Two stars of their respective sports – two very different predictions.
And it didn't taken long for personalities from the worlds of boxing and professional MMA to weigh in with their opinions, with three-time super-middleweight world champion Carl Froch and UFC featherweight Artem Lobov just two famous fighters to have had their say.
Perhaps unsurprisingly for a former boxer, Froch has rubbished McGregor’s chances of winning the fight, declaring the contest to be “a bit of a pantomime” and insisting the Irishman was “not a very good boxer”.
“It’s a very entertaining fight and it’s certainly one I’ll be watching - but it’s a bit of a pantomime,” Froch said on talkSPORT.
“This is a boxing match and Floyd Mayweather is really hard to hit. Although McGregor likes to stand and fight compared to other UFC fighters, he’s not a very good boxer.
“Mayweather makes very good boxers look ordinary and he beats all of them, that’s what he does.
“There’s no way Conor McGregor can stand in front of Mayweather and out-box him and beat him punch-for-punch – it just can’t happen.”
Froch did admit that Mayweather’s age and inactivity could work against him and even suggested that the undefeated American would be beaten if he returned to the ring against a “top-boxer”. But in Froch’s opinion, Mayweather will see McGregor as a “low-risk opponent”.
“Mayweather has been out of the ring for two years and he might just get caught – McGregor can punch a bit,” Froch added.
“But if you’re going to put money on it, you’re sticking it on Mayweather to beat him easy, either on points or by stoppage. Mayweather is more than capable of doing that to someone who is a basic novice – let’s not forget, McGregor is a novice boxer.
“Mayweather is probably thinking to himself, ‘I’ve been out for two years and I won’t get back into a ring against a top boxer, because I know I wouldn’t have much of a chance’.
“It’s too hard after just a year out. My coach Rob McCracken told me that once you’ve had a year out, forget about it. We all know that if it makes money, it makes sense, as far as Mayweather is concerned. This is a very low-risk fight for him.”
But McGregor’s sparring partner at Straight Blast Gym Ireland, the UFC featherweight Lobov, disagrees with Froch’s assessment, instead insisting that the American would be stunned by his opponent’s superior strength and reach.
“Just look at all the stats - Floyd hasn't faced anyone significant for a few years now,” Lobov told Reuters. “When he fought Manny Pacquaio it was five years after Manny's prime, he was on the way out basically. Conor is bigger, stronger, younger, and has a longer reach.”
Lobov also said that McGregor's broader fighting skill set would give him a big advantage over the 42-year-old Mayweather, who is renowned as a brilliant defensive boxer.
“If you look at Mayweather's fights he often likes to get into the clinch, but what is a boxer in a clinch against a wrestler, an MMA fighter? Boxers are absolute novices in the clinch,” he added.
“Get a boxer and get him wrestling for a minute or two - the arms get so heavy, filled with blood, they can't even hold them up any more, they can't box.”
Lobov says he understands why Mayweather, who held world championships in multiple weight classes before retiring in September 2015, wants to take on what could be a risky fight.
“You have to give Floyd respect - he loves to compete, he sees this young lion coming up, everyone is talking about Conor and saying he's potentially a man that could beat Floyd, also wants to prove the world wrong.
“That is what makes this fight so interesting - Floyd is undefeated, Conor is young, he's the best MMA fighter ever. That's what makes it a great fight.”
Having witnessed McGregor's power first hand, Lobov is in no doubt that Mayweather's proud undefeated record is about to come to an abrupt end at the T-Mobile Arena on August 26.
“When Conor connects, people fall and they don't wake up. That's why I believe Conor will stop him within six rounds.”
Additional reporting by Reuters.
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