Mayweather may have not known much if anything about McGregor leading into the creation of their crossover boxing match, but he sure knows about him now. McGregor, who is known for playing mind games with his opponents, has treated “Money” no differently.
Of course, it’s going to be difficult to get inside the 49-0 boxing legend’s head, as Mayweather has seen it all when it comes to trash talk and mind games in the world of boxing. But in addition to the countless who believe Mayweather will win their fight with no difficulty, there are several out there in combat sports who are whispering that it’s actually “The Notorious” who is inspiring a sliver of doubt in the 40-year-old Mayweather.
Lets take a look at the ways “Notorious” has Mayweather shook by focusing on the moments that gave the boxing great pause…
5. McGregor Going After After Showtime Exec Steven Espinoza
Boxing is a sport of tradition and oftentimes respect, both of which McGregor has openly mocked since the beginning of the press tour.
When McGregor set his sights on Showtime executive Steven Espinoza, it might not have scared Mayweather outright, but must have given him pause.
If McGregor is crazy enough to literally bite and mock the hand that feeds, what else is he willing to do? Will he mock the rules that Mayweather has imposed and throw an elbow? Maybe a head kick?
The unpredictable and mercurial nature of the UFC’s biggest star is certainly a selling point here, but could lead to disastrous results if he decides to take it further during the match itself.
McGregor always appears unhinged while on stage, which could leave Mayweather wondering just what this crazy Irishman is capable of when the two finally throw down.
4. McGregor’s Size, Reach, And Southpaw Stance
Everyone knows that Mayweather has very few weaknesses in the boxing ring, as he almost never takes any damage and always wins.
But if there’s any knock on “Money,” it’s probably that he has struggled most with southpaw fighters, which is exactly what McGregor is.
Combine that with McGregor’s noticeable size difference over Mayweather and the fact that “Money” never really fought at super welterweight in the past, gives this match a sense of unpredictability that could give Mayweather reasons to downplay his advantages in the press, which he’s done since the minute the fight was signed.
Does he actually believe in this or is he simply adding intrigue? We won’t know until August 26, but these are certainly reasons to keep Mayweather up at night.
3. McGregor’s 13-Second Knockout Of Jose Aldo
Longtime UFC featherweight champion Aldo may not have been considered as legendary or untouchable as Mayweather, but prior to UFC 194, he was the best featherweight of all-time.
That all came to a halt when McGregor ended Aldo’s legendary run in 13 seconds with a punch that is perfectly legal in a boxing match. With that single strike, McGregor sent the dominant reign of the only 145-pound in octagon history champion crashing down, and with one punch, no less.
That’s some serious knockout power, and it could just be the kind of power we’ve never seen Mayweather possess.
Mayweather and his team have most likely reviewed McGregor’s fight tape, and the Aldo fight should give him a reason to take McGregor seriously.
2. McGregor Is 12 Years His Junior
The age difference is enough to give Mayweather pause alone. Those 12 years are more like two decades in fighting years.
That’s more years of punishment on the body and mind, and even though Mayweather has taken little damage in the ring, given McGregor’s young age and limited years fighting, he’s naturally taken less damage and will come into the bout as the fresher, younger fighter.
Mayweather has been on top of the boxing world for a long time, but everyone eventually loses if they roll the dice to often.
Will this be that time for Mayweather? I’m sure it’s crossed his mind in the buildup to this fight.
1. Mayweather Hasn’t Fought In Two Years
Mayweather retired after notching a 49th victory over Andre Berto in 2015, meaning he hasn’t thrown a punch let along seriously trained in over two years.
In those two years since Mayweather retired, McGregor has taken the fight world by storm, winning an unprecedented two titles in the UFC and notching some of the most impressive performances in the sports history.
So you have a man who has been happily retired for two years, battling an opponent who has been tirelessly climbing the ladder of MMA greatness in his absence. In fact, McGregor won both his belts and has essentially come into his prime in Mayweather’s absence from combat sports.
You have a younger, fresher fighter against an older legend who’s coming out of a two-year retirement. It’s a big difference, and this must have crossed Mayweather’s mind.
Of course only time will tell, and on August 26 we can finally end the speculation and come to terms with whomever comes out on top. Do you think McGregor has a legitimate chance at being that man, and if he does, will it be because of the psychological warfare he’s waged onto Mayweather?