Floyd Mayweather Jr. is known for his defensive approach in his fights, which is ultimately the main recipe for his success over the last two decades of his career. But during the August 26th fight against Conor McGregor, the undefeated 50-0 boxer let go of this approach and instead came forward, as he had promised during pre-fight interviews.
It was a strategy that McGregor’s boxing coach Owen Roddy admitted to not being prepared for. During his interview on Monday’s MMA Hour episode, Roddy said he was expecting the usual Philly shell shoulder roll that Mayweather had been best known for.
“I honestly thought (Mayweather) was going to pop shots, sit back, work the shoulder roll and Philly shell. He did play that game for the first couple of rounds,” Roddy said (via MMA Fighting). “Conor was having success with all of that, but unfortunately I didn’t have the stuff in place for the walking down strategy. We’ve learned from that.”
Roddy added that they tried to employ a new game plan during the later rounds, but it was no longer working. As for the cardio issue that McGregor has been riddled with, Roddy says the intensity of the action also played a big factor.
“When it’s that intense, and you’re constantly being pushed back, it doesn’t matter how fit you are,” Roddy explained. From nine and ten, Floyd managed to put Conor on the back foot for those two rounds and kept walking him down. I know from experience, when someone is constantly pressuring you like that and you don’t have a second to get a breath, fatigue sets in really quick.”
“It doesn’t matter how fit you are, that just happens,” he continued. “It was hard for Conor to get that breath back and recover. We were trying to get him to tie up and push Floyd backwards in nine, but we just couldn’t get the opportunity.”
When asked about McGregor’s next move in MMA, Roddy is leaning towards making the trilogy fight against Nate Diaz happen, more than anything else.