The “fight” boxing purists dread the most is finally happening on August 26 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s all about mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor taking on multi-division boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Boxing fans have been lambasting the aforesaid matchup from the time it was floated in the air a year ago, dismissing the same as a parody of a boxing matchup. Former boxing champion turned promoter Oscar De La Hoya labeled the pairing a “circus” and even called on boxing fans to boycott the match. But the lure of the big money is irresistible and promoters scrambled to make the impossible a reality.
Details remain sketchy, but thus far what has been ascertained is that it will be fought under boxing rules and set for 12 rounds. The fight will take place at the junior middleweight limit of 154 pounds. McGregor, a two-division champion in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), has no boxing experience (amateur or pro) but decided to roll the dice to take on Mayweather, Jr., one of the best fighters in boxing. McGregor is expected to rake in almost $50 million (counting his share in the pay-per-view profits) for the fight with Mayweather Jr. bankrolling a whole lot more.
It’s the novelty behind the matchup and the brashness of the protagonists involved that figure to further fuel anticipation on the matchup. But boxing experts agree just about every ring expert agrees that all the hype will dissipate once the bell rings; and that’s when the disappointment will manifest. Mayweather Jr. (49-0) has not fought since September 2015, but he agreed to the matchup knowing very well that it will be nothing more than a megabuck sparring session. McGregor, who looked awful in a recorded boxing session, is definitely in it for the big dough. McGregor is the UFC’s biggest cash cow, but the money he stands to earn in the fight with Mayweather Jr. will secure him for life.
McGregor is clearly the underdog as he will be dealing with bigger gloves and additional rounds. He will not be able to use his MMA techniques and will have to undergo a crash course in boxing, one spanning just about two months.
While the favorite, Mayweather Jr. is likely to be pelted with criticisms for making such a fight. Mayweather Jr. is tied with Rocky Marciano at 49-0, but taking on McGregor to go 50-0 is a disgrace amid the availability of other notable boxing champions. Mayweather Jr. took a lot of backlash for the fight with Manny Pacquiao in May 2015 that turned out to be a huge disappointment; and now here he is trying to sell another farce. It remains to be seen if boxing fans will take the bait once again, but promoters apparently feel the opposite and are confident that they will show up two months from now.
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