Yahoo Sports combat writer Kevin Iole isn’t surprised a boxing match between 49-0 Floyd Mayweather and UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor is taking place considering how much money was at stake but he is surprised with the timing of events.
Iole joined The Jim Rome Show Thursday on CBS Sports Radio and talked the upcoming August 26th Mayweather vs. McGregor fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“I’m really shocked that they got it together as quickly as they did,” Iole said. “The Pacquiao-Mayweather negotiations, nothing is ever going to top, but that went on for five-and-a-half, nearly six years, and I thought we were going to be in for an eighteen month type deal with this one before it happened.
“I think there was a good chance it would happen, because so much money is involved in it, but the speed of how quickly they got it done, and really that one caught me by surprise.”
Iole acknowledged how big of a favorite Mayweather is, but also believes the future Hall of Famer has to finish the mixed martial arts fighter McGregor to keep face.
“I think he really needs to knock him out,” Iole said about Mayweather. “Floyd is all about winning the fight and not putting himself at risk, and that 49-0 record means a lot to him so 50-0 means a tremendous amount to him. So I don’t think he’s going to take an excessive risk to go do it, but I think if he’s in the second half of the fight and he’s cutting up Conor, and he kind of feels like he’s got the timing down and he understands what Conor is trying to accomplish, I think you might see then Floyd stand a little more flat footed and throw those right hands at him to try to get him out of there.
“I think there’s a chance in the second half of the fight Floyd could swell up Conor’s eyes could cut him and could stop him that way. I wouldn’t expect him to put him down for a 10-count but I do think he could go out there and stop him just by an accumulation of punches to the face.”
However, one place where Mayweather will meet his match, according to Iole, is the promotion. The veteran writer actually thinks for the first time in his career the 40-year-old “Money” Mayweather will be an underdog in the psychological warfare department leading up to the first bell on August 26th.
“I feel Floyd is a genius at getting into the other guy’s head, but this is one where I think Conor has the advantage,” Iole said. “Floyd has never encountered anybody like Conor, and Conor, he’s not going to care and respect Floyd. He’s not going to thank him for the payday which so many of Floyd’s previous opponents did, and he’s not going to treat him differently. He’s going to mock him just like he does, and I think that will have an impact on Floyd. I don’t think that’s totally going to throw Floyd off, because he’s such a pro and been around so long, but I don’t think Floyd is going to be able to kind of do his mind games and get into Conor’s head because he’s going to be defending more than he’s going to be on offense.”