Does Floyd Mayweather Jr. have any interest in serious training prior to his superfight with Conor McGregor?
Through the first three episodes of Showtime's All Access: Mayweather vs. McGregor series on the huge event at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas scheduled for August 26, Mayweather has done a lot more talking than training.
He has gone on about his money, his interest in getting involved in the strip club/gentleman's club business, his desire to have fun and about his family, but when it comes to stepping in the ring and doing some serious training, that has not been one of his priorities.
Episode 4 unfolds Friday at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime, and Mayweather's effort to prepare for the fight should be one of the more interesting aspects of the program. There's no guarantee that he will step up his training at this point, because it's clear that he will prepare in the manner that he sees fit and doesn't care what others think.
"I am going to do exactly what I want to do," Mayweather said in a previous episode. "Nobody is going to tell me what to do."
The ongoing saga between McGregor and Showtime boxing analyst Paulie Malignaggi is likely to play out further. In each of the last two episodes, McGregor and Malignaggi have sparred to help the UFC lightweight champ prepare for Mayweather. The Showtime cameras were turned off for the sparring sessions, but McGregor has said he has gotten the best of the former fighter.
McGregor claimed in an interview with MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani that his most recent sparring session was a 12-round fight and that he won each round. Malignaggi has dismissed the claim on The MMA Hour podcast and has asked for the tape for all 12 rounds to be released.
While that has not happened, a small snippet of Malignaggi going down to the canvas has found its way to the public. Even that is controversial, because Malignaggi says that his tumble is the result of a shove and not a punch.
In any event, it is clear that McGregor has used his time to train in a much more serious manner than Mayweather. He knows he has a huge opportunity coming up in a little over a week, and he is trying to prepare as best he can for the first official boxing match of his career.
Mayweather is taking his 49-0 record into the ring, and while he has not competed in two years, his defensive skills are not likely to have waned. While he may not be as quick as he was in his prime, it's difficult to conceive of McGregor gaining enough skill to challenge him successfully.
The countdown to the megafight is starting to reach the critical stage.