Most fight pundits have all but written off UFC striker Conor McGregor in his upcoming mega-fight with boxing royalty Floyd Mayweather.
But a stunning rule switch may have tilted the balance back towards the Irishman.
While most professional boxing fights in this weight-class use pillowy 10oz gloves, the Nevada State Athletic Commission have agreed to let McGregor and Mayweather use lighter 8oz gloves after both fighters requested the change.
The move plays to McGregor’s superior punching power and left the Notorious in a cocky mood.
“I believe now that the gloves are eight ounces, I don’t believe he makes it out of the second round,” McGregor told the press after the announcement.
“Part of me is hoping maybe he can last so I can [deal with] the word of, ‘Oh, he’s a lucky [puncher],’ and that sort of thing, which I’ve been labeled with before.
“Part of me kind of wants to show some skill and dismantle him that way, but I do not see him absorbing the blows in the first two rounds.
“But we are ready for absolutely every scenario. We’re ready to go to war for the full 12 rounds, and I’m ready to put him away in the first 10 seconds. So that’s where my head’s at.”
Mayweather, meanwhile, did his talking via Instagram…
In other news, the NSAC also decided the in-ring referee would be Robert Byrd, and the three judges would be Burt Clements, Dave Moratti and Guido Cavalleri.