Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. clashed in a blockbuster crossover super-fight in 2017. The bout was rightly called 'the money fight' as it ended up getting the second highest pay-per-view buys in the history of boxing.
Mayweather said he would retire from professional boxing right after his fight with 'The Notorious'. He then went on to make his return to the boxing ring with two exhibition fights. One of them was his recent exhibition showdown with Logan Paul.
The exhibition fights have made plenty of money for the American boxer. If Mayweather wants to continue on this greenlit path, there is a chance that his next outing could be against Conor McGregor.
However, it could be questioned whether facing the Irishman again would be a good decision for 'Money' Mayweather's undefeated streak. 'Notorious' has learned a lot from his previous fight. As a result, his chances of defeating 'Money' in a boxing match have increased. Here are 4 reasons why Conor McGregor can defeat Floyd Mayweather:
#4 McGregor's improved cardio and endurance
In McGregor's previous loss to Mayweather, his lack of cardio played a major role. The referee had to stop the fight in the tenth round as McGregor failed to defend himself from Mayweather's punches. McGregor was so gassed out that he could not keep his guard up, let alone throw counter-punches.
McGregor failed to defeat Dustin Poirier in their second fight at UFC 257 earlier this year in January. In this fight, he fell short of both cardio and endurance against a dangerous striker in Dustin Poirier.
Ever since his loss to Poirier, McGregor has been training aggressively to improve his cardio and endurance. To make this more evident, the Irishman posted stories on his social media while training in Dubai earlier in April. He was seen jogging by the sea while explaining his workout. He said:
"What's up everyone? Welcome to the McGregor Fast triathlon. We run 100kilometres, we cycle 20 kilometres and then we run another 10 kilometres. We run twice because we double run the game and we leave out the swimming because we're already swimming in it."
#3 Better read on Floyd's boxing
In the first few rounds of his previous fight with Mayweather, the Irishman landed some solid shots that shook Mayweather. McGregor failed to land them consistently as his cardio and endurance gave out.
McGregor, being the bigger man of the two, landed well timed volume punches on his American opponent with his long reach. It was a surprise to see his punches land as McGregor had no fighting experience against Mayweather's uniquely elusive style.
McGregor will have a better read on Floyd's movement patterns in their second fight. This could possibly allow him to dish out more effective offense, something that was absent in the previous fight.
#2 McGregor's change of stance
Until his loss to Khabib 'the eagle' Nurmagomedov at UFC 229, McGregor used to have a stance where his guard wasn't held too high and his body would be in a line facing the opponent. This leaves his head open to take hits without allowing McGregor to block strikes in time.
Both Floyd Mayweather and Khabib Nurmagomedov took advantage of this low guard in their respective fights with McGregor. Mayweather landed several punches on the Irishman's head, while Khabib successfully landed one punch that knocked McGregor down.
McGregor made his return to the octagon after his loss to Nurmagomedov at UFC 246 on 18th January 2020, to face Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone. Nine days before the fight, McGregor posted a video of himself while training at the UFC Performance Institute in Enterprise, Nevada. In the video, he was seen working on the pads with a different stance.
His new stance was a traditional boxing stance in which he would lean forward and hold a high guard along with a square body position. This stance resembled that of known in-fighters in heavyweight boxing like 'Iron' Mike Tyson and Joe Frazier.
This stance allows fighters to make a swift entry inside the opponent's reach and make relentless volume attacks while guarding one's own head. The stance is an out-fighter's worst nightmare. Legendary boxer Joe Frazier defeated Muhammad Ali with this stance to hand him his first loss in professional boxing. Mike Tyson was also able to score knock-out wins against most of his opponents who were usually bigger than him while using the same stance.
Mayweather, being an out-fighter himself, is in real danger if McGregor uses this stance in their second fight. McGregor's bigger size and reach would allow him to use it more aggressively from a distance that Mayweather would have trouble covering.
#1 Mayweather is getting older
The more this fight gets delayed, the bigger the disadvantage Mayweather is at against McGregor. The Irishman is a tad bit above his prime fighting age but Mayweather is way past it at the age of 44.
Conor McGregor still has the ability and room to improve his strength, speed and stamina, whereas Mayweather's abilities for both are diminishing.
Mayweather has eaten more punches to the head throughout his career than McGregor currently has. Add to that the fact that McGregor's punches would pack more power because of his size and Mayweather is in trouble. This would keep a lingering fear inside Mayweather's mind of the long-term effects of punches to the head during the fight. The resultant cautious boxing could allow McGregor to land more punches than Mayweather.