So the mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor finally looks set to happen.
Both fighters revealed this week that a crossover fight between the boxing and mixed martial arts superstars would take place on August 26.
It’s set to be one of the biggest combat sporting events ever. It will certainly be the richest.
But is this contest worth its weight in gold? Quite frankly, no, it isn’t.
It’s a farce that cons the paying public and ultimately damages the sport of boxing in the long run.
In most circumstances I’d be all for a mega fight that attracts the interest of millions of casual fans. In a sport where its competitors risk so much, I also love to see fighters make as much money as possible. They deserve it for putting their bodies, and sometimes even lives, on the line for our entertainment,
However, this case is an exception where I can’t accept that.
Both Mayweather and McGregor make millions regardless who they fight. They don’t need the money they’ll make from this – even if it will likely be a career-high purse for even Mayweather.
As for attracting casual fans, there’s no doubt it will. But that becomes detrimental to the sport if, as in this case, the fight is a farce.
McGregor is not a boxer. He’s about to step in with the best boxer of this generation having not boxed since he was a teenage amateur.
Ultimately, I see no other conclusion than fans being left underwhelmed.
Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor are both world class fighters in their own right – of that I won’t dispute.
However, McGregor is a world class mixed martial artist, not a Queensbury rules boxer.
To compare boxing to MMA simply because both involve fighting, is like comparing tennis to badminton simply because both are racket sports. They’re similar, but the skills required are completely different.
It won’t be the first time that a boxer and a mixed martial artist will do battle of course.
But this one is unique because it’s the first time a martial artist transitions to boxing, rather than the opposite. In most cases of boxer going to MMA, it hasn’t ended well anyway. Former UFC champion Holly Holm is a rare exception to the rule.
In truth, as much as I love McGregor and respect what he’s done for MMA, he’ll stand no chance against Mayweather.
Forget the fact that Mayweather is the best boxer of his generation, McGregor just doesn’t have the skills to jump in at any level even close to Mayweather in a boxing ring.
Sure he’s got quick hands and there’s some power in that left, but the skills, movement, angles and footwork that lead to McGregor landing those type of shots in the octagon are completely different to those he’ll need to land on Mayweather in the boxing ring.
A usual opponent of McGregor won’t be even half as talented as Mayweather is in boxing defence – Mayweather being one of the greatest of all time in that respect – while they’ll also have to worry about potential leg kicks or takedown attempts from the talented Irishman too.
Mayweather won’t have to worry about as much and the one-dimensional approach will likely make McGregor look ordinary and desperate. We’ve already seen videos online of a McGregor sparring session with South African Chris van Heerden who was limited at best. He had a respectable enough career and pushed his limited skill set to win a menial ‘world’ IBO title, but he’s divisions away from the skill of Mayweather. Yet McGregor looked to be struggling even at that level.
Ultimately, as good as Mayweather is, as pleasing as he is to watch from a hardcore boxing fans’ point of view, for the casual it has to be recognised that he’s rarely been involved in many interesting fights either.
It’s hard to see how a one-sided boring contest that fans will have to pay a lot of money to even watch it on television can be anything other than detrimental to the sport.
For traditionalists, presuming it is fully licensed, it will also see Mayweather go to 50-0, overtaking Rocky Marciano’s prestigious 49-0 unbeaten record. If ever there was a way not to break that, this is it.
A few weeks after Mayweather-McGregor’s proposed date, Gennady Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will finally square off.
The two are probably the most talented duo in boxing since Mayweather’s ‘retirement’ and have finally agreed to get it on.
It promises to be a fantastic fight and yet, it’s worrying to think that many casuals, turned off by a Mayweather-McGregor farce, may decide not to bother watching what could genuinely be an edge-of-the-seat spectacle.
Sure, the build-up and smack-talking between two of sport’s most enigmatic characters will be interesting to watch – far more than the fight – but if some smack-talking before a joke of a fight is your thing, then my advice would be to tune into WWE each week instead.
Boxing’s audience has dwindled over the years enough as it is. The last thing the sport needs is to start digging its own grave.
Source : Chroniclelive