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Mayweather v McGregor: Floyd will be on the money with massive KO

By Steve Bunce

It would be the greatest sporting story ever if the bookies, the fans and Floyd Mayweather were all left dazzled by Conor McGregor in Las Vegas. Relax, the fighting fairytale will end with McGregor, a man capable of putting up many convenient mirrors to shield his life, covered in his own blood in glorious defeat.

McGregor, you see, is incapable of performing magic and transforming himself into an elite fighter just because he wants to. It will be the most memorable loss ever in a city dependent on pulling down the pants of just about every punter that shuffles in with a wallet and a dream. A boxing heist, if you like, complete with 3,360 diamonds, due on your screens betwen 4am and 5am tomorrow morning.

Mayweather can only lose if his age has been destroying his timing, his desire and his power in some type of voodoo session behind closed doors at either his strip club or his ranch. An ancient Mayweather - he is 40 - will still know enough to fiddle his way through 12 rounds and suck away at McGregor's heart and soul.

In 2013, Mayweather came close to making Saul Canelo Alvarez quit in frustration at his own failure to connect cleanly.

There is a lot of pride in this fight, and that is something too many people that should know better have ignored, and this city has a cruel streak that burns long into every single dark night.

So far Mayweather has not lost in 49 fights as a professional boxer, and in many ways the sport of boxing needs the often tiresome master to perform brilliantly and put an abrupt end to this foolery.

There will be heavy choruses of "I told you so" from people as the sermons mount tomorrow morning and the gold dust settles over a fight that in many ways should never have been sanctioned by the authorities in this ludicrously pliable city.

There was no way it was not going to be sanctioned, by the way, and the drop on the casino floors, which is the money lost by customers, and at the betting shops (called sports books here) will break records.

The whales, the biggest of the gamblers, have started to park their private jets in the 1,362 available spaces at the three airports, and by yesterday morning four $1million bets on Mayweather had been placed. The winners will pocket just $182,000, and that is how the city's whales operate. The boxers, meanwhile, will split a minimum of $300million.

McGregor is a self-made man with a devotion to a self-help book that allows him to visualise his goals, plan his life and predict his future. Well, he's come to the right part of the planet, a destination where illusion is a science, magic a way of life and every win, draw or loss is explainable under the glitter domes that illuminate casino land.

He will take his defeat with style, his travelling flock will celebrate it, and by about midnight it will be business as usual when Mayweather creeps away with a belt constructed for the winner from 3,360 diamonds, 600 sapphires, 300 emeralds, 1.5 kilos of gold and a dead Italian alligator. So those stories about alligators in Rome's ancient sewers were true after all.

In training during the last 10 weeks, McGregor has worked on a secret plan to solve the boxing riddle of Mayweather.

The Dubliner, who five years ago was skint, is an impressive athlete, but he does not look like a boxer yet and he certainly will not look like a boxer by the time the first bell sounds at the T-Mobile Arena (right). A crash lesson in acquiring the moves, the kit and the dialogue does not make you a fighter.

The men that have so far failed to trap Mayweather in corners, failed to hit, hold and whack the often annoying master of the ring had been taught their skills during decades in boxing gyms.

McGregor has promised a simple solution, but the men that have fallen short knew how to read a dip of the shoulder, a slight shift in one foot and they knew how to deliver punches from odd angles, and they knew all this because they had worked on it during a life in gyms in boxing's outposts. McGregor is a novice, and no amount of bling can alter that awful fact.

However, the men in the McGregor business are confident that their man can simply walk through Mayweather's punches, defy history, connect with impunity and finish the fight when he wants.

McGregor has predicted a finish at some point between the opening 10 seconds and the end of round two; docile souls like me sat there and wrote it all down, and that is because we believe McGregor will make it a fight for a few rounds.

It is hard for me to forget the image of Ricky Hatton staggering and falling a decade ago in this city, a victim of his own belief and Mayweather's concealed aggression.

Mayweather was too old that night, in theory, and had never faced a man that would put him under such intense pressure. All lies, all a deception, all a joke, and all posing once again as the solid foundations of a McGregor win.

There has been an epic struggle between the MMA diehards and the boxing fraternity.

It is no secret that the men deep inside the UFC business have long accused the boxing powerbrokers of living too long in a twilight world of nostalgia and faded glory.

They have a point, but this fight ends the old days in many ways and I expect it to end in the old way with one boxer hurt and the other ruthlessly doing what boxers do best and punching away like his life depended on it.

The comedy, farce, mismatch, circus and freak fight will also be quite painful.

Belfast Telegraph

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