Times boxing writer Lance Pugmire’s fight prediction

Floyd Mayweather Jr. shadow boxes with weights in his hands during a workout for the media.

Conor McGregor has said much about defeating Floyd Mayweayther Jr. on Saturday night.

But let’s be serious.

Now that the fight is at hand and McGregor has ensured prize money that should exceed $100 million, everything that follows the opening bell will be about how to spin this forward.

Mayweather will pick McGregor apart in a true boxing match, so McGregor has to bring the fight to Mayweather in the early rounds. He has to hope that being close and landing one of his heavy left hands will affect the40-year-old, five-division world champion who hasn’t fought in almost two years.

I would argue McGregor doesn’t even have a puncher’s chance given Mayweather’s first interest in defense.

Mayweather “can go 12 rounds in his sleep,” as gifted Southland trainer Manny Robles told me, so he can be intent to let McGregor start to tire after three rounds of intense pursuit. Then he will begin to dismantle the Irishman with jabs, body shots and clean punches.

This form of execution is Mayweather’s choice, captured in Mayweather’s faked hand pistol shots at McGregor during Friday’s animated weigh-in at T-Mobile Arena.

The fact that this fight is entertainment first does give me pause to strongly consider if McGregor, at some point in frustration, attempts some rough play allowed only in MMA fights as part of an exit strategy back to UFC.

And I’ve also wondered how “Money” Mayweather can’t consider the idea of walking into a heavy punch, taking a loss and setting up two more fights for even more cash.

But I’ll give Mayweather’s interest and dedication in boxing the benefit of the doubt here, and say he’s going to underline his belief that his sport is the king of combat sports.

Through repeated blows in a technical masterpiece, Mayweather wins by eighth-round technical knockout and heads back to retirement with a 50-0 record.

(Ethan Miller / Getty Images)
Floyd Mayweather Jr. takes on The Big Show during Wrestlemania 24.

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