’m rooting for Conor,” Bonnar said. “McGregor is in the prime of his life. Physically, he’s the fastest, strongest he’ll ever be, his chin’s the best it’ll ever be.”
“Conventional wisdom says a fighter always has a chance,” said Dewey Cooper, a former world-champion kickboxer. “I tell you, no way Jose!” His money is on the man nicknamed money. “Twenty-one years untarnished, undamaged, unblemished champion many weight classes.”
Mayweather is one of the best boxer’s of all time, never losing any of his 49 bouts.
McGregor is one of the world’s top mixed-martial artists with 22 wins and three losses, all in the octagon.
“If you put a boxer and an MMA guy in a boxing ring and make it straight boxing, you’ll see those advantages go to the boxer,” Cooper said.
“In a boxing ring, you’re only option is to use your hands. That takes out a lot of options,” Bonnar said.
Mayweather has skill and decades of boxing knowledge on his side. He’s also 40 years old, ancient in the fight game. McGregor, at 28, is younger and bigger.
Armin Van Damme, who owns the city boxing gym, said if McGregor has any hope of beating the boxer who has seen it all, he has to be unpredictable. “If he come out swinging, he’s got a tough fight on his hands,” Van Damme said. “McGregor needs to confuse his with his style, with his movement.”
All the experts 13 Action News spoke with said McGregor is very tough guy, but he has never been hit with the speed and ferocity of a boxer’s punches.
We asked if this fight the fight of the century or the hype of the century. They compared it to a three-ring circus. But they’re all going to watch.