The supposed ‘super fight’ between boxing’s former pound for pound champ Floyd Mayweather & the UFC’s biggest star Conor McGregor Conor McGregor was finally made official last week. The fight will take place in Las Vegas, NV on August 26th at Mayweather’s preferred venue the MGM Grand Garden Arena. This fight is going to stink.
Now before you just dismiss my opinion as some out of touch bitter gas-bagging combat sports writer who cannot see the reasons the fight got made; I assure you, I can appreciate the spectacle. I do not blame Floyd Mayweather or Conor McGregor which amounts to easy possible hundred million dollar plus pay days to take part in this freak show fight. Floyd is looking for an easy mark to ‘break’ Rocky Marciano’s undefeated (49-0) record with whom he presently shares that record with; while also making one last ridiculous paycheck. Enter the Notorious Conor McGregor. McGregor has never sniffed a fraction of the money he is going to make fighting Floyd, in all of his previous UFC fights combined. He can sell the heck out of a fight and is a walking promotion machine anytime he’s given a microphone; so yes the build up of the fight will entertain. For Conor McGregor there is no risk here; he fights the pound for pound best defensive fighter of his generation in a sport he’s not accustomed to, a lopsided loss does not hurt his UFC career at all. For Floyd some may think he has great risk fighting an unorthodox fighter from a different sport potentially allowing for an embarrassing end to his career should he lose to an “MMA guy”. However, this notion McGregor has any chance in this fight is a total fantasy.
This is not some bold prediction nor is it a knock on McGregor’s skills as a Mixed-Martial Artist, it’s a declaration of facts on his skills as a professional boxer. He has never fought as an amateur or a professional boxer: Never, Never Ever, Ever Ever Ever, to paraphrase Andre 3000. This is not some mundane detail. The fact that both men make a living by fighting other men is where the similarities in their respective sports end. Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing have as much in common as Figure Skating and Ice Hockey. Yes, both sports compete on ice and they both use skates but that is where the similarities end. Brian Boitano would not score a goal in a NHL game no more than Wayne Gretzky would land a triple sow cow on his way to winning the gold medal in men’s figure skating at the Olympics. If the comparison sounds stupid, it’s because this fight is stupid. The balance, angles, distance, timing, defense are all subtle but significantly different between the two sports. No, Conor’s unfamiliarity with those subtle differences in boxing are not an ‘advantage’, against a defensive wizard like Floyd. Future Hall of Fame boxers Miguel Cotto, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, and Manny Pacquiao could not best Floyd Mayweather in his storied career; yet a man with no pro fights who just began to focus on boxing training at 28 years old is going to dethrone him, not a chance. Some have tried to make the case that unorthodox fighters like Marcos Maidana had success against Floyd which could lend to McGregor landing some big shots on Floyd; let me be clear Marcos Maidana could get off his couch this very second and box circles around Conor. Conor is not Marcos Maidana, he’s not even Chris van Heerden. Yes, the barely top 50 boxing professional Chris Van Heerden who embarrassed Conor in the now famous viral sparring video where McGregor looked like a ripe amateur against a mediocre pro fighter. This is what fans are talking themselves into, a guy taking a two month fantasy camp to fight one of the greatest of his generation. I hesitate to even try to breakdown in any serious capacity why this is such a historical mismatch because it gives the matchup a modicum of credence, just by virtue of breaking it down in any serious way. It’s painfully obvious to everyone involved, this fight is going to stink.
I know I’m fighting a losing battle, just like McGregor. This fight will break Pay-Per-View (PPV) records, the fighters, and promoters will make ridiculous coin and not a single word I’ll type will prevent that from happening. The promotion machine has already started and you’ll hear plenty of gasbags just like me trying to make a case for why Conor McGregor will have a “punchers chance” in the coming weeks, except he doesn’t. Boxing gloves are not MMA gloves, McGregor’s one punch knockout power he possesses in the UFC will not translate to boxing, at least not overnight which is effectively what his training will amount to by the day of the fight. Any funky angles or tactics Conor may try to use while boxing, Floyd’s seen them. Any power Conor possesses, Floyd’s seen it and handled it from vastly more skilled boxers. This is not meant as a cheerleading article for Floyd. Floyd Mayweather is a reprehensible human being for his actions outside of the ring. His multiple domestic violence charges and conviction should never get glossed over in this promotion or anytime Floyd is promoting himself. Floyd is also not a unbeatable foe, Conor would decimate Floyd if the roles reversed, and they were fighting in an Octagon under MMA rules instead of a ring. Do not let any boxing people try to convince you otherwise, even after this fight’s inevitable conclusion. Both men are superior in their respective sports but to force one to fight in the others expertise is just silly. Conor and Floyd playing a sport neither has a background in: like soccer or tennis, would be vastly more competitive and entertaining than what is going to happen on August 26th. This fight is going to stink.
Enjoy the free fun stuff, I’m not here to rain on that parade. The press conferences will be bonkers, the promos will be great, and the trash talk will be tremendous. Skip the egregious & borderline criminal like $100+ pay-per-view cost to view the actual fight. I implore you to do something better with that $100, you’ll thank me for it. This fight is going to stink and no matter what happens between now and the day of the fight is going to change that.