I could answer this in one very short sentence, but that wouldn’t give you anything to read now, would it? This match-up has been called a lot of things, among them an ‘event’ and a ‘spectacle’. One thing that hasn’t been mentioned much, at least not with any seriousness, is that this is a fight.
Only one man called all the shots here; Floyd Mayweather. Yes, Conor McGregor said he would fight him any time and any way, but that was more due to cockiness and bravado than sense. Mayweather pretty much picked everything, including the size gloves, while McGregor played the part of Yes Man to perfection.
Four press conferences were held. They could have had only one and just streamed it all over. The only thing that changed was the clothes. The colorful language and rhetoric were the same, and it got to be quite boring. Meant to stir the pot and make all boxing and mixed martial arts fans either buy tickets or the PPV, it really did none of that. It certainly did not fuel the firestorm that they were confident would explode.
Ticket sales have not been what were expected. That is not to say money has not been coming in – they are making plenty – but with the event happening in mere days, the expectations of filling every seat in the 20,000-seat capacity of the T-Mobile Arena is dimming faster than the sun in the eclipse we saw the other day. It will be interesting to see just what the PPV buys show us.
Regardless, could this be the beginning of martial arts guys wanting to take on boxers to put more money in their pockets? I can see more martial arts participants wanting to step into the boxing ring than the other way around. Some have already mentioned it, from both sides of the sports. Money talks on the one side, machismo to the max on the other. I realize this is not the first time a fight like this has happened. Who remembers when James Toney faced off against Randy Couture? For those who do remember, we all know how that ended!
Don’t get me wrong here, there is certainly nothing off track with wanting a big paycheck, and both men will definitely get that here. But what about those who plunk down a lot of hard-earned money? What will they get in return? If the fight goes the distance it will more than likely be a cat and mouse game, with Floyd being at his “You can’t hit me!” best. (Yawn. And before you think I don’t like defensive fighters, I do!) If it is over in a flash, well, some are likely to feel cheated. Actually, that might happen anyway.
It certainly might be interesting to listen to Paulie Malignaggi call this fight. What with him leaving the Conor camp, and never one to hold back or mince words, that could provide the most entertainment for the evening.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission sanctioned this fight. Just two years ago they turned down a fight between Rohan Murdock and Andre Ward due to the fact that, while having only one loss on his record, Murdock had not faced anyone of significance. Yes, Conor has quite a good record in martial arts, but that is nothing compared to his opponent.
This event has stolen the thunder of an excellent performance by Terence Crawford just last weekend – a true fight that featured an excellent fighter in his prime. Next month we have Gennady Golovkin against Canelo Alvarez. That fight has stayed under the radar until after the ‘Money Match’ is finished. That is probably a smart decision, but still a shame, since this is a fight that boxing fans have been begging and waiting for.
So, after all that is said, and speaking only for myself here, I do not feel Mayweather / McGregor is good for the sport of boxing. It is more sports entertainment, this spectacle taking place on Saturday. Sound like professional wrestling? Yep, and I would rather put my money down on Wrestlemania!