Before the big fight this past Saturday, August 26, 2017, of Mayweather vs McGregor I was struggling to make a prediction. If you were following sports talk and news, you would have known that the Mayweather vs McGregor predictions were all over the place. Some experts were saying Mayweather would knock out McGregor in the first round, while others were predicting the exact opposite. I boiled the fight down to three major themes, which helped me make my prediction.
1) The father-time theme. Mayweather was coming out of a two year retirement for that boxing match and he’s 40 years old. As we all know, father-time is undefeated. Eventually, the best of the best will fall to age. The question was, would this be the fight were Mayweather’s age became a huge factor?
2) The underdog theme. McGregor was a major underdog. It was his first professional boxing match, and it would be Mayweather’s 50th professional boxing match. Not to mention, Mayweather is considered to be one of the best to ever box. We all know the story of the underdog fighting against all odds to defeat the giant. Could McGregor be motivated to a level high enough to beat the champ?
3) Skill is what counts in sports. That’s the third theme. Would the other two themes be irrelevant, because the skill gap would be too great. Mayweather has far more experience in boxing than McGregor (a professional MMA fighter). Would this be like Kobe Bryant stepping on the court (he’s currently retired) with the best college player, for a 1-on-1 basketball game? Regardless, of how great this college player is, no one would doubt that a retired Kobe Bryant would still be able to defeat him very easily.
The night before the fight, I decided that the skill gap was too great to ignore, and that the third theme would outweigh the other two themes. Mayweather looked pretty good in his last fight two years ago and he looked in very good shape for this fight. That convinced me that the father-time theme would not play a major role in this fight. Of course, eventually it will because father-time is undefeated.
I also decided that McGregor being an underdog wasn’t going to be enough to overcome Mayweather’s skill and boxing talents. Belief can only take you so far. It would not be enough to cover up his rookie mistakes. I decided that the underdog theme wins and is vitally important when skill levels are equally matched, or very similar. That wasn’t the case for this boxing match.
In the end, I correctly made my Mayweather vs McGregor predictions. Mayweather won the fight by knockout, and made it look relatively easy. It felt cool, because I actually thought about it as opposed to making a prediction based off of emotion or who I liked.
For the next big sporting event, I plan to lay out the themes and choose based off of which I feel will play a larger role. Hopefully I’m correct again!