In bout, pos­si­ble sur­prise end­ing?

May­weather says he’ll go on the of­fen­sive against McGre­gor, look­ing for knock­out.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Lance Pug­mire

LAS VE­GAS — Floyd May­weather Jr. has spent years hear­ing the crit­i­cism that he’s too de­fense-minded, too averse to ac­cept the risk of pun­ish­ment that oth­ers in box­ing have em­braced.

Yet, in what he main­tains will be his farewell fight with an op­por­tu­nity to close his 21-year pro ca­reer with a 50-0 record, May­weather might be will­ing to give the peo­ple what they want Aug. 26 when he takes on UFC cham­pion Conor McGre­gor.

“We’re go­ing to fight him,” May­weather as­sis­tant trainer and long­time friend Nate Jones said Thurs­day at May­weather’s me­dia day at the fighter’s gym. “We know this is some­thing new to [McGre­gor], so Floyd’s go­ing to turn the gas on early. We don’t think he can go no far­ther than four rounds.

“We’ll burn the gas out of

him, let him see some things he’s never seen, hit him with some good body shots. … I don’t want to say the whole thing.”

May­weather, who turned 40 in Fe­bru­ary and is re­turn­ing to the ring for the first time in nearly two years, played coy on the specifics.

“It comes down to the two com­peti­tors,” he said. “My dad [trainer Floyd May­weather Sr.] may come up with a bril­liant fight plan, but he can’t fight for me. I’m go­ing to see a fighter, a war­rior. … He’s com­ing for­ward and I’m not go­ing back­ward.

“I don’t need to worry about how he fights. I need to worry about what I know. My job is to ex­e­cute the game plan. … I wouldn’t be sat­is­fied with a vic­tory if I didn’t get the knock­out.”

May­weather’s in­ter­est in pur­su­ing a sud­den fin­ish in an of­fense-minded bout cer­tainly raises eye­brows.

May­weather hasn’t won by knock­out since 2011, when he lev­eled Vic­tor Cruz, and the blow that set that up has been chided by some as a sucker punch. Be­fore that, May­weather hadn’t won by KO since 2007 against Ricky Hat­ton.

And mil­lions still feel burned by his con­vinc­ing but void-of-ex­cite­ment May 2015 unan­i­mous-de­ci­sion tri­umph over Manny Pac­quiao.

That bout gen­er­ated a com­bat-sports record $72 mil­lion live gate and a record 4.6 mil­lion pay-per-view buys but also spawned a mas­sive back­lash. Only one pay-per-view box­ing match since has gen­er­ated more than 1 mil­lion buys.

Will this $100 pay-per­view of­fer­ing be the pay­back?

Said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of May­weather Pro­mo­tions: “I’m very con­fi­dent this fight will end in a knock­out.”

May­weather said that McGre­gor should con­sider it a vic­tory if he can last 12 rounds against the former five-di­vi­sion world cham­pion.

May­weather’s in­ter­est in fin­ish­ing McGre­gor, who has shown an open­ness to ab­sorb­ing punches against the likes of UFC foes Nate Diaz and Chad Men­des, is one rea­son that May­weather has asked the Ne­vada Ath­letic Com­mis­sion for lighter eight-ounce gloves to be used in the bout.

While McGre­gor has boasted of be­ing the heav­ier puncher with his four-ounce gloves in the UFC, a master boxer with 26 knock­outs on his re­sume be­comes a more de­struc­tive force with May­weather’s be­lief that he’ll bat­ter McGre­gor with a greater ac­cu­mu­la­tion of blows.

The com­mis­sion would have to ad­just rules for box­ing matches at 154 pounds that stip­u­late the use of 10ounce gloves. A vote on the mat­ter is set for next week.

Even May­weather’s re­vised train­ing reg­i­men hints that he’s not in this for the long run.

“More rest, but with age comes wisdom,” May­weather said. “When I was younger, I would train, train, train and never let the body re­coup. Now that I’m older, I can train two to three days and let the body rest. I come back rejuvenated with a lot more spark.”

May­weather said be­cause of the mag­ni­tude of the fight he is driven far more by his de­sire to pro­vide ex­cite­ment with en­ter­tain­ing ac­tion — no mat­ter how short the bout — rather than car­ry­ing McGre­gor into the later rounds.

“Au­gust 26, af­ter the fight is over,” May­weather promised, “ev­ery­one’s go­ing to be happy.”

Myung J. Chun Los An­ge­les Times

FLOYD MAY­WEATHER, right, says, “I wouldn’t be sat­is­fied with a vic­tory if I didn’t get the knock­out.”

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