Mayweather told ESPN the following on Wednesday:
“One hundred percent, it will not go the distance. One hundred percent chance this fight won’t go the distance.
“I say I guarantee it won’t go the distance. He says it’s not going the distance. I say it’s not going the distance. So it’s obvious we going to come out from the opening bell and drop bombs.”
Mayweather hasn’t scored a knockout since flooring Victor Ortiz in controversial fashion in September or 2011. After the referee stopped the fight in the fourth round to break a clinch following an Ortiz headbutt, Mayweather hammered his opponent while Ortiz’s hands were down. Clearly Ortiz didn’t think time was back in and was not defending himself. While the knockout was legal, some considered it dirty.
Before that, Mayweather’s last stoppage came in the 11th round of a 2007 fight against Ricky Hatton. So it’s been 10 years since he stopped someone without controversy attached.
Could Mayweather knock out or stop McGregor? Sure. In fact, he probably should, considering the Irishman has never had a professional boxing match before. But I can’t see Mayweather taking enough chances to earn a knockout.
My prediction is that Floyd will do what he always does. He’ll employ his supreme defensive ability and counter-punch his way to a wide unanimous decision. Oh sure, he’ll open up from time to time and give us 20 seconds of offense here and there, but he’s gotten to 49-0 by never taking unnecessary risks. That same strategy will almost certainly carry him to 50-0.
All this talk of knockouts is just an attempt to drum up more interest in the fight. Mayweather talks big about brawling before most of his fights, but he rarely puts on the kind of bloody show fans want. Don’t get suckered in by his big talk.