Just about anyone who knows anything about boxing believes Floyd Mayweather will dominate Conor McGregor when the undefeated former five-weight boxing champion takes on the former two-weight UFC champion in the boxing ring on August 26 in Las Vegas.
“He’s a lot younger. When you look at myself and Conor McGregor on paper, he’s taller, has a longer reach, he’s a bigger man from top to bottom. He’s a lot younger, so youth is on his side,” Mayweather said of the 29-year-old in an interview with ESPN. “And I’ve been off a couple of years. And I’m in my 40s. So, if you look at everything on paper, it leans toward Conor McGregor.”
In May, Mayweather cited age as a reason not to dismiss McGregor.
“I’m a lot older and he’s still in his twenties and I’m in my forties now,” the boxer said back then. “So that could play a major key, we don’t know. And he’s a heavy hitter. … Does he have a good chance of upsetting Floyd Mayweather? I can’t say, but anything can happen in the sport of boxing.”
These words are a departure for Mayweather, known as much for his self-confidence as his defensive mastery in the ring.
“I’m older,” Mayweather said when asked why he’s changed his tune.
“I’m not the same fighter I was two years ago. I’m not the same fighter I was five years ago. I lost a step,” he said. “A fighter like Andre Berto isn’t even supposed to go the distance with Floyd Mayweather, but remember, I was 38. It’s obvious I’m slipping a little bit to even let a fighter like that go the distance with me.
“I’m not what I used to be.”
The fighter specifically cited a dramatic decrease in punching power—he hasn’t knocked an opponent out since 2011.
“I used to have a 90 percent knockout ratio,” Mayweather said. “It’s obvious I slipped somewhere. Something has taken a toll on my career.”
Still, Mayweather said he owes it to boxing fans to be aggressive in the upcoming matchup, lest he give them a repeat of his disappointingly boring fight with Manny Pacquiao in May 2015.
“This can’t be a defensive fight. I have to go to him,” he said. “I owe the public because of the Pacquiao fight. They weren’t pleased with that. They’re gonna be pleased with this fight here.”