It’s finally going to happen.
The mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor has finally been agreed upon.
But don’t expect the fight to be anything more than a sideshow. ESPN’s boxing aficionado Max Kellerman called the fight a “complete disrespect to the craft of boxing.”
Mayweather is arguably the best pound-for-pound boxer ever. McGregor is a mixed martial artist with rudimentary boxing skills. This does not have the makings of an exciting contest.
From Ring TV:
The “fight” between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and UFC star Conor McGregor is set for August 26 in Las Vegas, it was announced today.
Surprise, surprise. Two astute businessmen who stand to make tens of millions of dollars — maybe nine figures — have agreed to collect the money. That’s what this fight is about: money. It has little to nothing to do with boxing.
I have no problem with anyone who decides to pay $99 (or whatever) to watch it as long as that person is clear on what it is: It’s an event, a curiosity, not a sporting contest.
The fight is more akin to professional wrestling than boxing in that the result is, in effect, predetermined. One oddsmaker made Mayweather a 100-1 favorite, according to Yahoo! Sports; it might as well be a 1,000,000-1.
McGregor has virtually no chance to win as long as he doesn’t violate boxing rules, under which the principals will do battle.
That’s obviously one reason the “retired” Mayweather agreed to the fight even though he turned 40 years old in February. It unequivocally represents the greatest gap in reward vs. risk in the history of sports.
I don’t like the fact Mayweather will run his boxing record to a nice, round 50-0 against a non-boxer, which sullies the accomplishment, but it’s a no-brainer from a business standpoint.
As former two-division titleholder holder Ricky Hatton aptly put it: “I couldn’t hit him. Oscar (De La Hoya) couldn’t hit him. Canelo (Alvarez) couldn’t hit him. Conor’s not going to hit him.”
Of course he isn’t. Mayweather is the best boxer of his generation, a defensive specialist. McGregor isn’t even a boxer; he’s a mixed martial artist with crude boxing skills comparable to a developing amateur — if that.
Mayweather will make him look as if he has never worn boxing gloves while he helps make him a gazillionaire.
I could dig up a thousand anonymous boxers around Mayweather’s weight who would make for a more competitive fight than McGregor. The only reason the Irishman landed this gig is his name and fame.
The biggest star in boxing vs. the biggest star in mixed martial arts sounds juicy on the surface, which is why it could approach or surpass the 4.4 million pay-per-view buys generated by Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao. It will do very well from that standpoint.
You don’t have to dig very deep to understand that this is an utter mismatch, though. It’s a farce, a sham, a joke, whatever you want to call it.
If you’re aware of that fact and you still want to buy the fight, then God bless you. Enjoy. I have to admit a part of me wants to take a peek at the car crash. If you’re not aware of it, give it some thought before you fork over your hard-earned cash.
MMA’s roots are steeped in barnstorming amateurism. UFC president Dana White has done a great job turning MMA into a legitimate sport with wild popularity.
When his star fighter gets taken apart, it could be seen as a setback for the sport. However, White and McGregor have surely looked at this rationally.
If he loses big, it was expected. If he loses close or miraculously wins, it forever cements MMA as a combat sport that’s here to stay. And then there’s the monstrous payday.
Both Mayweather and McGregor are no strangers to trash talk, which means the lead-up to the fight will be spectacular.
But when both men step in the ring, McGregor’s poor hand placement, sloppy footwork, and overall lack of fundamentals will expose him quickly.
And millions will pay 100 bucks to see it.