Irish southpaw boxer Andy Lee will watch another Irish southpaw – one yet to make his professional boxing debut – attempt to outbox and defeat the great Floyd Mayweather on August 26 in Las Vegas.
In order to generate any kind of anticipation and excitement ahead of the ‘fight’, though, Lee will have to suspend disbelief and ignore everything he has learnt throughout the 25 years he has spent boxing, amateur and professional. He knows it will be tough. He also knows what is going to happen when Conor McGregor attempts to do the seemingly impossible.
“It’s an easy night for Mayweather,” said Lee, 33, a former 2004 Olympian and WBO world middleweight champion. “He’ll sit back, pick McGregor off and more than likely won’t get hit with a meaningful punch all night.
“The question is, can Mayweather stop McGregor? Floyd doesn’t seem to have KO power at 154lbs, so there’s a good chance McGregor will go the distance. If he does, I guess that’s some kind of moral victory.
“Really, it’s a no-lose situation for McGregor. No one expects him to win or for it to even be close. But both men’s love of money is apparent and that’s the reason this ‘fight’ is happening. On some level you have to respect them. If they can make that money, why shouldn’t they? Most boxers toil and struggle their whole career and in the end have nothing to show for it.”
Adam Booth, Lee’s coach, finds it even tougher to maintain a straight face when asked to break down a boxing match between a boxer and a man set to make his professional boxing debut.
“Conor McGregor will miss all night except for a few cuffing shots,” said Booth, a coach of three world champions. “Floyd Mayweather will shoulder-roll and lip pout for 36 mins, all the while periodically stabbing McGregor with right hands. He won’t stop him. He’ll be too wary of the leg-sweep and rear-naked choke. Or something like that.
“The excitement of the crowd will fade after the ring walk adrenalin settles down – approximately by round three – and it will all culminate in a you’ve-done-me-again expression on the faces of everyone at the final bell.
“That said, people should not complain about this fight being made. It literally won’t harm anyone.”