First and foremost, I do not think that Conor McGregor will beat Mayweather. I think it will be a 12 round decision for Floyd, with Mayweather winning just about every round except maybe the first or second. Floyd has a superb ability to adapt and make changes, so anything McGregor brings that is different Floyd will figure it out within a round or two. But this article isn’t about what I think is going to happen in the fight, it is about the longshot. This article is about how Conor McGregor can beat Floyd Mayweather.
There is only one way that McGregor beats Mayweather, and that is with a one-punch knockout. Even if Conor was to knock Floyd down it will not be enough to win the fight for him because if that were to happen once Floyd will just adapt so that it doesn’t happen again. Conor would need to knock Floyd down about 4 or 5 times in different rounds to actually win a decision against him, so lets face it that isn’t going to happen. McGregor needs to simply knock Floyd out with one punch, and he will have to do it early so that Floyd can’t read his offense and adapt to it. Lets look into how this could happen:
Floyd’s shoulder roll is the best defense in boxing, but the reason that it works better against right handed fighters than lefties is the positioning. When a fighter sets up a right against the shoulder roll with a left jab, Floyd can see it coming and drop his head backwards behind his left shoulder, giving him about six extra inches of play and making most big right hand power punches miss. The shoulder roll doesn’t work as well against a leftie because they set up a power shot with a right jab, which puts Floyd’s head already at it’s maximum travel distance backward. At this point, Floyd will generally move his head randomly from side to side hoping to avoid shots. While this will generally be effective, he gets hit more using that defense than if he uses the shoulder roll. If he back is against the ropes it limits his ability to move his head full distance, which could make this defense less effective. Against a leftie, Floyd will generally resort to a full body backward movement where he throws both hands into the air in front of him, giving him the ability to swat down any punch that gets close. This is why it is necessary for Conor to back Floyd against the ropes or into a corner.
So how can McGregor win when Maidana and every other fighter has tried the same thing? The answer is in Conor’s left, and how he throws it. Conro doesn’t have as good of head movement as Floyd, so he is going to be susceptible to a huge counter punch when he throws. He is going to have to hope Floyd has not yet found his range to throw a counter (early in the fight) and he will have to set up his left with a right jab that will push Floyd’s head backward behind his shoulder. The difference between McGregor and every other leftie that has fought Floyd is the way he throws his left hand power punch. McGregor throws a straight left that he extends all the way through his shoulder. Other fighters tend to curl their left looking for more power, hoping to hit their target mid way through the punch. McGregor pushes his left a long way (he has a 74 inch reach, compared to Floyd’s 72) and connects on the end of the punch. This could potentially put Floyd in the position he is used to being in when avoiding a right and directly into the path of a punch that he expects to miss because the distance is too short. McGregor could potentially set up the left hand that has connected on many UFC jaws, as long as he pushes Floyd backward to the ropes and then sets up a only left with a right jab. Flurries will probably not work as Floyd will just bob and weave through them, so it will have to be a right jab and a left cross to win by ko. Because McGregor could potentially outweigh Floyd by upwards of 20 pounds on fight night, he potentially could have the power to knock Floyd out.
Its a longshot, but its the only shot.