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Mayweather or McGregor? 14 experts make their decision

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We asked 14 experts from boxing and MMA to weigh in on the fight of the century

Mayweather

BACKING MAYWEATHER

THE PUNDIT

 Steve Bunce,  BoxNation and BBC boxing podcast presenter

“Does McGregor have any chance? No. I’ve never been as convinced of a win. It’s a guy who last boxed as a 16-year-old in the Dublin novices against a guy who’s 49-0. He’ll box rings around him for 36 minutes.”

Bunce’s Big Fat Short History Of Boxing is out now (Bantam Press)

THE FORMER FOE

 Ricky Hatton – then undefeated world champion – was KO’d by Mayweather in 2007

“I could always find that postage stamp on the ribs with the hook to the body. I couldn’t with Floyd. I’m not a fan so I hope Conor does it. But Floyd’s the perfect fighter in many ways: too quick, too clever, too good.”

hattonboxing.com and hattonacademy.com

THE COACH

 Duke McKenzie, former three-weight world champion and trainer

“MMA is a caveman, one-on-one fight to the death. Boxing is a skill. And McGregor is facing someone who’s mastered it, someone who’s beaten 49 guys who’ve trained all their lives in boxing. It’s the easiest payday of Mayweather’s life.”

@duke_mckenzie_mbe

THE BLOGGER

 Shaun Al-Shatti, editor at MMAFighting.com

“McGregor’s a very good boxer for MMA. But I can’t see it translating. Five rounds in the Octagon is very different to 12 rounds in the ring – you’re throwing hundreds and hundreds of punches. There’s a reason why Mayweather is the greatest defensive boxer of the era – he doesn’t get hit.”

@shaunalshatti

THE WORLD CHAMPION

 James DeGale, IBF super-middleweight  champion of the world

“If I fought Mayweather, I’d try to walk him down and fight with my boxing skills. A 0-0 professional with only a slight size advantage can’t do that. He’ll need to use his awkwardness to set up his left hand. That’s his only chance.”

@JamesDeGale1

THE BIG BETTER

 Businessman John Byrne is so sure of a Mayweather victory he’s lumped £5,000 on it

“It’s not a boxing match – it’s an exhibition with one winner. Mayweather is the best fighter of his generation, unbeaten and seldom gets hit. The betting exchanges give McGregor a 20% chance. I give him a fraction of that.”

McGregor

BACKING MCGREGOR

THE PROMOTER

Graham Boylan, president of Cage Warriors – McGregor’s former MMA stable

“McGregor was 100% destined to become the star he is today. He was special from day one. The world will stop when the opening bell rings. But take away all the hype, all the glamour – it’s a fight. He has a chance – but he’ll need to connect.”

THE JOURNALIST

Gareth A Davies, boxing and MMA correspondent  for The Daily Telegraph  

“The bigger the occasion, the more McGregor draws from his fighting soul. And he has a very, very heavy left hand. But he’ll need to land combinations. We talk about a puncher’s chance – I give him more than that.”

@GarethADaviesDT

THE BOOKMAKER

Paddy Power’s Lee Price explains why odds on the history-making upset keep tumbling

“This is the most one-sided betting market we’ve had in boxing. And it’s all for McGregor. He’s gone from 13/2 to 7/2. He captures the imagination – he came from nothing and he’s become a superstar. Punters see the odds and think they can have the McGregor effect themselves.”

THE MMA FIGHTER

Nathaniel Wood, Cage Warriors bantamweight champion

“Conor brings something new to the table, something unpredictable that could catch Floyd off guard. If Conor can land the same left hook that knocked José Aldo out after 13 seconds in the UFC, he could knock out Floyd.”

Cage Warriors returns to London 16 Sept; cagewarriors.com

THE SPORTS PSYCHOLOGIST

 Ex-MMA fighter turned psychologist Mark Chen on how McGregor can win the mental game

“McGregor needs to be unpredictable in the build-up. Otherwise, Mayweather will be in control. If McGregor goes off-script at the weigh-in it could give him the advantage. If he smiles, he loses. McGregor never smiles in staredowns – to do so shows he’s unsettled.”

THE AMATEUR BOXER

Irish world silver medallist Kelly Harrington: “Conor supports every Irish fighter. So we should all do the same. He’s a good boxer – his skills have won him most fights. He’ll make it very hard for Mayweather with his awkwardness, his desire, his height, size and reach. But before the fight starts, in my eyes, he’s already won.”

@kelly_harrington14

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