Why is Mayweather playing the underdog against McGregor?

Arnold Nichols
August 10, 2017

Floyd Mayweather spent much of his promotional tour last month mocking Conor McGregor's skills and confidently predicting he would dominate their August 26 boxing match, but he struck a more deferential tone Tuesday, acknowledging that he has "lost a step" and that McGregor, at least on paper, has the edge over him.

"I'm not what I used to be".

Earlier this week the LA Times reported that as many as 7,000 tickets were still available for the fight at the Staples Center, which holds just over 20,000 people. The most groan-worthy moments undoubtedly centered on McGregor's supposed racism when he told Mayweather to "dance for me, boy, ' before denying any accusations of racism as he claimed to be 'black from the bellybutton down" before humping the air for his 'beautiful black female fans'. Then Oscar De La Hoya said I am not good for boxing but I was good enough for you to fight me to get your biggest pay day? They gonna be pleased with this fight right here. Mayweather opened as a 12-1 favorite, though those odds have been bet down to 7-1. Mayweather is going to have to try and make something happen. Now, the question is, does Mayweather really believe all this? McGregor was almost a 10/1 underdog when the fight began to seem like a possibility in November, and his odds are down to +375. The fight drew somewhere between 400,000 and 550,000 PPV buys.

In an interview with ESPN's Stephen A. Smith on Tuesday, Mayweather, 40, acknowledged that McGregor holds the advantage on paper despite the MMA star's complete lack of experience in the boxing ring.

"Mayweather is going to have to be offensive and aggressive also".

The 36-year-old was furious with a series of photos that were released on social media that showed him knocked to the canvas.

A win over Mayweather obviously would be monumental - and might even necessitate a rematch, meaning the paydays would be off the charts for all parties involved a second time. He also knows he'll be a flawless 50-0 when he retires for a third time, whether he's willing to admit it or not.

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