Almost every media outlet is describing this fight as boxing vs MMA. In my opinion, this isn’t boxing vs. MMA. This is just a boxing match against two competitors. But within that boxing match, there are so many questions to answer and layers to uncover. To me, that “unknown” is what makes this fight interesting.
Orthodox vs Southpaw
Most coaches and analysts will say that when an orthodox fighter fights a south paw, the orthodox fighter’s best weapon is his straight right hand between the guard of his opponent. The same is true for the southpaw, except it is the left hand of the southpaw. Mayweather is an orthodox fighter and McGregor is a southpaw. We can expect Mayweather to try and land his straight right and McGregor to try and land his straight left.
Floyd Mayweather’s Straight Right
One of Floyd’s best punches is his straight right. Lee Wylie put together a great video about Mayweather’s straight right. You can watch it here:
Floyd usually uses his straight right punch as a counter. He will use a technique called a Pull-Counter. This is a technique where you bait your opponent into throwing a punch, evade the punch by “pulling” your head back, and then throwing your own “counter” punch.
Can Floyd use his straight right to hit Conor?
Conor McGregor’s Straight Left
Conor’s left hand is his best punch. Coincidentally, Conor also utilizes a pull-counter technique to throw his left hand. TheMMAnalyst posted a great breakdown McGregor’s straight left.
In this video, you can see how Conor baits former UFC Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez to throw a punch, slips it, and then counters with a left hand over the top.
Even though Floyd and Conor both utilize a pull-counter, Conor sets it up differently. Conor likes to come forward and pressure his opponents. This pressure causes his opponents to react and throw punches to stop Conor from advancing. But as we’ve seen, that’s exactly what Conor wants. He wants his opponents to throw punches so he can counter them. In the Nate Diaz fight, Conor is constantly moving forward and pressuring Nate. Conor waits for Nate to throw his jab and then counters over the top.
Conor also uses his right hand to paw at his opponents lead hand as a tactic. Take a look a look at the Eddie Alvarez video again. You can see Conor constantly pawing at Eddie’s lead hand. This forces Alvarez to be a one-handed fighter. Conor is forcing Eddie to throw his right hand and is just waiting for it. The moment Eddie throws his right hand, Conor slips it, throws over the top and catches Eddie.
Can Conor catch Floyd with his left hand?
MMA striking distance is different than boxing striking distance. MMA fighters usually fight further away from each other because of the added threats of kicks and takedowns. Boxers only have to worry about punches, therefore they are accustomed to fighting closer together.
In the early rounds, Conor has a big advantage here. Coming from MMA, Conor has learned how to close distance from further out to get into punching range. There will be times when Floyd will think he is out of striking distance but will still be in range of Conor’s attacks. Conor has to capitalize on these moments. He has to catch Floyd off guard and land something significant. But as the fight goes on, Floyd will adjust to Conor’s distance and take away Conor’s advantage.
How long will it take for Floyd to adjust? Will it be too late when he does?
We all know what we’re going to get with Floyd Mayweather. Mayweather will be patient, adjust to McGregor, and slowly impose his will. We don’t know what Conor will do and that’s his greatest advantage. If Conor can force Mayweather into unfamiliar situations and capitalize, we might be in store for a crazy night.
NOW CHECK OUT FRIDAY’S NEWS UPDATE: THE FS1 CREW MAKE THEIR PREDICTIONS FOR MAYWEATHER VS. MCGREGOR, DE RANDAMIE OUT OF UFC FN 115, MAYWEATHER & MCGREGOR WEIGH-INS, DANA WHITE REFUSES TO COMMIT TO LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE FIGHT