Floyd Mayweather’s Sparring Partners Explain Why Conor McGregor Has Zero Chance of Winning The Big Fight

“He’s like a snake that you can’t hit, but he keeps striking you.”


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It doesn’t take an expert to know that Floyd Mayweather is going to make Conor McGregor look like a damn child when they square off in the ring on August 26. But an expert’s perspective is different from Johnny Sportsfan’s. 

While you and I would say that an undefeated boxing icon simply can’t lose to a UFC fighter who is trying professional boxing for the very first time, it’s even more compelling when Floyd’s actual sparring partners tell us why this is over before it even begins. 

Will McGregor somehow be the one to finally crack the code of the best defensive fighter of all time, who has probably only lost a few rounds over his entire 49-0 career, all while fighting the best boxers in the world? Don’t count on it, say the elite boxers who have sparred with Floyd.

ESPN The Magazine writer Dotun Akintoye tracked down three of Mayweather’s most prominent sparring partners, all of whom are accomplished fighters in their own right. 

Here’s what they had to say about why Mayweather will prevail on August 26:

Zab Judah

Judah lands a shot on Paulie Malinaggi in 2013. (Photo: Getty Images)

Judah is a four-time world champion, holding titles at both the junior welterweight and welterweight levels. He fought Mayweather in 2006 and lost an unanimous decision. 

On Mayweather’s training:

Judah: When he trains, he lines up like 15 to 20 sparring partners at a time. I’ve known him since we were amateurs. He’s always done over and beyond what the job consists of. You can’t beat someone who’s not going to get tired.

On Mayweather’s right:

Judah: He knows how to throw it, when to throw it, where to throw it, how long to throw it, how short to throw it, how hard to throw it.

On Mayweather’s preparation:

Judah: He studies your background down to your kids, your wife, who your mama is, who your daddy is. He doesn’t watch fights; he prepares for the person. Sometimes when you learn the person, you don’t have to learn how they fight.

Demarcus Corley

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Corley is a well-respected, though not well-known fighter, who’s put together a 50-28 record in more than two decades of boxing. He fought Mayweather in 2004 and lost a unanimous decision. 

On Mayweather’s right:

Corley: Floyd throws it like a fucking snake. He’s like a snake that you can’t hit, but he keeps striking you.

On Mayweather’s body work:

Corley: He’s not trying to hurt you; he’s trying to let you know, “I’m just taking a little bit out of you. I’m going to break you down eventually.” That’s something Pernell Whitaker used to do.

On Mayweather’s trash talk:

Corley: He starts talking to his opponent, and that’s something that I experienced in the fight and in camp with him. He’s saying, “Eat this! Nope! Nope!” He’s going to say that in the McGregor fight when McGregor’s missing his shots, “Nope! Nope! Hell nah!”

On Mayweather’s power:

Corley: His power is the quickness of his punches, the placement. His punch placement is so on point, from the outside it looks like he doesn’t hit hard. But when he hits you, you feel like, Goddamn, I have to regroup now.

On Mayweather’s famed shoulder roll:

Corley: He’s so elusive — his movement, his reflexes. When you shoot, he twitches his left shoulder up to block his chin so he can’t be hit with a right hook. His right hand is already up to catch anything coming from that side.

When they say Floyd doesn’t have any balls? You got to have balls to stand and catch a punch, come back with a punch, then get the hell out of there. That takes timing, practice and a lot of heart to stand in the pocket and get your shot off.

Errol Spence Jr.

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At 27, the 22-0 Spence is thought of as one of the best welterweight fighters in the world right now. He’s never fought Mayweather in an acutal prizefight, and sounds like he’d like to keep it that way. 

On Mayweather’s right:

Spence: He throws it as a jab, in a way. It comes so fast. A lot of fighters telegraph their punches. He doesn’t at all. It’s really something that he’s just mastered, throwing the straight right and catching guys over and over.

On Mayweather’s body work:

Spence: Those little shots have an effect, shooting the jab in your stomach, which he does a lot, or in a clinch throwing an uppercut to your body. That’s a big factor when you’re using your legs to move forward to try to catch a guy.

On Mayweather’s training:

Spence: I never saw him breathing hard. He always controls his breathing — and that’s an art. A lot of fighters, you see them breathing out of their mouths. Floyd always breathes out of his nose. He fights in the 12th round like he fought in the first round due to how hard he works. He does mitts for 30 minutes, then hits the bag for 30 minutes straight, then goes running, then goes to play basketball.

On Mayweather’s power:

Spence: I’ve seen him stop guys in the gym with 16-ounce gloves. Bigger guys. He just beats them up. In his young career, you saw how he was knocking guys out. But now he’s got hand problems, so he’s not turning with it all the way, not putting 100 percent power into his punches.

But he can punch hard. That’s why a lot of guys, when he hits them, they start backing up or go on defense. They’re not just walking through his punches. You haven’t seen anybody who’s walking through his punches. Even Marcos Maidana started backing up when Floyd started coming forward.