Floyd Mayweather Conor McGregor
A win for Floyd Mayweather, pictured during a media workout at the Mayweather Boxing Club on Aug. 10, 2017 in Las Vegas, is the only logical prediction for his fight with Conor McGregor. Getty Images

Floyd Mayweather is going to beat Conor McGregor. It’s just about the only certain prediction that can be made when it comes to a fight that’s unlike any other in history.

The biggest star in the UFC is set to take on the greatest boxer of the past two decades, and he’ll do so in the first professional boxing match of his career. McGregor has convinced much of the gambling public that he can beat Mayweather to the point that he has +300 betting odds at online sportsbooks, via OddsShark, and the bout might very well sell the most pay-per-view buys ever.

But the drama that’s surrounded the fight since it became official on June 14 should prove to be more exciting than the action inside the ring at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. A Mayweather victory is the only logical conclusion to this feud, and the real question is whether Mayweather will win by knockout or decision.

McGregor began publicly boasting that he’d beat Mayweather in a fight two years ago when the thought of the two fighters actually going head-to-head seemed like an impossibility. Members of both camps, from UFC president Dana White to Mayweather himself, have said McGregor can win.

“I stopped doubting Conor McGregor a long time ago. In my history with him, this guy has done everything he said he would do, including picking the round that he would do it in. So I don’t know, we’ll see how this thing plays out,” White said at Barclays Center on July 13, echoing the sentiment he’s had over the last two months.

It’s true that McGregor has continued to prove his doubters wrong. Jose Aldo was the only UFC featherweight champion in history, and the Irish fighter needed just 13 seconds to knock out the legendary 145-pounder. Moving up 10 pounds, McGregor knocked out Eddie Alvarez to become the only UFC fighter to ever hold two belts simultaneously. He even beat Nate Diaz at 170 pounds.

The problem for McGregor is that those accomplishments all took place inside the octagon. Mayweather has been perfect inside the boxing ring, silencing every critic anytime it looked like his undefeated record might be in jeopardy.

A decade ago, Mayweather defeated Oscar De La Hoya in what was the highest-selling PPV at the time. He knocked out Ricky Hatton seven months later and beat Juan Manuel Marquez after nearly a two-year layoff. Mayweather continued his dominance when he moved up to the welterweight division with wins over Shane Mosley and Victor Ortiz, and he had no trouble against light middleweights Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez.

Even in his late 30s and beyond his prime, Mayweather still looked like the best boxer in the world. He cruised to 12-round victories over Manny Pacquiao and Andre Berto, cementing his legacy as the best boxer of his generation.

At 40 years old, Mayweather might no longer be the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter. But if Alvarez and Pacquiao couldn’t stop him just a few years ago, a fighter with no professional boxing experience isn’t going to do it either.

Sure, McGregor could land one punch that allows him to beat Mayweather. In theory, every boxer has a puncher’s chance. The chances of him actually inflicting enough damage on one of the greatest defensive boxers of all time, however, are incredibly low, and Mayweather’s -400 odds don’t do it nearly enough justice.

Don’t expect Mayweather to overlook McGregor or take the UFC fighter lightly. Mayweather has proven throughout the years that his perfect record is incredibly important to him. It’s the reason why he’s able to call himself “the best ever,” and allowing an MMA fighter to last 12 rounds would hurt that claim, even in victory.

“He believes it's not going past four [rounds] and I believe that it's not going to go the distance at all,” Mayweather told reporters at a media workout two weeks ago.

“He feels one way, I feel another way, we are both confident in our skills and we'll just have to see. It is a victory for him. If it goes the distance, it's a victory for him - in my eyes also.”

It’s reasonable to think the fight will go the distance. Mayweather hasn’t scored a knockout in his last seven fights, and he needed a borderline sucker punch to stop Ortiz in the fourth round six years ago.

McGregor is one of the best professional fighters in the world. He won’t go down easy, and former world boxing champion Paulie Malignaggi even admitted that the UFC lightweight champion bested him in their first sparring session.

McGregor might not be as aggressive as he’s indicated, at least not within the first few rounds. There might be a feeling-out process that disappoints fans expecting to see an early stoppage.

In the end, Mayweather’s superior boxing skills will be too much for McGregor to withstand. Once he starts landing clean shots, a perfect 50-0 record won’t be far behind.

Prediction: Mayweather by eighth-round KO