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Thursday, 10 August 2017

Floyd Mayweather v Conor McGregor: American formally requests to use lighter gloves




Floyd Mayweather has formally requested to use 8oz gloves when he fights Conor McGregor in Las Vegas on 26 August.

The former five-weight world champion submitted a necessary waiver to the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) on Wednesday, hours before the deadline.


The NAC, which sanctioned the bout, told BBC Sport it expected to receive a request from McGregor on Wednesday.


NAC rules state fights at 154 lbs require 10oz gloves and the matter will now be debated on 16 August.

Lighter gloves offer less cushioning for the hands but theoretically lead to punches being more punishing.

Last week Mayweather posted an Instagram message stating: "I'll be wearing 8oz Grant gloves."

But the undefeated fighter - who will come out of retirement for the bout - had not submitted a necessary waiver document at that stage. Instead, his team had asked the authorities what the process of using lighter gloves entailed.

At the time, NAC executive director Bob Bennett told BBC Sport he had never seen a move to 8oz gloves at 154lbs before.

Rules state that 10oz gloves are used from 135lbs upwards but bouts between 135lbs and 147lbs can use 8oz gloves if waivers are signed and the NAC feels the move is justified.

"Even if they are both in agreement, our number one policy is the health and safety of the fighters," said Bennett. "To deviate from our regulations at a difference of 7lbs would be for the chairman and commissioners to determine."

During his UFC career, McGregor has used 4oz gloves and he welcomed Mayweather's Instagram post last week, stating: "I am coming sprinting at you with bricks. Know that. Brittle hands."

The NAC will debate the matter publicly before announcing its decision.

McGregor, 29, will make his boxing debut in what could be the richest fight in history. The UFC lightweight champion's move from the octagon to the ring to face Mayweather, 40, has prompted criticism from major boxing personalities such as Oscar De La Hoya and Gennady Golovkin.

But Bennett says he studied a "litany of information" on the Irishman before telling his chairman there were "several reasons to approve the fight".

Bennett said that McGregor's UFC rival Nate Diaz played a role in him forming his opinion.

"I spoke to Virgil Hunter, who trains many top fighters and has worked with the likes of Andre Ward," said Bennett. "He used Nate Diaz a dozen times for sparring and said he rated him as an outstanding boxer.

"Then you put Nate in the ring with Conor and Conor knocks him down with several shots. Add in that Conor has a granite-like chin, add in that he's 12 years younger than Floyd, and add in that he's taller and longer.

"Floyd is probably one of the smartest fighters, he has the art of getting in getting shots and getting out. But he hasn't knocked anyone out in 10 years. Ricky Hatton was probably the last one in 2007 because when he KO'd Victor Ortiz in 2010, he wasn't defending himself.

"That in essence is it. There were several reasons to approve this fight."

McGregor floored Diaz three times on his way to a points win in August 2016, avenging a defeat via submission five months earlier.

Since sanctioning the fight, Bennett has had access to three videos showing McGregor's progress and told BBC Sport: "He's good to go."

He also advised McGregor's camp to employ a boxing referee in order to feel comfortable with the rules, advice which led to the hiring of Hall of Fame official Joe Cortez, 73.

Cortez said he oversaw an "out of control" sparring session between McGregor and Paulie Malignaggi. The former two-weight world champion has since left the camp after reacting angrily to images of him on the canvas during a sparring session.



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