Fight Night Coverage: Questions Conor McGregor Needs to Answer Early On

By Christian Giudice on August 26, 2017
Fight Night Coverage: Questions Conor McGregor Needs to Answer Early On
Everyone talks about the jab, but Floyd is one of few guys that utilizes it throughout.

It will be interesting to see how dictating the pace in a boxing ring compares with doing it in the Octagon…

1. When Mayweather positions himself against the ropes (which he will) and baits him to enter, how will McGregor respond? (Note: Only Cotto and a few others had marginal success following Floyd to the ropes.) If he follows Floyd, he better do it cautiously. Mayweather can spin the opponent quickly and go on the offensive.

2. How will McGregor get inside on Floyd? Head feints, a jab and straight left? Through effective counters? Possibly the most important question of the fight. If McGregor proves he can fight on the inside, and position himself there, it might change perception of the fight. Then he won’t have to rely on staying on the outside and box Floyd like so many of his predecessors have done and failed.

3.  Can he establish a jab and sustain it? I’m sure McGregor has worked on this, but outside of training, he has never been asked to maintain a jab over the course of a fight. Everyone talks about the jab, but Floyd is one of few guys that utilizes it throughout. What’s scary about Floyd is that he can jab with you and beat you to the punch or feint to his right to avoid it completely.

4. How many plans of attack will McGregor have? Canelo had one; Pacquiao looked to only have one, but a trainer needs to be proactive and make immediate adjustments when he sees that the gameplan no longer works. McGregor is a smart guy, but he’s in there with a genius. Things can change pretty quickly and there will be a lot of pressure on McGregor’s corner.

5. Will McGregor be content to lead or counter? I have seen him do both, but to me he is a guy who needs to be moving forward, dictating the pace of the fight. Against Floyd, McGregor needs to show that he is capable of controlling momentum and also countering when Mayweather goes on the attack, which tends to be toward the end of rounds. It will be interesting to see how dictating the pace in a boxing ring compares with doing it in the Octagon.

6. How physical will he need to be? This is an interesting question. Some people think that McGregor’s success is contingent on how effectively he can bully Floyd. I don’t know how easy that is. Floyd is deceptively strong. Also, making it a dirty fight is difficult because it takes a lot for Floyd to become unraveled and give in to that style. I think he needs to be physical enough to bother Floyd on the inside, break his clinch and land short hooks that can add up over time.

What McGregor Needs to be Aware of: Ten key points

1) Varying speeds of Mayweather’s jab
2) Floyd’s subtle shift weight from right to left as soon as feels pressure. It throws opponent’s rhythm off completely.
3) When Floyd lands right, either falls into opponent and clinches or uses elbow to push off.
4) Starts slow: Notorious slow starter in nearly all fights.
5) Willing to take punches early means he can preserve energy for rounds 8-12
6) Doesn’t throw many 4+ punch combinations, but likes the right cross followed by left hook.
7) Does a move where he completely covers up in defensive mode. Don’t be fooled, he likes to jab from that stance.

Additional points:
8) Goes straight back when being jabbed
9) Prefers moving to left so he can slip back to right and possibly land right hand
10) Likes to throw a right or a soft jab to chest as range-finder

Christian Giudice
Author: A Fire Burns Within: The Miraculous Journey of Wilfredo Gomez
Author: The Rise and Fall of Alexis Argüello
Author: Hands of Stone: The Life and Legend of Roberto Duran

Website: christiangiudice.com
Email: christiangiudice@hotmail.com

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