Before I start, let me just state, for what it’s worth, that this is my personal opinion and take on the hype that seems to have swallowed the boxing and MMA world. I am a huge boxing fan and over the last year or so, I have gained more and more respect & admiration for the world of MMA. That being said, the following few words are why I believe that the match up between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather would be a disgrace for both fighting disciplines.
It will not be a fair fight
Floyd Mayweather is the king of defense and a master counter-puncher. Love him or hate him, he has gone 49 fights without a loss. I personally don’t like him but I do marvel at his exceptional boxing ability and the way he has immortalized the epitome of boxing – hit and not get hit. And despite McGregor possessing an almighty striking ability with his fists, he simply does not come close to the same hand speed that the top welterweights have. Don’t believe me? Check this video of McGregor sparring with South African and former IBO welterweight champion, Chris van Heerden, and tell me if you see even one second that McGregor caused any concern for The Heat.
It’s all about the money
Let’s cut the crap. This fight is simply all about the Benjamins for Mayweather and McGregor. It will break every record under the sun for Pay-Per-View, ticket sales, sponsor deals et cetera et cetera.
Mayweather will tell the world he got paid the most and perhaps he’ll get given another Bugatti Veyron just for showing up. McGregor will don a designer suit, woo his fans, and flash his cash. But, what it will NOT be, is a gripping, edge-of-your-seat boxing match. When talks of the first Billion Dollar fight gets thrown around, and sums like US$100-150 million for Mayweather are reported, you’d be foolish to think this is ever going to be more than just a glorified payday for each fighter.
Boxing & MMA will be so poorly misrepresented
Boxing is about two fighters going toe-to-toe, displaying a mix of speed and power as they dance under the lights, in the art & science of movement and strength, beautifully coordinated together. MMA, for all intents and purposes, is about a mix of multiple martial art disciplines, and being able to adapt to an ever-changing fight scenario. It’s multi-faceted and even the greatest champions are not immune to humbling defeats if their weakness is exposed.
By putting these two champions in a boxing ring means one of the two sports will be completely ignored – in this case, MMA – and the other discipline (boxing) will be misconstrued as being superior to the uneducated fan or viewer.
WhenIf McGregor loses, he will always tell the world that he at least had the balls to step into the ring with a world champion boxer, but that same boxer will never step into a cage-match with him. Mayweather will continue to preach that he is the greatest boxer with a 50-0 record.
Let’s be honest, do you ever see Mayweather stepping into the Octagon with McGregor? Of course not! This fight is the equivalent of a top rugby player moving to Japan to play club rugby; Kings of Leon singing ‘Sex on Fire’; and lead singer of Metallica, James Hetfield cutting his hair and using styling gel – they’re all sell-outs.
I’m a fan of McGregor but I want to see him reclaim glory by taking on Nate Diaz again, or taking on Aldo again in the featherweight division. And, if Mayweather is going to come out of retirement, then I want to see him step into the ring against a boxer who deserves the fight, like Golovkin or even Amir Khan for heaven’s sake.
I think there’s a lot that boxing can learn from MMA, especially the way that MMA promotes the sport and gets the best fighters going head to head. It’s bloody exciting and the hype leading up to any fight night is unparalleled. I also think that MMA can learn from boxing by decreasing the sense of ‘thuggery’ that so many fights appear to thrive on and put more emphasis on the art of mixed-martial arts.
MMA versus Boxing – it’s attractive and creates more arguments and debates than a Monday session in South African parliament but it’s the same as putting an NFL team up against a rugby team. Pointless.