Who will win, Floyd Mayweather or Conor McGregor? Predictions from fitness fanatics at UFC Gym Middle East

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Sport360's Stuart Appleby visited UFC Gym Middle East in Business Bay to find out who people are backing in the big Las Vegas showdown.

Here, five people from the Dubai-based gym give their verdicts on the fight.

Meanwhile, have you found a place to watch the historic boxing bout yet?

If you haven't, UFC Gym Middle East is the perfect place to take in the action.
'Watch the Greatest Fight in History' Live from 6am at UFC Gym Business Bay.


RSVP at 800 UFCGYM. Further details via Twitter @UFCGYMME.
PREDICTIONS:
Amir B
Age: 29
Occupation: Professional MMA Fighter
Prediction: Mayweather.
Verdict: It's an historic fight and I'm backing Mayweather to win in the sixth round, probably by knockout.

Josh Mepham
Age: 28
Occupation: Aquarium Designs
Prediction: McGregor
Verdict: I like them both but I'd love McGregor to win as the underdog and I think he's got a good chance because he's a difficult fighter to take on. He's not a boxer so Mayweather's not going to know what is coming and I don't think the American has studied him enough to know what he's going to do.

Alfred Junior Luciap
Age: 31
Occupation: MMA striking coach at UFC GYM
Prediction: Mayweather
It's a big event and I think it will be a great fight which will last as long as 10 rounds, with Mayweather outlasting McGregor in the end.

Tarek Ahmed
Age: 28
Occupation: Engineer
Prediction: McGregor
Verdict: Everyone is excited to see the match-up and I think both fighters have an equal chance of winning. McGregor has a lot of techniques other than boxing which can make him fast in the ring and I'm backing him to triumph.

Ty Kubiak
Age: 43
Occupation: Personal Trainer and Security Operative.
Prediction: Mayweather
Verdict: It's his game, it's his domain and kudos for Conor for having a go but I think it's time for him to retire and what a way to go out on a $100m pay packet.


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Five of Mayweather's greatest wins as he prepares for McGregor showdown

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Saturday's bout against Conor McGregor could be Maywather's final fight.

Floyd Mayweather is expected to fight for the last time in his light-middleweight match-up with Conor McGregor on Saturday.

Here, Press Association Sport revisits five of his finest wins.

Manny Pacquiao, May 2015

The long-awaited fight between arguably the two greatest fighters of their generation proved the biggest and richest in history, regardless of it probably taking place six years after their collective peak.

Pacquiao, then 36 and two years younger than Mayweather, was the biggest loser with that timing, when in the absence of the irresistible ferocity of his prime, Mayweather produced his latest masterclass to ease to a comfortable points victory.

The only time he really threatened Mayweather was in the fourth round when he landed a powerful left hand, but the American again adjusted, winning via scores of 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112 on the three judges’ scorecards.

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, September 2013

While Pacquiao was widely considered Mayweather’s greatest threat as the world’s finest fighter, it was Mexico’s Alvarez who had the potential to provide his toughest test.

Both significantly bigger and younger, the then 23-year-old Alvarez’s greatest hope of victory came in bullying the decorated American but he consistently struggled to impose himself as Mayweather produced an extraordinary display, punishing any attempts to put him under pressure.

After again dominating with his jab and classy combinations, Mayweather was awarded victory by scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 114-114 in a controversial majority decision that led to judge CJ Ross standing down amid ridicule after she scored the fight a draw.

Shane Mosley, May 2010

Against another modern great, Mayweather survived perhaps the biggest punch of his career to produce a true masterclass and earn a one-sided, unanimous decision.

The powerful Mosley landed a big right hand that buckled his knees and forced him to hold on a minute into the second round, but after recovering Mayweather concluded that round in control and thereafter excelled.

He timed and read his fellow American to such perfection to the extent that Mosley could have been withdrawn to save further punishment.

Ricky Hatton, December 2007

In a fight billed ‘Undefeated’, Mayweather ultimately outclassed a near-peak Hatton to inflict the first defeat of the Briton’s professional career by stopping him in 10 rounds.

Hatton, widely considered a stylistic challenge for Mayweather owing to his pressure fighting and high work-rate, was the world’s leading light-welterweight and largely matched the WBC welterweight champion physically.

However, after a promising start, he began to fall behind on points in the middle rounds. Mayweather began to read him until timing the powerful left hook that sent him to the canvas and led to the stoppage shortly after he returned to his feet.

Oscar De La Hoya, May 2007

The first of Mayweather’s match-ups that became a true ‘superfight’ involved him stepping up to light-middleweight – having won his first world title five divisions beneath that at super-featherweight – and producing an educated and classy performance that arguably deserved more than the split-decision victory he received.

Two judges had Mayweather winning 116-112 and 115-113, while the third had De La Hoya via a score of 115-113 but, beyond a sometimes superior work-rate, he did little to overcome Mayweather’s defence and better quality of punching.

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Hype meets reality as Mayweather and McGregor face off ahead of super fight

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Hype will collide with reality here Saturday as boxing legend Floyd Mayweather takes on mixed martial arts superstar Conor McGregor in a battle of combat sport kings tipped to be the richest fight in history.

A little over two months after the fight was confirmed in June, Mayweather and McGregor will touch gloves at Las Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena in a 12-round boxing contest which will be beamed to more than 200 countries and territories.

Fight promoters have breathlessly talked about the bout surpassing the $600 million (508 million euros) generated by Mayweather’s 2015 fight with Manny Pacquiao, insisting that interest has been off chart.

“This is the biggest event that has ever happened in combat sports,” said Dana White, the chief executive of MMA’s Ultimate Fighting Championship.

“This fight will reach over a billion homes worldwide.”

Ringside seats were being offered on secondary ticket markets for an eye-watering $100,250 apiece as of Thursday, even though some 1,700 seats in the 20,000-capacity venue remained unsold.

Millions of fans across the United States meanwhile are expected to shell out $99.95 to watch the fight on pay-per-view television, the most important economic engine of the spectacle.

The sense of anticipation has endured despite an unrelenting chorus of disparagement across the boxing world.

Farce. Freakshow. Circus. Mismatch. Rip-off. Bad for boxing.

It has been impossible to follow the build-up to the fight without being made aware of the near-universal tide of derision.

A cursory glance at the tale of the tape explains the cynicism.

Mayweather, 40, is one of the most skilled boxers of his generation, a master of ringcraft who retired in 2015 after a glittering 21-year career with a perfect 49-0 record.

McGregor, a two-time world champion in UFC, has never boxed professionally and has looked awkward and ungainly during training camp sparring sessions.

He has demonstrated punching power in the UFC, but has never faced an opponent as elusive as Mayweather.

Anything other than a convincing Mayweather win will be regarded as a surprise; a McGregor victory a monumental upset.

Yet the millions who will gladly part with their cash to watch the fight in the arena or on television do not appear to be bothered by the possibility that they may be taken for an expensive ride.

Stephen Espinoza, the head of cable network Showtime Sports which is selling the fight on pay-per-view in the US, said many would tune in on the off-chance of witnessing “something incredible.”

“We did some focus group testing, and the casual fans were absolutely adamant,” Espinoza said. “Their response almost universally was ‘We don’t care if it’s a mismatch. We don’t care if it’s non-competitive — if there’s a .01 chance that something incredible could happen, we need to watch it.’

“And that’s why they’re going to watch it.”

Irrespective of the outcome, the two men at the centre of the action will be laughing all the way to the bank.

If pay-per-view targets are met, Mayweather could earn as much as $200 million, pushing his career earnings towards $1 billion.

McGregor, who four years ago was living off unemployment benefit in Dublin before his emergence as a star of MMA, could pocket $100 million.

A gaudy “Money Belt” is also up for grabs to the winner, comprising 3,360 diamonds, 600 sapphires, 300 emeralds mounted in 1.5 kilos of solid gold and set in alligator leather.

Both fighters engaged in a global publicity tour to drum up interest in the fight last month that was marked by a series of lurid verbal exchanges, ranging from expletives and homophobic slurs to allegations of racism.

Yet a final press conference between the two fighters on Wednesday saw something close to an outbreak of civility, with both men refraining from the trash-talking in a strangely subdued showdown.

McGregor insists that he is ready to stun the sceptics by knocking out Mayweather inside two rounds.

“I will go forward and put the pressure on and break this old man,” McGregor said.

“I don’t see him lasting two rounds. I think I could end him in one round if I want. Everyone is going to eat their words on Saturday.”

A relaxed-looking Mayweather was unfazed by McGregor’s warnings of impending calamity, instead reminding the Irishman that he had faced plenty of explosive punchers through his career — and emerged victorious.

“We can both do a lot of talking, but it comes down to the skills,” said Mayweather, a 1/4 favourite with some bookmakers.

“After 21 years I’ve been hit with everything and I’m still right here. One thing you must know about combat sports, if you give it, you must be able to take it.

“I go out there and do what I do. I’ve been here before and fought many different fighters with different styles.

“There have been plenty of guys who talked a lot of trash, but when it’s all said and done, I came out victorious.”

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