Don’t count me as one of the millions that will be purchasing the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight on Aug. 26. After months of speculation, the so-called superfight was finalized this past week for late August from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Both fighters have been talking trash to and about one another for the better part of 12 months. What seemed like an unrealistic possibility is now a reality, but I have seen this play out on the big screen before.
If you want to see what this charade is all about, check out the movie "Great White Hype." It came out in 1996 and starred Samuel L. Jackson and Peter Berg and was entertaining for what it was. That movie thankfully lasted just 91 minutes and it was no great masterpiece. In the movie, the champion James "The Grim Reaper" Roper (Damon Wayans) fights the only man that ever defeated him, when they were teenagers in a Golden Gloves tournament, Terry Conklin (Peter Berg). Conklin was the frontman for a rock band but was convinced to step back into the ring once again. The fight was put together to help market and promote boxing. He was rebranded as "Irish" Terry Conklin. The movie showed how you can play into racial tensions to promote a match. But in the end the champ won via knockout, everyone made lots of money, and the public were made to look foolish for every believing another outcome other than the obvious was possible.
Do yourself a favor: Watch the movie and don’t buy the fight.
Professional boxing is not the cleanest of sports and it certainly has its issues and this fight will not solve any of them. In fact, it will only magnify the problems even more. Think about it, what does it tell you about a sport that they need to put this matchup together to grab the national attention it so thoroughly craves. The pundits will say it is entertainment and a spectacle, I say it is nonsense and a circus.
It might turn out to be the most lucrative fight in the history of boxing. That does not mean it will be entertaining or fun. The fight will be neither. Mayweather bouts are boring when he is in the ring against world-class boxers, what should we expect now? The promotion and buildup will be more entertaining than the fight. We have over 10 weeks of hype and analysis to get through and then potentially 12 rounds of "action." It will be an entertaining 10 weeks as both McGregor and Mayweather are characters and they know how to promote themselves and their respective fights. The best part of this charade will be the buildup to the fight and not the fight itself.
Think about that state of boxing, that arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter of our generation in the undefeated Floyd Mayweather is coming out of retirement and putting his 49-0 record on the line to face a UFC fighter. Whatever you think of Mayweather the person, he is a brilliant boxer whose hand speed is legendary. His fights are not generally entertaining because Mayweather is a defensive fighter which leads to rounds that put you to sleep.
This is not an argument of whether it is or is not good or bad for boxing or the UFC. This is not good for the buying public and the sports fan at large.
McGregor is one of the dynamic stars of the UFC, a mixed martial arts fighter that has never boxed before either as an amateur or a professional. Let me repeat that, Conor McGregor has never boxed before as an amateur or a professional. They will say all it takes is one punch from McGregor; I say that is nonsense. UFC’s Dana White can tell us all that McGregor really believes he is going to win. Great. Let’s all snap back to reality and put our feet back down on planet Earth.
What a joke, and we all thought the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight was bad. What do you think this is? You can make all the arguments that you want that McGregor has a chance against Mayweather and there is literally nothing you can say that would ever convince me that he does.
I don’t care that Mayweather is 40 years old. It does not matter that his last fight was Sept. 12, 2015. He has been too smart of a businessman over the course of his career to believe that he would risk everything that he has accomplished if he believed there was any risk whatsoever.
You need to know what you are buying before you make the purchase. Expect a spectacle and a tremendous buildup, but don’t expect a great fight. If you buy it knowing you will probably see an atrocious fight, then I can’t fault you. The reason you will never see this kind of spectacle again is that very reason why in the previous sentence. It is not a fight, it is a circus.
With that being said, I think we can all do something better with our money, no?