With straight face, Floyd says Conor may have edge

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - BY MATT BONESTEEL

Even though his odds have plum­meted since the fight was an­nounced back in June, Floyd May­weather still is a heavy, heavy favourite to beat MMA fighter Conor McGre­gor.

The odd­s­mak­ers give him some­where around an 85 per cent im­plied prob­a­bil­ity of vic­tory in their box­ing match on Aug. 26. And why not? May­weather is a five-di­vi­sion world box­ing cham­pion. McGre­gor be­gan strictly train­ing as a boxer only re­cently.

But to hear May­weather talk to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, one would think this fight is go­ing to be much closer than ev­ery­one thinks — to the point where it seems as if May­weather thinks he’s the un­der­dog.

“He’s a lot younger,” the 40-year-old May­weather said of McGre­gor, 29.

“When you look at my­self and Conor McGre­gor on paper, he’s taller, has a longer reach, he’s a big­ger man from top to bot­tom. “He’s a lot younger, so youth is on his side. ”And I’ve been off a cou­ple of years. And I’m in my 40s. So, if you look at ev­ery­thing on paper, it leans to­ward Conor McGre­gor.”

None of that is un­true. Be­sides the 11-year age dif­fer­ence, McGre­gor is an inch taller and has a two-inch reach ad­van­tage. May­weather last fought in Septem­ber 2015, eas­ily beat­ing An­dre Berto by unan­i­mous de­ci­sion; McGre­gor beat Ed­die Al­varez via TKO at UFC 205 in Novem­ber.

But come on, Floyd, enough with the sad­sack rou­tine.

“I’m not the same fighter I was two years ago. I’m not the same fighter I was five years ago. I lost a step,” he said.

“A fighter like An­dre Berto isn’t even sup­posed to go the dis­tance with Floyd May­weather, but re­mem­ber, I was 38. It’s ob­vi­ous I’m slip­ping a lit­tle bit to even let a fighter like that go the dis­tance with me. “I’m not what I used to be.” This is all very pe­cu­liar be­hav­iour from a man who has never been known for his mod­esty.

But May­weather also knows that he has to sell a nov­elty bout that most ob­servers think won’t be par­tic­u­larly close.

And when you con­sider some of the news com­ing out about pos­si­bly lack­lus­tre ticket sales …

Floyd May­weather re­mains a heavy favourite.

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