So, did you hear? The circus is coming to town.
The bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Conor McGregor tonight is being billed as the biggest fight for years, but it’s really nothing of the sort. It’s nothing more than a money-making exercise by greedy advertisers and even greedier competitors, who understand that they can make hundreds of millions of dollars by depending on the general public’s insatiable appetite for celebrity garbage. All we’re doing is making two wealthy guys a lot more money. Well done everybody, well done.
But the craziest thing about this whole media frenzy is that despite the confrontation being so lop-sided that it should be nothing more than a glorified sparring session for Floyd, the marketing along the way has been so insidious and disingenuous that there are actually pockets of fans who give Conor a fighting chance of victory. Are you kidding me? I don’t know whether to shake my head at the impressive depth of public gullibility on display, or applaud the advertisers for managing to spin it in such a way as to make this seem like a fair fight.
Does McGregor have a chance against Mayweather? Sure. Of course he does. In much the same way that I would have if you slapped a pair of gloves on me and sat me down in front of a Rocky box set to prepare. Just because McGregor busts people up in the UFC for breakfast doesn’t mean he can hang in a boxing match with one of the best fighters, well… ever. It’s no less ridiculous than Mo Farah taking on Usain Bolt over 100 metres. Sure they’re both athletes, both runners, but Bolt would have to leave his motor skills at home for Mo to break the tape first. It’s laughable.
If Mayweather shows up at ringside healthy, he wins. If Mayweather shows up awake, he wins. Hell, if Mayweather shows up with an eye patch, a broken wrist, and on crutches, he still wins. All right, he probably loses that one on points, but you get the idea. The mismatch is so great that it should qualify as assault.
Whether you love him or hate him (and there’s a lot about him to dislike) it’s hard to argue against Mayweather’s credentials. He’s one of the best boxers of this or any other generation. He’s undefeated in 49 professional fights. The only realistic way that McGregor wins is if this entire farce is – to use a pro-wrestling term – ‘a work’. In other words, scripted. And understanding that both men have at least tenuous links to WWE, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there is some form of theatre involved in the final decision.
I don’t have a horse in this race, so I don’t care either way, but multi-million dollar payday or not, do you think an ego the size of Mayweather would have accepted the match if he thought there was any chance for McGregor – who has never stepped inside a competitive boxing ring – to embarrass him and blemish his otherwise flawless record?
Mayweather by stoppage in Round 9.