Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor.
For the last year, there has been nothing more over-analyzed, over-hyped, or over-discussed then this. While it makes sense as to why people are enthralled with the names involved, the reasoning behind this all is downright laughable. Even the most casual fan of combat sports can agree that in a boxing setting, Mayweather will dominate McGregor, and vice versa under any MMA banner.
Here we have perhaps one of the greatest boxers of all time, of our generation easily, in Mayweather, being pushed into a bout with a respectable MMA fighter in McGregor simply because of McGregor’s UFC accomplishments. Sure, both men have a polarizing global presence, but your appeal means little when the action begins. Mayweather has faced a total of 24 former or current world champions and has a perfect 26-0 record in title fights, adding up to the greatest win loss record in boxing history, along with Rocky Marciano. Mayweather has faced, and defeated, fighters such as Manny Pacquiao, Saul Alvarez, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosely, Oscar De Le Hoya, Zab Judah, Arturo Gatti, Ricky Hatton, and many, many more.
But suddenly, his must do fight is against an MMA fighter with almost zero professional boxing experience? Yes, McGregor has knockout power, but this is like saying an great European soccer goal keeper would make an excellent NFL field goal kicker due to his leg, or a track and field star would make a world class NFL wide receiver because of his speed. Having any skill set does not mean it translates to any area, more so when it is in a sport such as boxing. Boxing is more then simply knocking someone out, as 49 fighters all have learned when facing Mayweather.
Even if this bout won’t break the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao PPV record of 4.5 million buys, it would surely do very well based on both men’s appeal. But why does this matter to fans? Who gets up one day and say “wow, I need to drop 80, 90, maybe 100 dollars on something that looks to be less competitive then me playing basketball with my 2 year old nephew”. The fact that is may bring in a tremendous financial windfall should have zero affect on the people paying for it, all they should care about is the competition level they shell their money out for. Hell, Mayweather’s last bout, against a former world champion in Andre Berto, took in only 800000 buys, and was deemed a cherry picked opponent for Mayweather. So a former world champion is a poor choice, yet McGregor is must see?
Nevermind the fact that the bout looks to be laughably one sided, there is this pesky issue of a legal contract McGregor has signed with the UFC. Despite the Irishman’s claim, he in fact does not run anything, he is simply another employee, even if he is the marquee one within the promotion. UFC President Dana White, who has always been a very vocal McGregor supporter, has no reason or obligation to allow his biggest star to venture elsewhere without his involvement or permission. So when White dropped an offer to both men of 25 million each, it was a valid response from the UFC. The problem however is that Mayweather does not need White to do anything. Unlike McGregor, Mayweather actually does run his own career, and can dictate terms that suit his needs or simply walk away from the table.
The fact that 25 million would be McGregor’s biggest payday means little to Mayweather, since the last time he made only 25 million was nearly a decade ago. Why should Mayweather care about what White or McGregor make, nothing can happen without his involvement, and his bank account and legacy is already set in stone with or without this sideshow. Mayweather’s opening offer of 15 million to McGregor, not including potential PPV shares, and 100 million to himself, would still make McGregor more money then he has ever seen, but it does not involve the UFC.
Take out the fact that any governing body, presumedly Nevada, would be roasted for sanctioning a bout such as this, look up Tim Sylvia vs. Ray Mercer for proof of this, it will take a compromise from one side in a group of men never really known for working well with others. Does anyone expect White to allow McGregor to compete elsewhere without financial gain, or for Mayweather to compete just to let White and McGregor take home massive amounts of money? And yes, McGregor was not mentioned here because quite frankly, he has little too no say at this time. People can point to his California state boxing licence, which can be obtained fairly easily for a small fee and medical disclosure, or the creation of his own promotional company. Yet everyone seems to be ignoring the fact that even if McGregor decides to flip the middle finger to the UFC and sign to fight Mayweather, the UFC will almost certainly file lawsuits from every direction and hold up any progress for as long as they need.
And no, the Ali Act will not save him, because the Ali Act was not created to allow fighters to do what they want when they want wherever they want. Ask Mikey Garcia about what happens when you don’t like your current contract in today’s boxing world. Being allowed to fight anywhere is not an issue the Ali Act covers, which is why promotions such as Top Rank and Golden Boy control the world of boxing, even with the Ali Act in place. A contract is a contract, and you don’t get to decide when to break one, simply because it doesn’t suit your wants and needs. We see many boxers pushing for a bout that never comes to fruition due to promotional differences, but now the Act will allow McGregor to do what he wants because it may soon be applied to MMA?
Don’t forget the fact that with a victory, Mayweather takes sole possession of the record shared with Marciano. Say what you will about Mayweather, but he is a fan of the history of the sport, and to break such an important record in a side show bout with not only hurt his image, but would tarnish the accomplishment of setting the record.
So what are we left with here? A bout that has no merit, many parties only worried about the financial implications, and fans that sued both Pacquiao and Mayweather over a “poor bout” now willing to shell out money to see a lesser bout. Yet this bout is reportedly closer then ever despite the fact that no one involved is on the same page at all?
Yep, sounds like a must see, win-win for all alright.