Floyd Mayweather Jr. will justify his status as heavy favourite among the oddsmakers when he meets Conor McGregor at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Saturday, August 26.
Mayweather is favoured to win at -400 (bet $400 to win $100), while the odds for a McGregor win are +300 (bet $100 to win $300), according to Joe Osborne of OddsShark.
The headline fight is set to start at 11 p.m. ET/4 a.m. BST, although the actual bell may not sound for the bout until closer to 5 a.m. BST, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Mayweather isn't just the projected winner among the oddsmakers. Several fighters, both from the boxing and mixed martial arts disciplines, believe the 40-year-old will overwhelm UFC star McGregor.
Among them, former IBO Welterweight champion Chris van Heerden, who sparred with McGregor, doesn't rate the Irishman's chances. Specifically, Van Heerden believes Mayweather's punching power will prove too much for McGregor, per an interview with Fight Hub TV (h/t Luke Brown of The Independent): "We've seen over and over and over it doesn't take much for these MMA fighters, once they get tagged on the jaw, to go down."
Significantly, Van Heerden also pinpointed the training in combination punching boxers experience as a clear advantage for Mayweather. It's a strong argument because it speaks to the main difference between both fighters.
Mayweather boasts a wealth of experience in the ring that McGregor cannot match. The former's hand speed, timing and anticipation will help control the pace and keep McGregor at bay and prone to some telling shots.
Of course, McGregor has proved his ability to land big punches of his own during his career in the Octagon. ESPN.com's Dan Rafael and Brett Okamoto both give southpaw McGregor the advantage as the bigger puncher. Yet many of his other skills from the world of UFC will likely be wasted in the boxing ring.
It's the view of Michael Page, a mixed martial artist who is trying to make the switch to boxing. Page recently told James Edwards of The Independent why he's found the transition so challenging: "Because I punch anyway, I have good technique, but we don’t have as much specific work on our arms and our shoulders. The struggle for me is the endurance, the muscular endurance and being able to be able to do it for such a long period of time."
Page's point is one more reason why McGregor will flounder if Mayweather is content to drag this fight out. Given the latter's excellent defensive work and the patience to pick his shots, McGregor's stamina could well be tested.
In fact, the odds are -140 for Mayweather to win in over seven rounds, per Justin Hartling of OddsShark.
Frankly, it would be a surprise if the fight lasts even that long, given the disparity in boxing experience and skill between the two fighters. Instead, Mayweather should score a knockout stoppage sooner.
Prediction: Mayweather by KO in Round 4.