Mayweather vs. McGregor: What to Expect in Tonight’s Megafight

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor during weigh-in Friday night in Las Vegas.

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Bridget Bennett for The New York Times

Conor McGregor, the brash U.F.C. champion, takes on undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the most anticipated boxing match in years. Coverage of the fight in Las Vegas begins at 9 p.m. Eastern, but the main event is expected to begin much later. Stay here for live, round-by-round updates and analysis. How to watch.

Will the fight be an epic mismatch?

There are those who say that Conor McGregor, a 5-1 underdog with the bookies, should be more like 100-1 or 1,000-1. If this is so, the bout will probably be ugly early. Watch to see if McGregor lands any blows at all in the first round or two. Mayweather is a dazzling defensive fighter, and the phrase “He couldn’t lay a glove on him” may never be more appropriate.

FLOYD MAYWEATHER vs. CONOR McGREGOR
40 AGE 29
5’8″ HEIGHT 5’9″
151 WEIGHT 154
72 inches REACH 74 inches
49-0 (boxing) WON-LOST 21-3 (MMA)
26 K.O. 18

Is it a fight or a spectacle?

Billboards for the fight are everywhere in Las Vegas. The contest is Topic 1 at the poker tables and sports books. Publications not known for their fistic coverage, like The Atlantic and The New Yorker are weighing in. There will be a lot of big names at ringside. Is this going to be more like Evel Knievel jumping Snake River Canyon or Bobby Riggs-Billy Jean King than a boxing match?

Can Mayweather deliver a knockout punch?

Mayweather has beaten boxing’s best, but he has knocked out exactly one fighter since 2008, and that man, Victor Ortiz, wasn’t ready for the blow because he was reaching out to hug Mayweather (It’s a long story.)

The same people who predict an easy Mayweather victory are mostly saying it will be by knockout. But even against an inexperienced boxer, the 40-year-old Mayweather may not have the power in his punch to end it early.

Can McGregor even box?

A man with no professional bouts is the headliner of one of the biggest fights in decades. Footage of McGregor sparring has been met with critiques from boxing purists about his arm carriage, his stance, and other supposed problems. (Of course sparring footage release to the public is very likely to be misleading.) The first few rounds, if it goes that far, will tell us if McGregor is a competent pugilist, or an embarrassment.

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