Floyd Mayweather spent much of his promotional tour last month mocking Conor McGregor's skills and confidently predicting he would dominate their Aug. 26 boxing match, but he struck a more deferential tone Tuesday, acknowledging that he has "lost a step" and that McGregor, at least on paper, has the edge over him.
In an interview with ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, Mayweather, 40, pointed to McGregor's advantages in size and age as reasons why the UFC fighter poses a legitimate challenge.
"He's a lot younger. When you look at myself and Conor McGregor on paper, he's taller, has a longer reach, he's a bigger man from top to bottom. He's a lot younger, so youth is on his side," Mayweather said of McGregor, who is 29. "And I've been off a couple of years. And I'm in my 40s. So, if you look at everything on paper, it leans toward Conor McGregor."
Mayweather, the former pound-for-pound boxing king and five-division world champion, is coming out of retirement for his clash with McGregor, a bout for which he is widely considered a heavy favorite.