Who will win? Kenneth Egan and Richie Kiely have their say on McGregor v Mayweather

AFTER rocketing to the pinnacle of the Mixed Martial Arts world, Crumlin’s Conor McGregor is now set for undoubtedly his most high-profile and difficult challenge in making his pro-boxing debut against the sport’s most successful competitor in Floyd Mayweather Jr in Las Vegas this Saturday.

While many see this as a bridge too far for McGregor, others believe the Dubliner has the ability to land that one-in-a-million shot that Mayweather has eluded throughout a career that has spanned some 20 years and seen him win all of his 49 contests and world titles across five weight divisions.

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Echo.ie caught up with Olympic boxing silver medallist, Kenneth Egan and former World Kickboxing champion and rising MMA star Richie Kiely to get their predictions for Saturday’s sensational showdown at the T-Mobile Arena.

Kenneth Egan

“First of all these two guys are laughing all the way to the bank.

“People think I’m against Conor, but I’m not. He’s Irish and I’d love to see him beat Mayweather, but I’ve got my boxing cap on, not my Irish one, and I can’t go against everything that I know about the sport.

“I think Mayweather will bolt out early. He’ll land a few body shots in the first, second and third rounds and then catch Conor with a sneaky right hand.

“If you keep missing your opponent you quickly wear yourself out. You can leave yourself open and if that happens to Conor he’ll start to panic.

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“If Mayweather senses that, he’ll up the pace and take more risks and it could be a shot in the sixth to ninth round that does it.

“Yet if Conor can land that left, flush, he’ll hurt him, but that’s like me going down to the shop and picking the six winning numbers for the lottery.

“But you have to buy a ticket to be in with a chance. Conor’s bought his and he’s there now.

“But Mayweather has been in with great boxers like De La Hoya and Canelo and taken big punches and stayed standing.

“It’s all well and good being able to throw big punches, but you have to be able to take them, and if Conor’s getting hit regularly and taking a lot of leather, it’ll be interesting to see how he reacts.

“Mayweather is 40 now. He’s older, but the word on the street is that he’s kept himself in good shape.”

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Richie Kiely

“Conor is not going to be orthodox, he’s not going to have that conventional approach.

“Apart from him being the bigger man with the longer reach, he’s going to be very difficult to read.

“It’s going to take Mayweather three or four rounds to figure him out and that’s when he [Mayweather] is most vulnerable.

“And even if the fight does go past four rounds and Mayweather starts to work him out, I think he could get complacent, and if he does, Conor will take him out.

“Mayweather is a great boxer and he’ll land punches, but he doesn’t have that concussive knockout power.

“Conor won’t be going in there just swinging aimlessly and if he lands that left, it’ll be a fight-ender.

“I can understand boxing purists saying that Mayweather will win this one, but some of their opinions are borne out of ignorance and a lack of understanding of MMA.

“And you have to remember, that, from Mayweather’s perspective, if this fight goes the distance and is in any way competitive, that’s a victory for Conor.

“The longer this fight goes on the more frustrated Mayweather will become.

“John Kavanagh [McGregor’s coach] is very astute and takes risks that are calculated. Combat sports like boxing is just high-level problem solving. There is always an answer and they [Kavanagh and McGregor] will be going in there with a game plan.”

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