Sports psychologists say that visualization can be a major component of success. That is, athletes stand a better chance of experiencing positive scenarios if they have already envisioned those scenarios in their minds.
It is not known how often Conor McGregor looks within himself to see a knockout of Floyd Mayweather. But just in case the UFC champion needs any help with that visualization, he need only glance at a wall in his gym.
That’s because the wall is adorned with a large mural of McGregor punching Mayweather right in the face. The straight left to his opponent’s jaw certainly looks like a knockout blow, which is what many feel the underdog Irishman needs to do to emerge victorious from the August megafight.
On Monday, McGregor gave his social-media followers a pair of looks at the mural, in posts that showed him training for his boxing debut but undoubtedly did not have the image in the background by coincidence.
Well, that’s certainly one way to help program your subconscious mind to achieve a goal. McGregor will be competing in his first sanctioned boxing match against a boxer widely regarded as the best of his era, and arguably the sport’s greatest-ever defensive fighter. But the MMA superstar has the power to take advantage of his literal puncher’s chance.
McGregor has other advantages, such as reach (74 inches to Mayweather’s 72) and age (29 on fight day to Mayweather’s 40), but his 49-0 opponent has been installed as a major favorite by Las Vegas oddsmakers. That hasn’t deterred McGregor’s agent, Audie Attar, from saying recently, “Keep doubting us. We love it.”
“Floyd’s been an amazing tactician in term of his quickness, his ability to get in there, his ability to elude punches,” Attar said (via the Associated Press). “But I think on Aug. 26, I’m bullish on the idea that that’s going to change, and he is going to meet someone that is going to have the physical attributes that will potentially catch him and be that one [in] 49-1.”
McGregor, the UFC’s lightweight champion, is 21-3 in his MMA career, including 18 knockouts or technical knockouts. Apart from not being able to kick or grapple with Mayweather, though, he will have to adjust to using 10-ounce gloves, as opposed to the lighter gloves, with fingers exposed, used in MMA.
Some believe the fight is a ludicrous mismatch, including, in all likelihood, Mayweather, who has already filed for trademarks on several phrases with “50” and “50-0” in them. If he’s confident about winning, he’s even more confident in another $100 million-plus payday on the reasonable assumption that thousands of fight fans, many of whom will be hoping for a McGregor knockout, won’t just visualize the event in their minds but will spring for a pricey pay-per-view.