As of late Wednesday evening the massively anticipated mega-fight between unbeaten #Boxing icon #Floyd Mayweather and dual weight UFC world champion Conor McGregor was confirmed. Word broke via twitter with both fighters tweeting a confirmation that the deal had been confirmed. Additionally UFC President #Dana White; who simply tweeted a ‘smiley’ emoji on Twitter as a symbol to fans that the deal had been done, later told ESPN ‘The impossible deal has now been done’.

The deal was agreed that Mayweather and McGregor will meet in a boxing bout at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 26th later this year.

Advertisements
Advertisements

The fighters are billed to contest the bout at 154lbs (70kg) in a boxing rules match contested using 10 ounce gloves. This event represents the first time a boxer will meet an MMA fighter inside the ring in an unprecedented super-fight that has been quoted as having the potential to earn each man upwards of $100m (£78.4m).

How the deal was agreed

This confirmation comes after months of speculation about whether the fight would indeed ever happen dating back as far as last September. Talk erupted after McGregor made the implication of the fight whilst at a UFC press conference in September prior to his UFC 205 win over former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez. From that point on a social media war broke out between Mayweather and McGregor who started going back and forth taunting each other leading to the grounds for an actual fight to be agreed.

Advertisements

These rumours were further compounded in April of this year when the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas was booked out and the date supposedly confirmed as being set for June 10th of this year. A matter of weeks later word then broke stating that this date had been cancelled due to a stall in negotiations. Both UFC president Dana White and Mayweather promotions alleged negotiations had fallen through due to difficulty in agreeing terms originating from the other side.

This news left fight fans wondering if they would ever see the boxing and MMA worlds meet or whether talk of the fight was merely a media circus. Hope for the fight was re-established on May 18th when McGregor, in collaboration with UFC president Dana White, were reported as having signed their side of the contract. Ultimately the onus was left with Mayweather’s side to make the fight happen sparking rumours that Mayweather promotions were stalling.

Boxing and MMA pundits began speculating that Mayweather; whose boxing record remains an unblemished 49-0, was perhaps scared to agree the bout with the hard hitting Irish fighter McGregor.

Advertisements

Talk referred back to Mayweather’s May 2015 fight against Filipino fighter Manny Pacquiao, a fight that took a number of years to come to fruition resulting in rumours that Floyd had been dodging the fight for fear of losing his perfect record.

Once again talk began that perhaps the nearly forty one year old Mayweather was afraid to put his perfect record on the line. Fight analysts had reported that McGregor, a young southpaw fighter, would stylistically offer an awkward match-up for the ageing Mayweather. Talk even began of alternative fights that could be made when boxing promoter Bob Arum told TMZ sports that -‘If Floyd Mayweather doesn't get off his butt and sign the paperwork to fight Conor McGregor, Manny Pacquiao will’ on the 28th of May.

Earlier this week on the 13th of June news broke that the fight was once again on as Mayweather promotions booked the MGM grand arena; the home of boxing in Las Vegas, for the 26th of August later this year. This news provided what seemed to be a final, resounding confirmation that indeed Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor were set to throw down in an experimental mega-fight to eclipse all mega-fights.

Later that day, just hours after the fight booking was confirmed, further developments were released by the fight media stating that Mayweather’s side had retracted the confirmation stating the fight was not to take place on quoted date at the MGM grand. Suddenly once again the fight seemed to be nothing more than a hopeful wish for die-hard fans before a further update was released late on the night of the 14th of June.

Late last night it was finally confirmed to the public that the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor was finally agreed by both sides for August 26th later this year. Both fighters will meet in the squared circle in Las Vegas’ T-Mobile arena - as opposed to the originally booked MGM grand. Now after months of rumours, negotiations, confirmations and retractions, it finally seems once and for all that the fight shall go ahead in what has been described by some as a ‘circus’.

This mega-fight represents an ongoing battle between boxing and rising MMA promotion the UFC, for supremacy in the ownership of the attention and imaginations of millions of viewers around the world. Now it seems that all shall be settled as the boxer; who some describe as the pound for pound best fighter in the world, faces of against the notorious one, Irish born Conor McGregor.

The tale of the tape

Many fight analysts have already attempted to predict how the bout between Mayweather and McGregor will go down, resulting in varied predictions as to how the fight may unfold on August 26th. At first glance at the tale of the tape there isn’t much to split the two fighters. Both are billed as having a similar height – 5’8’’ vs 5’9’’ for Mayweather and McGregor respectively. Additionally both are also billed as having a similar reach – a 72 inch reach for Mayweather vs a 74 inch reach for McGregor.

True enough many of the measurements of the two fighters match up similarly almost across the board suggesting a competitive matchup physically. Despite this there has been some confusion amongst pundits regarding exactly how much McGregor will weigh come fight day. McGregor, regularly competing as either a UFC featherweight weighing in at 145lbs (67kg), or lightweight weighing in at 155lbs (70kg), has even weighed in as heavy as 170lbs (77kg) for his previous UFC 202 fight against Nate Diaz at welterweight.

Additionally some have speculated that McGregor even walks around at a natural weight as high as 175lbs between fights. Sure enough when the time to weigh in comes, McGregor will have to be within the maximum agreed limit of 154lbs for the mega-fight with Mayweather. Despite this there really is no way of knowing exactly how much McGregor will weigh at the time that he steps between the ropes on fight day.

Fighters routinely cut down a lot of weight in short spaces of time for weigh-ins and then quickly put a lot of weight back on between the scales and the time of the fight. Additionally, fighters as of 2016 have been allowed to weigh in earlier in the preceding day prior to the fight - as to allow more time for rehydration; as a safety precaution. Bearing both of these facts in mind it stands to reason that the weight at which both fighters may weigh in, may offer a wildly inaccurate measure of each man’s fighting weight.

For some fight experts this has opened the door to talk that McGregor come fight day, may have a significant weight and power advantage. For Mayweather, a slender lower weight fighter, the maximum weight limit of 154lbs represents the upper limit of all the weights he has fought at. Speculation has begun that if a weight mismatch were to occur, McGregor may pose a genuine threat to Mayweather and his perfect record.

McGregor, a heavy handed lefty renowned for his explosive firepower boasts a 75% knockout ratio with 18 out of all of his 24 fights ending by way of knockout. With a record that speaks for itself alone there would be no doubting the power that the Irishman possesses. More impressive is the fact that in one of his previous bouts McGregor made the jump up two whole weight classes, from featherweight (145lbs) to welterweight (170lbs) and yet still displayed uncompromising power knocking down much larger opponent in Nate Diaz three times!

Diaz, a fighter billed as standing at 6’1’’ who possessed a clear and significant size advantage over McGregor at the time, may also have walked into the octagon with a small weight advantage over McGregor putting into perspective just how much firepower McGregor may possess. The point on McGregor’s freakish power is further compounded considering that Diaz is regarded as one of the toughest fighters on the UFC roster, having only ever lost via knockout once in 31 fights.

The Irishman fighting up two weight classes, against one of the toughest fighters in the UFC, a man clearly larger than himself scored three impressive knockdowns regardless. Fight analysts have used this evidence to provide clear justification for the reasoning that should McGregor land a clean shot on Mayweather who is smaller than McGregor and vastly smaller than Diaz, the fight may be over quickly.

On the flipside, nobody in either camp at this point is disputing the fact that Mayweather, regarded by fans and fighters alike as potentially the greatest defensive boxer of all time, will possess a clear technical advantage. Mayweather, although coming out of retirement for the fight after a 23 month lay-off, maintains a perfect 49-0 record having seen off some of the most technically skilled and physically powerful fighters of the last 20 years.

There is a general consensus among fight analysts that the longer the fight goes on and the more tired McGregor gets, the tide may begin to turn and technical skill may become the deciding factor in the second half of the fight. Some have suggested that McGregor lacks the pre-requisite boxing IQ to be able to trouble a fight genius such as Mayweather. This has led to predictions of a full length fight and inevitably routine Mayweather decision.

The two opposing viewpoints of fight analysts ultimately have predicted the fight as going one of two ways. Either the fight will end via a McGregor knockout, or the fight will go the distance in which case many back Floyd to win comfortably. What pundits have seemed to agree on however is that it seems almost impossible that Mayweather knock McGregor out. Considering Mayweather’s last knockout was in 2011 against Victor Ortiz and amidst rumours of Mayweather suffering with brittle bones in his hands throughout his career, it seems unlikely to analysts that Mayweather would win by knockout.

All in all August 26th is set for an exciting matchup as boxing squares off against MMA, offense squares off against defence and size and strength squares off against skill! The whole world is set to tune in to witness the spectacle in anticipation of a super-fight for the ages.The fight is reported by Forbes magazine as sparking interest enough to potentially eclipse the current pay per view record of 4.6 million purchases, set by Mayweather vs Pacquiao in 2015. Sure enough the result of the fight will change the landscape of combat sports forever!

Huge Implications

August 26th now represents the first coming together of the boxing and MMA worlds. By that alone the fight has huge implications for both boxing and MMA moving forward. For years since the UFC began to pick up real momentum at the dawn of the 21st century, both boxing and MMA have been engaged in a viewer war competing for the attention of combat sports fans. The UFC at the forefront of mixed martial arts, represent the new kid on the block trying to establish MMA in the world of global combat sports alongside the big boys in boxing.

August 26th has the power to forever end the dispute and resolve the differences between boxing and MMA. If the fight is competitive, both Mayweather and McGregor may earn the respect of their advisory and likewise, the boxing and MMA worlds may earn a mutual respect for one another. For fight fans as well as progressive thinking experts who wish to see both sports flourish, a hard fought contest represents both a potentially diplomatic end as well a fight that will live up to all expectations. Whatever the result, August 26th is set a momentous event!