McGregor will take on the iconic fighter in his first-ever professional boxing bout, having changed codes from MMA. Speaking to TMZ Sports, De la Hoya, who lost to Mayweather via split decision in 2007, doesn't expect the UFC lightweight champion to adapt well:
"There's a better chance that I come out of retirement and challenge Mike Tyson; it's not gonna happen" said the 44-year-old when asked if he'd put Saul "Canelo" Alvarez up against McGregor if he pulled off an upset. "I'm gonna go as far as saying that McGregor is not going to land one punch."
As noted in the clip, another boxing legend, Sugar Ray Leonard, made the same prediction ahead of the contest.
The eyes of the world will be on the fight on Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada, as McGregor seeks to pull off what'd be one of the biggest shocks in the history of sport. While he's making his boxing debut, Mayweather has won all 49 of his professional boxing bouts and is considered one of the best the sport has ever seen.
Still, as relayed by OddsChecker, it appears there is plenty of confidence in McGregor to get the job done:
Who have our users been backing? #Mayweather #McGregor https://t.co/5wuEcnmfFQ2017-8-24 10:06:24
There are some things in the UFC star's favor. Most pertinently, he's an active fighter, with Mayweather out of action for almost two years. At 29, he's much younger than the 40-year-old boxer, too.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission also confirmed the fighters will use eight-ounce gloves for this contest as a one-off, making them lighter than the 10-ounce ones that are typically used.
"I don't believe with the new gloves he makes it out of the second round," said McGregor after the ruling, per Luke Reddy of BBC Sport.
Chamatkar Sandhu of MMAjunkie reported that McGregor's entourage believe the lighter gloves will be to his benefit:
Chamatkar Sandhu @SandhuMMA
Conor McGregor and his team believed that should 8oz gloves get approved this would be highly in their favour. We'll find out in 10 days.2017-8-16 17:04:49
Despite the momentum behind the Irishman in fight week, he still has a massive uphill task on his hands.
Mayweather may be a little bit rusty after two years out, but it's clear from his preparations that his boxing instincts remain sharp. Technically and tactically, he has an enormous advantage over McGregor, and as relayed by De La Hoya, it's easy to see him maneuvering himself away from many of the Notorious' biggest shots.
But there's no precedent for this type of contest. It's that sense of unknown and intrigue that'll prompt so many to tune in on Saturday.