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September 05, 2017

Insiders: Floyd Mayweather Jr. thought so little of Conor McGregor that he barely trained at all

Floyd Mayweather Sr. couldn’t contain himself. 

About an hour earlier, he stood in the corner and watched his son, Floyd Mayweather Jr., stop mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor at 1:05 of the 10th round in a fight that grabbed the world’s attention. After the postfight press conference, walking through the bowels of the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on August 26 with a large contingent, Floyd Sr. blurted out to no one in particular, “My son is so great he hardly trained and still beat that man easily.” 

Floyd Jr. admitted himself that he didn’t spar a month prior to the epic McGregor confrontation. But it was actually closer to six weeks. 

More revealing is that Mayweather barely ran in preparation for McGregor, according to multiple sources. In other words, Mayweather showed up at about a 50-percent version of himself and still dominated one of the world’s best fighters.

“Floyd would have stopped [McGregor] a lot earlier if he worked even a little bit,” Mayweather Sr. said. “Floyd did not train for that fight – he literally whupped that boy, that’s what he did. Just imagine if my son would have prepared and would have trained that way he [normally] would for a fight, he would have stopped [McGregor] even sooner. 

“What the world saw was only about 50-percent of what my son is capable of doing. Yes, you can say it – it was like he literally came off the street to beat that man. That’s how good my son is. That’s basically it. I used to run with my son, but we haven’t ran together in a long time. As far as I’m concerned, he didn’t run for this fight. Floyd didn’t put all of what Floyd could do in the McGregor fight. 

"If the real Floyd Mayweather Jr. would have showed up for the McGregor fight, McGregor wouldn’t have gotten out of the second round.”

A number of people close to Mayweather’s camp also confirmed his lack of training prior facing McGregor.

“Floyd hit the speed bag or did a light run, but he spent more time promoting the fight and at his businesses than preparing for McGregor," said one member of Mayweather's camp."There’s no way around it, Floyd is a genetic freak. He’s been fighting so long that things just come naturally to him. All this social media stuff about McGregor going 10 rounds with the best in the world is bullshit. It’s actually the other way around: A 50-percent version of Floyd Mayweather came off the street and pounded one of the world’s best MMA fighters and hardly trained to do it.

“It says how much better Floyd is than McGregor.”

Floyd Sr. also brought up the fact that his son turned 40 in February and had not fought in nearly two years (since September 12, 2015, when he beat Andre Berto by decision). And he recalled how he held Floyd Jr. on his lap when he was baby, having him throw jabs and straight right hands.

If the real Floyd Mayweather showed up ... this thing would have been done a lot sooner. Floyd wanted to give the fans a show and he did — doing the bare minimum to prepare.

Over 35 years of training — and the muscle memory it's ingrained – have resulted in 50 wins. And zero losses. 

In other words, the last few months are nothing compared to the lifetime of training Mayweather has under his belt. Because in addition to being one of the most gifted fighters in the world today, he’s also one of the hardest working fighters. 

A case in point goes back to earlier in his career, when he was scheduled to fight Emanuel Augustus on HBO’s short-lived “KO Nation” on Saturday, October 21, 2000 – it was the day after the Mike Tyson-Andrew Golota fight, in Detroit, Michigan. Days prior to his fight, Mayweather drove his camp up a wall in search of a gym to get in another workout.

This was not the case in the lead up to Mayweather-McGregor.

“Tell me what really would have happened if Floyd had trained for the McGregor fight?” Floyd Sr. asked. “That fight could have gone two or three rounds, maybe the fight would have just went one round, who knows? I do know that if my son trained for McGregor, that fight would have been over much sooner.

“That’s how great my son is. He can walk off the street and beat a world-class fighter like [McGregor]. Look here, no one in the world could beat my son when he’s 100-percent—even now that he’s 40. People were saying it was an age thing. It wasn’t an age thing. Okay, maybe he can’t train the way he could when he was 25 or 30. But he didn’t train, and that’s why that fight seemed a lot closer than it was.”

Paulie Malignaggi, who called the fight for Showtime pay-per-view, equated it to the character James “The Grim Reaper” Roper, played by Damon Wayans, in the movie “The Great White Hype.” Roper shows up for a fight with a potbelly and a cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth for a fight against Irishman Terry Conklin, played by Peter Berg, who beat Roper in the amateurs. 

That was essentially Mayweather — sans the potbelly and cigarette.   

“I heard a lot of the same things that Floyd hardly trained for this fight. I would say about 50-percent of what Floyd is capable of doing showed up,” Malignaggi said. “Floyd would have destroyed McGregor if he showed up at 100-percent. Did you ever see Floyd show up in a one-dimensional fashion? The public really bought into this bum McGregor.

“Everyone gives McGregor a moral victory because he went 10 rounds with Floyd. The truth is Floyd didn’t do anything to beat McGregor. Floyd has a lot of things going on right now, and he was getting pulled in different directions. This was a version of ‘The Great White Hype,’ only the real-life version. If the real Floyd Mayweather showed up, the Floyd Mayweather who fully prepared, this thing would have been done a lot sooner. Floyd wanted to give the fans a show and he did — doing the bare minimum to prepare.”

Joe Santoliquito is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Follow Joe on Twitter: @JSantoliquito

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