Kiwi fight­ers split on box­ing mashup

Auckland City Harbour News - - PUBLIC NOTICES - JACK­SON THOMAS

Two of New Zealand’s top fight­ers have given their pre­dic­tions on who will win what is be­ing dubbed the ‘‘fight of the cen­tury’’ later this month.

On Au­gust 26 un­de­feated US boxer Floyd May­weather and Ir­ish ul­ti­mate fight­ing cham­pi­onship (UFC) star Conor McGre­gor face off in a highly an­tic­i­pated box­ing match in Las Vegas.

For­mer New Zealand cruis­er­weight box­ing cham­pion Monty Betham and mixed martial arts (MMA) cham­pion Kai KaraFrance have split pre­dic­tions on who will win.

Betham, who trains fight­ers out of Box­ing Al­ley in Par­nell, said he would bet his house on May­weather win­ning by de­ci­sion.

‘‘May­weather will be too clin­i­cal,’’ Betham said.

The fact May­weather had been box­ing his whole life and that he had beaten mul­ti­ple world cham­pi­ons would prove too much for the un­proven McGre­gor, he said. May­weather’s pro­fes­sional record is 49 wins and zero losses.

‘‘May­weather is a spe­cial, once-in-a-life­time type of fighter and a de­fen­sive ge­nius. Conor can’t be­gin to un­der­stand just how good this guy’s de­fence is.’’

Betham said he gave Mcgre­gor a 20 per cent chance of an up­set. The fight­ers will be us­ing 10 ounce box­ing gloves. Betham said if they were us­ing four ounce gloves, like in MMA, it would be a dif­fer­ent story.

The ar­gu­ment over whether the event would have a pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive af­fect on the sport had been hotly de­bated amongst com­bat sport an­a­lysts.

Set to be one of the big­gest sport­ing events of all time, Betham said it could only ben­e­fit the sport.

Ris­ing New Zealand MMA star Kai Kara-France is pre­dict­ing a Conor McGre­gor win - by sec­ond round knock­out.

Kara-France trains out of City Kick Box­ing in Eden Ter­race.

‘‘Conor McGre­gor knocks peo­ple out. He is a fighter and that is the big­gest dif­fer­ence in this fight,’’ Kara-France said. He pre­dicted a cat and mouse kind of fight.

‘‘May­weather will look to do what he does best and avoid ex­chang­ing but if he does get caught early, I think he’s in big trou­ble,’’ he said.

The 23-year-old doubted there would be fu­ture cross-over fights.

‘‘These are the two big­gest names in the game and if any­one else tried to do this, it doesn’t get the same sort of hype.’’

LAWRENCE SMITH/STUFF

Kai Kara-France be­lieves Conor McGre­gor’s size and ‘‘awk­ward style’’ will be too much for the un­de­feated Floyd May­weather to deal with come Au­gust 26.

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