The impossible has become a reality, and we can thank money for the transition. Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor-stars from two different fighting sports-will step into the ring on August 26 in Las Vegas for the biggest crossover sport event of our time. They will be engaging in hand to hand combat, and not mixed martial arts. They will fight inside a square ring, and not the cage shaped like an octagon.
For this reason alone, the "fight" will be a snoozefest, but the hype and buildup will be legendary.
Think about it: each fighter are well known and revered for their trash talk game. While being experts in their collective fields of punishment, Mayweather Jr. and McGregor can talk the talk outside the ring. While the skill can't be quantified like punches landed or knockouts can on a stat sheet, a fighter's ability to promote themselves gives a certain brand of sizzle to their steak.
I'll never forget the lead-up to the 2008 fight between Mayweather Jr. and Oscar De La Hoya, where Floyd ravaged his opponent's career and past. He literally carved out a hole, and crawled up inside Oscar's head, and stayed there until he collected the win and the check. Mayweather Jr. did the same to Shane Mosley and Ricky Hatton.
McGregor is cut from the same cloth, backing up his precise ring victories with a mouth that could run for a government seat or create a dynamic Sirius radio show. After losing to Nate Diaz, McGregor didn't shorten the verbal treatment leading up to their rematch; he laid it on even thicker before dispatching Diaz in a true five round battle.
Showtime has to not only do the regular behind the scenes special, but follow these two fighters for weeks and do follow-up looks. It will be a wickedly entertaining trek to ride shotgun next to these two guys as they lay absolutely nothing but their egos on the table.
If McGregor loses, and he will, then his record as a boxer is 0-1. Back to dominating the UFC, where he is the clear face of the sport after the demise of Ronda Rousey. Losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a boxing match isn't going to damage McGregor's future or his mass appeal.
While this fight isn't exactly Hulk Hogan and Rocky Balboa in Rocky 3, it is a fight too easy to call based on experience levels in their respective sports.
Conor McGregor isn't fighting an average boxer; he's fighting one of the best boxers of all time. Floyd dominated the sport during his ten year reign, and won't take a shortcut in preparations for this fight. When Floyd steps into a ring, a certain expectation follows.
Conor will be lucky to win a round in this fight, and it doesn't matter if he has trained with champions like South African boxer, Chris Van Heerden. He hasn't stepped in with the best of the best, and that is what he is doing against Floyd.
Imagine this for a second: a fighter returning from exile to reclaim glory in the sport. However, instead of taking a few warm-up fights, he jumps three spots and challenges the best. What would happen there? The redemption seeking fighter would be pummeled. Conor got a boxing license and a few lessons, but that doesn't make him ready for the best.
I don't want to sound like a boxing snob, but I love the sport too much to tell my readers that this will be a good fight, because it absolutely won't be. If you want to pay 100 dollars to fall asleep, please buy this fight. I'd recommend watching a Schwarzenegger film from the 1980's where you know who is going to win in the end.
This is a clear cash grab bout, where two masters of their craft will spar for 12 rounds. That is, if Conor McGregor doesn't get disqualified for throwing a sweeping kick or having the tank to last 36 minutes in a boxing match.
When I paid a hundred dollars for Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao to resemble the 2009 versions of themselves, I felt like money was pulled from my pocket. I won't make that mistake with this exhibition.
My advice: Soak up the hype to this fight, and then read about the results. The trash talk that will be on display between a UFC Champion and 40 year old boxer will far outweigh the actual credibility of their fight.
Mayweather Junior will search for win #50, while Conor will simply collect a payday larger than anything he has or will ever see in MMA. Boxing lovers will roll their eyes and UFC lovers will wage their hearts on the impossible, but I'll just be off to the side smiling.
Is this good for boxing? In a wild way, yes it is. The fight will place more eyes on a sport with the likes of Canelo Alvarez, Errol Spence Junior, and Vasyl Lomachenko brewing in it.
Should it be taken seriously? Hardly. Both of these guys know the cash is the reward here. To think otherwise would be uncivilized.
On August 26, two men from different sports meet in the ring all in the rapturous admiration of Benjamin Franklin's face on a sheet of paper. That is all. I don't recommend paying for it, but I do think the hype game will exceed the fight.
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