Mayweather vs. McGregor—Now We Get It

By Marc Livitz on August 12, 2017
Mayweather vs. McGregor—Now We Get It
He was out of the picture, so to speak for two years. Is indifference an option anymore?

“We’re looking for the knockout and he’s looking for the knockout. I’m pretty sure this fight is not going the distance…”

Fight night is now but a fortnight away, depending on who is asked. Despite the calls for a boycott of sorts or many a nose being turned up and in another direction at the thought of a clash of fighting cultures, more than just a few dollars will be deposited after August 26. If we’re to actively listen to birds in the boxing trees, then we’ve been assured that Conor McGregor’s journey into the ring (as opposed to an octagon) has become as much about cents as it may be about sense. Forget trying to sell the latter to boxing purists, as they like to call themselves.

This past Thursday afternoon in Las Vegas, the former undisputed, pound-for-pound kingpin of the sport, Floyd Mayweather held his routine workout for the media at his gym in Chinatown. Per the custom, his showcase in the ring, on the bag and with the speed rope are but a few ways that he’s able to show that even at age 40, he’s still the man to beat.

Most are in agreement that unless a nasty gash, broken bone of importance or heaven forbid, a panic attack strikes him, the contest at T-Mobile Arena will be a cakewalk of sorts for the former five division champion. Anytime we order a pay-per-view telecast or buy a ticket to a sporting event or concert, there’s always fine print to be read but it’s something that’s usually ignored. Many are already indicating that the buyer’s remorse likely to be felt in two weeks could result in people buying stock in Pepto Bismol. Is the result for the 26th already that obvious?

Upon completion of his workout on Thursday, Floyd answered questions from the media and perhaps more than one head was turned with an admission of not exactly guilt, but more to the tune of acceptance. Just over two years ago, his long awaited contest with Manny Pacquiao tallied a paid attendance of 16,219 at the beat up, outdated MGM Grand Garden Arena and a live gate of nearly $73 million dollars. The year old T-Mobile Arena across the street has a larger seating capacity and Floyd’s handlers are already predicting the record set in May of 2015 will be broken. Golf clap, everyone! Such a statement may be a likely given once the magnitude and the oddity of the event are considered.

Floyd officially retired from boxing in September 2015 with a record of 49 wins, no defeats and 26 stoppages inside the distance. Looking back, he became a regular pay-per-view attraction in the summer of 2005 when he dismantled Arturo Gatti in six rounds. Save for his next outing (against Sharmba Mitchell), the last 14 bouts of his stellar career, dating back to his April 2006 unanimous decision win over Zab Judah, have all been on pay TV. The bout on May 5, 2007 against Oscar De La Hoya, however, was the one that got him on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Of those 14 contests, just two have ended by way of knockout. Remaining ones were all twelve-round, decision victories.

Fair to mention, however that a win’s a win, of course. To the aforementioned boxing purist, the method to Floyd’s madness is an art form often imitated yet never duplicated. Still, not many choose to watch the contests over and over again. At the same time, to the casual sports fan and the type who waited until Manny Pacquiao was part of the evening’s festivities with Floyd, his efforts in the ring brought on feelings of sleepiness and a wasted evening. Remember what was mentioned in this article about the fine print? Why is any of this relevant?

When asked about his upcoming contest with Conor McGregor, Floyd had the following statements to make, among other tidbits of information. “I’ll give the fans what they want to see,” he told ESPN. “The goal is always to win. We’re looking for the knockout and he’s looking for the knockout. I’m pretty sure this fight is not going the distance.”

Okay, then. Do we, as fans not ask more of such high profiles fighters when they enter the ring, especially if we’ve paid lots of money watch them perform? Have we long hoped we’d see the Mayweather of the late 90’s and early 2000’s? The 130-135 pound version who tore through opponents and scored impressive knockouts? Where has that one been for the past decade plus a few years? Wait, don’t answer because there’s more.

He’s promising that after so many long years and many nights of simply shots fired, we’ll finally get the excitement that we so richly deserve. “When it’s something of his magnitude, it’s not just a fight,” he continued. “This is an event. A billion-dollar event. I think we owe the fans—everyone that’s tuned in. I think we both should give them excitement.”

Wow! Tie a ribbon around us! Excitement! An event and not just a fight! When we paid fifty to sixty dollars or more to watch pay TV contests against say, Carlos Baldomir, Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, Robert Guerrero, Andre Berto and dare we mention Manny Pacquiao—where was the promised excitement at that time?

To be fair, he owes us nothing and we’ve always gone into buying mode in regard to his bouts with anything from trepidation to expectations. His contests have never held the same type of aura that Mike Tyson did, some say. With “Iron” Mike, we didn’t care so much who he was fighting. We just knew that he’d likely wallop the poor soul across the ring from him. With Floyd, we figured he’d win over an elongated period which would end in about an hour’s time.

Do you buy that this is “it” for him, as he’s attested? Are you glad, sad or indifferent? He was out of the picture, so to speak for two years. Is indifference an option anymore?

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  1. wbox 11:43am, 08/12/2017

    ho-hum - what is this match?

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