We are mere days away from a fight that just weeks ago, in the eyes of many, was an impossible undertaking. But, here we all are. For better or for worse.
In what is being predicted to become the biggest and most lucrative fight in the history of boxing fifty percent of the relevant equation involved has never even participated in a professional boxing match, a factor which many are using as ammunition in the Anti-McGregor crusade. However, as with all arguments, it’s important to listen to views from both sides.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last eight or so weeks you’ll undoubtedly have heard a whole tidal wave of reasons why this fight shouldn’t even be taking place. So, I’ve decided to flip that summation on it’s head entirely. After all it’s only fair, right?
Here are 5 reasons why a Conor McGregor victory is GOOD for boxing:
1) Fan Numbers
Never before in the history of the sport has a fight been able to seep its way past the dedicated purists and into the hearts and minds of the general public. Why? Whoever you are and wherever you’re from you’ve probably heard the names ‘Mayweather’ and ‘McGregor’ uttered somewhere.
The former you will recognise as the deserving figure head of this sport for arguably the past decade and beyond. For many, however, the latter might remain an intriguing mystery. While he is the superstar of his respective brand many of the general public might never have even seen Conor McGregor in action until recent highlight reels promoting this fight. But if you’ve never seen him, you’ll at least be aware of his influence to his faithful masses.
If McGregor wins and chooses to stay on in Boxing those masses will follow McGregor anywhere and would surely grow exponentially.
There’s no denying it: Boxing is failing at the moment. Ridiculously low pay-per-view purchases on some fights which are rightfully recognised as some of the biggest of the year (I’m looking at you Ward/Kovalev 2) are worrying to say the least.
During a time in which our sport should be flourishing it seems to have been brought down with a severe case of inexplicable stasis – Perhaps McGregor is the cure.
Should he be able to pull off the upset of the century with the eyes of the world centred on Las Vegas can you imagine the media coverage and the countless more of the thus far non-initiated that would be drawn to the sport? In the long run, counting replays and online views, it might end up being the most-watched sporting event of all time.
3) The ‘CinderGregor’ Story
If popular fiction has taught the human race anything over the past 100 years it’s this: We love a ‘rags-to-riches’ happy ending. Next Saturday, Conor McGregor has the chance to turn fiction into reality.
He has been fighting the odds since his career began. Just a few years ago he was claiming benefits back home in Ireland without a penny in his pocket. Now he’s one of the most recognisable faces on the planet with a few spare million to boot. If Conor can overcome this next obstacle you can throw all other finales out the window. It’ll be the mother of all fairy-tale endings. And the story won’t even be over.
4) Entertainment Value
Boxing is a gentleman’s sport and should remain as such. However, as we have seen in the past, there’s no harm in occasionally going a little ‘OTT’ to draw a few more wavering eyes. It could be argued that we haven’t had a genuinely flashy showman since Prince Naseem Hamed hung up his gloves. Yes, we’ve seen the odd flourish from Mayweather (being carried to the ring in Roman get-up comes to mind) but nothing overly memorable. Maybe Conor is the man to bring ‘braggadocios’ back to boxing. Whether it be through the build up, on the microphone, the entrance, the fight itself or the post-fight interviews, one thing is certain: McGregor = Entertainment.
5) Adapt or Die
MMA has been hot on the heels of boxing in recent years with some predicting it may even grow to match or even surpass it’s popularity. But now that we have a global event highlighting the best of both worlds it may give rise to even more superstars from either respective discipline making the change. If MayMac proves to be enough of a legitimate competition who’s to say more top ranked MMA fighters won’t make the transition to boxing and vice versa? With massive names like Anthony Joshua saying that they would at the very least consider the move, what started as mere speculation might just prove to be the catalyst for the biggest revolution in combat sports history.