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Mayweather vs McGregor: Sparring partners explain Floyd's awesome ring prowess

Lee Cleveland Updated
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For good reason, most boxing experts aren’t giving MMA superstar Conor McGregor a chance to defeat former pound for pound king and legend Floyd Money Mayweather.

Who cares if Floyd is 40 and hasn't fought in two years?

Mayweather vs McGregor won't be competitive. Period.

Moreover, Floyd has been training like he's preparing for a real opponent so Conor has no reasonable chance to even get lucky.

ESPN The Magazine writer Dotun Akintoye caught up with several of Floyd Mayweather's sparring partners, all accomplished professionals, who explained why McGregor's chances of winning are probably about 1,000 to 1.

Zab Judah
Amateur Record: 110-5
Has won world titles at welterweight and jr welterweight
Has a record of 11-8 (9 KOs) in World Title fights.
Defeated Junior Witter, Terron Millett, DeMarcus Corley, Rafael Pineda, Cory Spinks.
Lost to Kostya Tszyu, Cory Spinks, Carlos Manuel Baldomir, Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey, Amir Khan and Danny Garcia
Dropped a unanimous decision to Floyd in 2006.

"When he trains, he lines up like 15 to 20 sparring partners at a time. I've known him since we were amateurs. He's always done over and beyond what the job consists of. You can't beat someone who's not going to get tired."

"He knows how to throw it, when to throw it, where to throw it, how long to throw it, how short to throw it, how hard to throw it."

Floyd also knows how to control range, perhaps better than anyone.  Can McGregor effectively close the distance and control range against the masterful Money May?

Answer: No

Demarcus Corley
Top-level contender through the years

One held the WBO Light Welterweight Title
50-28 pro record
Won against: Ener Julio (twice), Randall Bailey.
Dropped a unanimous decision to Mayweather in 2004 

"Floyd throws it like a f****ing snake. He's like a snake that you can't hit, but he keeps striking you."

[When Floyd goes to the body] He's not trying to hurt you; he's trying to let you know, "I'm just taking a little bit out of you. I'm going to break you down eventually." That's something Pernell Whitaker used to do."

"His power is the quickness of his punches, the placement. His punch placement is so on point, from the outside it looks like he doesn't hit hard. But when he hits you, you feel like, damn, I have to regroup now.

"When they say Floyd doesn't have any balls? You got to have balls to stand and catch a punch, come back with a punch, then get the hell out of there. That takes timing, practice and a lot of heart to stand in the pocket and get your shot off."

"He's so elusive -- his movement, his reflexes. When you shoot, he twitches his left shoulder up to block his chin so he can't be hit with a right hook. His right hand is already up to catch anything coming from that side."

Floyd not only eliminates all potential targets for an opponent, but allows the fighter who implements this strategy to stay in position for a hard counter when making their respective opponents miss.Although many fight fans have dubbed this defensive technique the “Mayweather Shoulder Roll”, it’s largely known within boxing circles as the “Michigan Shell”.

Fight trainer and expert James Gogue told FightSaga in 2015: “...When performed by fighters who have the natural athletic gifts to execute the technique properly, [the Shoulder Roll is] almost impossible to overcome.”

Errol Spence, Jr
ESPN Prospect of the Year (2015)
Sports Illustrated Prospect of the Year (2015)
Current IBF Welterweight champion
Record: 22-0, 19 KOs
Probably the best welterweight in the world and maybe one of the top ten boxers on the planet.

"He throws it as a jab, in a way. It comes so fast. A lot of fighters telegraph their punches. He doesn't at all. It's really something that he's just mastered, throwing the straight right and catching guys over and over."

Mayweather vs McGregor
Date: Saturday, August 26
Venue: T-Mobile Arena
Location: Las Vegas
Broadcast: PPV

Division: Jr Middleweight (154 lb limit)
Titles: None

"I never saw him breathing hard. He always controls his breathing -- and that's an art. A lot of fighters, you see them breathing out of their mouths. Floyd always breathes out of his nose."

"I've seen him stop guys in the gym with 16-ounce gloves. Bigger guys. He just beats them up. In his young career, you saw how he was knocking guys out. But now he's got hand problems, so he's not turning with it all the way, not putting 100 percent power into his punches."

"But he can punch hard. That's why a lot of guys, when he hits them, they start backing up or go on defense. They're not just walking through his punches. You haven't seen anybody who's walking through his punches. Even Marcos Maidana started backing up when Floyd started coming forward."

Floyd punches for speed and accuracy and, thus, he often doesn't sit on his punches to maximize leverage. However, when he decides to plant his feet and load up, his power is formidable.

Victor Ortiz can vouch for that.

And despite suffering from chronic hand problems the last ten or more years, Mayweather can still hurt his opponents, especially with his straight right hand and that sweeping check left hook. Moreover, he likes to surprise foes with punches they don’t see which adds to the impact of his shots.

Conor McGregor is going to be in for a tough night.


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