Floyd Mayweather v Conor McGregor, tt was the fight that was never supposed to happen… So they said anyway…
The collected boxing and MMA world stood together in shock less than 48 hours ago as the highly anticipated and hugely built-up clash between Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather and ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor was officially announced for August 26.
While the majority of fight fans around the world greeted the news with ultimate approval and elation there are undoubtedly factions of the fighting community, particularly hardcore, purist, boxing fans that have been less than kind.
Opinion amongst the dedicated is the fight many had called a ‘fantasy fight’ should have remained just that – Fantasy.
The main worries being that, considering Mayweather is yet to lose a single fight and having fought some of the greatest of this or any other generation in the sport, the idea of him losing to a man who has never even taken part in a pro boxing match before is completely bonkers.
Castillo, De La Hoya, Hatton, Marquez, Cotto to name just a few – all men who stood a genuine chance of troubling ‘TBE’. A chance which very few are offering to the MMA star.
Also, considering the high-regard carried by the names above another concern is the ease of which McGregor has landed what is undoubtedly the biggest fight on the planet without even obtaining the relevant stature in the sport of boxing as validation.
The fact he has ‘talked’ his way to the top of the pile in facing Mayweather many find to be the ultimate insult to the well-established hierarchy and ranking system that has carried the sport for as long as any of us can remember.
There was a time in which fighters fought their way up the ladder to fight the best in the world. That seems to have been thrown out the window in favour of what will be huge PPV numbers.
On the subject, at face value, money seems to be the dominating factor in this situation.
Early stats are predicting an even bigger revenue haul than the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight – a record many thought would not be broken in our lifetime.
Floyd Mayweather v Conor McGregor could be even bigger though, pay per view-wise.
Whether or not McGregor genuinely believes he has what it takes to break Mayweather’s undefeated streak he’s in for one hell of a payday and I imagine much of his enthusiasm stems from this knowledge.
This is what the rest of the world seems to think. But, what do I think?
I consider myself to be a pretty serious boxing fan. With this in mind you probably imagine I fall into the latter, more negative category in this argument.
Well… yes and no.
All of the detrimental analysis about McGregor’s standing and chances in the fight above are accurate to my own opinion.
No, based on those who came before him and the time honoured tradition the sport holds dear, he doesn’t deserve a shot at arguably the greatest in-ring technician ever, based both on his achievements and skill in a boxing ring (or lack thereof).
I am, admittedly, a fan of the UFC and am completely sympathetic to Conor McGregor’s own style of self-promotion. The man knows how to sell a fight:
Is it all a bit over the top? Of course. But you can’t deny whether you love it or hate it watching McGregor get riled up in the lead up to a fight is damn entertaining.
During these current times where it’s becoming harder to sell big fights in boxing (Kovalev/Ward II comes to mind – The lack of build-up exposure this time round is truly ridiculous) perhaps boxing needs a good shot of theatricality.
And, to those people who scream ‘unsportsmanlike conduct’ at such incidents I ask them to look back to 1964 – Muhammad Ali’s (then Cassius Clay) stalking and constant verbal badgering of Sonny Liston is the stuff of legend.
Besides, lets not forget that, despite his lack of experience in a boxing ring, nobody is arguing that McGregor can more than hold his own with his fists alone, never mind the rest of his arsenal.
READ ALSO: Former McGregor sparring partner gives take on chances against Mayweather
So, in terms of splitting the fan base straight down the middle yes, this is a 50/50 fight. But that’s about the only way it’s a 50/50 fight.
There’s no point in offering a personal prediction because, by now, you surely know which way I’m thinking the fight will go. But, this doesn’t mean that my level of anticipation isn’t rising appropriately.
This is a highly unusual situation in the history of all sport. Probably the most unusual situation on this scale. That alone is enough to make me tune in.
Add on top of that the chance to see Mayweather step between the ropes one final time, along with the unpredictability presented by the unorthodox Irishman and you’ve got a concoction that’s designed to entertain, if nothing else, for as long as it lasts.
We’ve got roughly ten weeks until August 26th. Sit back and enjoy the ride, however surreal is seems. Welcome to the Madhouse that is Floyd Mayweather v Conor McGregor!