So much has been made over tonight’s boxing super fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor. Boxing purists have outright denounced the matchup, questioning the competitiveness of a boxing bout between a 49-0 legend and a 0-0 novice.
Yes, the fight is and has been an absolute circus since the very first press conference in Los Angeles last month. But, is this circus inherently bad or a waste of our time and money?
The answer is simply no. Yes, it may be a circus, but it’s far from a bad match-up and when all is said and done, everyone could be telling their grandkids about this one just because of the sheer media attention.
MMA fans, especially those who follow the UFC, have been conditioned to accept freak show fights since the creation of the sport. Back in the bad old days, we had 600-pound sumo wrestlers taking on 170-pound grapplers, street fighters with no sanctioned fights taking on trained kickboxers. Even now, we are preparing for a middleweight title fight between the champion and a former welterweight who’s been retired for the past four years. Hardly competitive on paper, just like Mayweather vs McGregor.
Meanwhile, boxing fans who have grandstanded against the match-up don’t have a strong argument against it either. In fact, boxing as an organized sport regularly features bouts that are considered mismatches or meaningless. It took years and years to finally put together Mayweather vs Pacquiao.
It took only a small fraction of the time to book Mayweather vs McGregor.
And fights like MayPac are the exception, not the rule. You’re much more likely to have marquee names and champions like Floyd Mayweather take on the Andre Berto’s and Robert Guerrero’s of the world than Manny Pacquiao or Gennady Golovkin.
The nature of boxing and the politics that operate behind the scenes results in mismatches, uncompetitive fights, or completely unappealing matchups, more often than not.
Back to McGregor. Mainstream sports media have written him off entirely, having not witnessed the impossible he regularly overcomes. Strictly from a fan standpoint, it’s hard to doubt McGregor anymore.
He said he’d knock out Jose Aldo, a man who was reigning champ and never had been knocked out before, in 13 seconds of the first round. He bounced back from a competitive loss to Nate Diaz at 170 pounds and TKO’d the lightweight champion to become the first fighter to ever hold two belts simultaneously. McGregor has been calling his shots and backing up the talk since knocking out Dustin Poirier at UFC 177.
The man has literally made a career out of doing the impossible, forever seeking the next big challenge.
And let’s be real; Mayweather vs McGregor is no more a circus than any other Mayweather or McGregor fight. Both are spectacular showman and can captivate an audience without peer. So embrace the weird and bizarre in Saturday night’s fight. Always expect the unexpected with McGregor, whatever that may mean.
They may call it a circus, but circuses aren’t known for being boring.