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Conor McGregor on Floyd Mayweather: ‘I don’t believe he will even exit the first round’

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Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor gets ready for a media workout last week in Las Vegas.
Esther Lin, Showtime

Conor McGregor has said he would stop Floyd Mayweather within four rounds. With 8-ounce gloves, “Mystic Mac” revised that prediction to just two rounds. Now, McGregor is going even further.

When asked Wednesday night on “Conan” about his prognostication for the Mayweather boxing match Aug. 26 in Las Vegas, McGregor laughed.

“I said four, but that’s me being humble,” the UFC lightweight champion told Conan O’Brien. “I don’t believe he will even exit the first round, but I’m trying to be humble on national TV. So I say four — inside four.”

Those words are sure to draw the boxing world’s ire more than ever. Mayweather has never lost. He’s 49-0, one of the best of all time and has rarely been challenged. There are few instances of Mayweather even being wobbled in fights, let alone knocked out. Meanwhile, McGregor has never boxed professionally.

Mayweather, 40, is also known as perhaps the best defensive boxer in history. McGregor believes he has a strategy to crack that steel-curtain defense.

“I think the styles of opponents that Floyd has faced have moved in a certain way,” McGregor said. “The boxing game is almost set in its way, I feel. Their feet are flat. They have no spring in and out. Compare that with a mixed martial artist, they can bounce in and out at a fast tempo. So I believe I will paint pictures in there that he has never seen or the boxing community has never seen before and that will cause him big trouble.

“Factor that in with the precision and the punching power — it only takes me one shot. I’ve KO’d men inside three seconds. I won the UFC title in 13 seconds. So, factor in all those things — with the punching power and the precision — it’s over for Floyd and that’s it.”

McGregor, and even Mayweather’s team in the promotion, has made plenty of Mayweather’s age. McGregor is 29, 11 years Mayweather’s junior. Mayweather hasn’t fought since 2015, but he didn’t seem any worse of wear in both his fights that year and appears to be in excellent shape.

O’Brien asked McGregor if he might let down for a moment and come loose with a kick or something he’d be able to do in MMA but not boxing. McGregor said he would not and has brought in veteran boxing referee Joe Cortez for his sparring sessions to get him schooled on the rules.

“I will go in and dismantle him at his own game,” McGregor said. “That’s what a true martial artist can do, they can adapt under any circumstance. Bruce Lee said, ‘be like water,’ and when the water enters a cup, it becomes the cup. That’s the philosophy I’m going into this contest. It doesn’t matter what ruleset or stipulations they try and put on me, I can adapt and overcome any situation. And that’s what I will do on Aug. 26.”

McGregor joked that Mayweather has not knocked anyone out in “20-plus years,” so he has no fear of his power. Mayweather did get a controversial knockout over Victor Ortiz in 2011 and stopped Ricky Hatton in 2007. Neither of those finishes seem to faze McGregor, who vowed to walk forward and put pressure on Mayweather from the jump.

“I’m feeling very confident I can walk through any shot and break him down,” McGregor said.