You can't avoid the hype, it's been building for ages and the frenzy around the Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor boxing duel tomorrow (NZT) is about to inflame Las Vegas.

All the online sites, newspaper, radio and television channels have been drawn into the curious confluence of boxing and UFC where Mayweather has put his unblemished professional record against McGregor's mixed martial arts bravado.

The smart money - if there is such a thing in boxing - is on Mayweather to dust off two years of ring-rust and break the mark he shares with legendary heavyweight Rocky Marciano. That outcome is expected by most senior boxing pundits but comes with some caution.

Five years ago McGregor was making a few noises in Dublin but was not the Notorious fighter he has become under the MMA umbrella and the biggest pay-for-view magnet in UFC history. The one-time apprentice plumber will take home at least US$75 million as his cut of the purse while Mayweather will make US$100m with mega-endorsements for both.


Those payouts are as obscene as much of the pre-fight malarkey and posturing from both fighters before referee Robert Byrd gives them their final instructions for the 12-round contest. That assumes there is no pre-fight drama like McGregor failing to make weight or some other stunt around the bout.

Byrd's involvement offers some unease about a 74-year-old controlling the contest while there will be all sorts of heat on the two American and one Italian judge if the fight goes the distance.

Mayweather is 11 years older than his Irish rival and while boxing has been his lifelong sport and he looks in top shape, two years away from the action may have dulled his dancing feet and snap in his hands. McGregor is an unrelenting competitor whose left hand has been a potent weapon in his UFC career. He carves out leg kicks and wrestling moves too but his southpaw stance, speed and left hammer are keys in his arsenal.

In the emotional rage of the contest, no one knows if McGregor can concentrate on using his fists and leaving his pins for dancing and evasion but we all figure he's got the heart and stamina for the fight. If he lands a big left, Mayweather will know all about it and that is part of the delicious uncertainty about this match. How will Mayweather's flowing feet, snaking jabs, punching flurries and ring-craft hold up against the direct approach from McGregor who lost by submission to Nate Diaz 18 months ago in Vegas?

McGregor has youth and a 21-3 mixed martial arts record to challenge a 49-0 vintage boxing thoroughbred where pedigree shapes as the winner.