McGregor light-hearted on decision to change gloves

Conor McGregor at a workout in Las Vegas. The UFC lightweight champion said the decision to use eight-ounce gloves for the Aug 26 fight meant Floyd Mayweather would not make it past the second round.
Conor McGregor at a workout in Las Vegas. The UFC lightweight champion said the decision to use eight-ounce gloves for the Aug 26 fight meant Floyd Mayweather would not make it past the second round.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LOS ANGELES • Mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor is happy about the switch to lighter gloves for his Aug 26 fight against undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather, and says his opponent will now struggle to make it past the second round.

On Wednesday, just 10 days before the hotly-anticipated Las Vegas fight, the Nevada State Athletic Commission approved requests from Mayweather and McGregor to wear eight-ounce gloves rather than 10-ounce ones.

"That was a good thing for me. I'm very happy with it," McGregor told reporters during a conference call.

Mayweather had nearly all of his 49 professional wins using eight-ounce gloves, which may accentuate one of his advantages - his hand speed.

McGregor preferred the lighter gloves since he is used to the fingerless, four-ounce gloves typically worn in MMA.

"That's it in a nutshell, you've got pros and cons on both sides," he said. "Favours us both in certain ways. But now that the gloves are eight ounces, I don't believe he makes it out of the second round.

"I do not foresee him absorbing the blows in the first two rounds."

McGregor added that his gruelling preparations for the fight would enable him to triumph, no matter how the fight develops.

"The training sessions and the practice that we've been putting in have been through hell and back. We are ready for absolutely every scenario," he said.

"I'm ready to go to war for the full 12 rounds and I am ready to put him away in the first 10 seconds."

Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), followed McGregor on the conference call and predicted the fight could even threaten the reported US$600 million (S$819 million) haul from the Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao showdown in 2015.

"This is the biggest event ever in combat sports history. This is the most distributed event in pay-per-view history," White said.

"This thing is in like 200 countries on pay-per-view. Boxing doesn't usually do a lot of digital."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 18, 2017, with the headline 'McGregor light-hearted on decision to change gloves'. Print Edition | Subscribe