Well, it’s happening. Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather are actually going to get in a ring together and box. It’s a day that I, for one, never saw coming. Let this be a lesson to anyone who ever underestimates the motivating power of all the almighty dollar.
And let there be no ambiguity there: Money is at the center of this stunt, which is far more spectacle than sporting event. Have Shaq and Odell Beckham play one-on-one before the fight. Have David Ortiz hit pitches off of Steph Curry after it. Put all three on an ABC primetime game show, Legendary Retired Athletes Embarrass Superstars From Another Sport.
If you happen to be among those who thinks McGregor has a shot to beat an undefeated all-time boxing great, know that Vegas vehemently disagrees with you. Fight odds opened with Mayweather at -2250 and McGregor at +950. It’s no surprise why. This is going to be a boxing match and Mayweather is the best boxer of his generation.
McGregor, no matter how many dudes he’s punched out in the Octagon, has never fought a single professional boxing match before this. Unless he takes Mayweather to the ground or delivers a flying head kick, The Notorious really doesn’t stand much of a chance.
There are, no doubt, similarities in the professions that propelled these two men to superstardom. But not enough for McGregor to come close to competing with Mayweather, a defensive wizard, who, even at 40 years old, has more than enough pugilistic skill to utterly dominate the 28-year-old McGregor.
Factor in the length of a 12-round fight, as opposed to the five rounds McGregor is used to in the UFC, and the whippersnapper will be gassed before he’s half way home.
But, again, McGregor won’t care if he gets his ass handed to him. UFC honcho Dana White has said McGregor could walk away from this fight with $100 million. He is trading a public ass kicking for enough money to change his life, the life of his child and the lives of his future grandchildren.
And what does he stand to lose? Say he gets knocked out in the first round. Say he goes 12 rounds and loses by decision. Say his trainer throws in the towel in the eighth round because McGregor’s face is starting to resemble a side of beef.
No matter the outcome, McGregor can say that he got in the ring with one of the greatest boxers of all-time. So he lost? So what. So has every other guy who got in the ring with Mayweather.