Johannesburg - The much-awaited superfight between Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Conor McGregor has raised expectations among fans, with local experts predicting that Mayweather will be the outright winner.
The extraordinary bout, poised to become the most lucrative contest in boxing history, takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in the US on Saturday – Sunday morning, local time.
Mzansi’s boxing experts are unanimous that Mayweather will come out victorious.
Former World Boxing Council champion Dingaan “The Rose” Thobela said Money would win by knockout.
“The fact that both will be fighting under boxing and not martial arts rules will enable Mayweather to win because he is used to punching,” said Thobela.
“McGregor likes kicking and I don’t see him exerting himself against Mayweather because he will be frustrated.”
He said it might work in McGregor’s favour that the boxers would wear lighter eight-ounce (0.227kg) boxing gloves instead of the usual 10.
“He has made it clear that he would win by knockout if they are permitted to use smaller-sized gloves. But I give the fight to Mayweather.”
African Ring promoter Jeff Ellis agreed: “This is not your normal fight because of the two different styles.
"But I fancy Mayweather to win because of his pedigree. A lot of money will be at stake and this will make the fight a gripping affair.”
World Boxing Federation president Howard Goldberg said:
“If the fight is not fixed, Mayweather will win by knockout. I don’t see McGregor making a mark because he is used to cage fighting and will be in a different ring this time around.”
World-renowned referee Stan Christodoulou said:
“We have a guy who has not been in a professional boxing match before, yet he will be paid millions of dollars to fight a former best pound-for-pound fighter.
“For me, this fight will be meaningless as it will not be a proper boxing match. It will be the same as when Muhammad Ali fought Japanese professional wrestling champion Antonio Inoki at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan arena in 1976.”
Money’s in-ring style is defined by his counter-punching. His ability to slip punches and connect on his way out is unmatched.
He comes out of retirement boasting a perfect record of 49-0 to venture into the square jungle against a foe who has won 21 of his 24 mixed martial arts fights – 18 by way of knockout.
Mayweather has been guaranteed about $200 million (R2.6 billion), while McGregor will reportedly get at least $100 million.
Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, a former victim of Money’s, told Sky Sports this week that McGregor must “rumble” to catch Mayweather.
Pacman questioned McGregor’s ability to land a meaningful punch against Mayweather. While he predicted that the Irishman had little chance of sealing a victory, he admitted that McGregor could “get lucky”.
It will be interesting to see whether Money will live up his top billing – a comparison of their credentials shows that he stands a good chance.
Mayweather was this week quoted by Mail Online as having admitted that he had a genuine dislike for McGregor. He warned the Irishman against trying any backhand moves in their showdown.
The boxer will most likely end it inside the distance considering that he will be fired up to fight against a man who has shown scant regard for him during recent public appearances.