Mayweather: 'On paper' matchup 'leans toward' McGregor

Arun Srinivasan
Paul Chlids / Action Images

Floyd Mayweather has yet to cede any advantage toward Conor McGregor ahead of their upcoming bout, but acknowledged his opponent's refined skill set Tuesday.

Mayweather and McGregor square off Aug. 26 in the first professional boxing match of the latter's career.

McGregor is considered a heavy underdog by most, but Mayweather acknowledged it could be a more difficult fight than some anticipate.

"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 to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith. "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 turned 40 in February and conceded he's no longer close to his prime, which is why he didn't rule out McGregor's chances entirely.

"I'm not the same fighter I was two years ago. I'm not the same fighter I was five years ago. I lost a step," Mayweather said. "A fighter like Andre Berto isn't even supposed to go the distance with Floyd Mayweather, but remember, I was 38. It's obvious I'm slipping a little bit to even let a fighter like Andre Berto go the distance with me.

Mayweather gained a reputation for being an overtly defensive fighter but hinted at a more aggressive approach against McGregor.

"This can't be a defensive fight. I have to go to him," Mayweather said. "I owe the public because of the (Manny) Pacquiao fight. They weren't please with that. They're gonna be pleased with this fight here."