Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor, a showdown between the best boxer of his generation and the biggest star in mixed martial arts, is a go for Aug. 26 at junior middleweight.
There will be more to say on this soon. But for now:
Do not, repeat do NOT, expect anything remotely competitive. McGregor is making his debut as a pro boxer. His DEBUT. There are Olympians with hundreds of amateur fights who run into trouble early on as pros, against the kind of guy who has, say, a 5-15 record.
McGregor doesn’t have that pedigree, although he does have some amateur boxing experience. He’s a fighter, sure, and that involves punching, but he’s not REALLY a boxer, and most mixed martial artists don’t punch as well as real boxers for a host of reasons.
And he’s facing a boxing ring magician in Mayweather, a man who’s encountered a handful of opponents who have even ever given him a hint of trouble. Mayweather, by the way, has faced a good number of Hall of Famers.
This fight will be a farce. Mayweather will humiliate him. Mayweather loooooves easy money, and his age and long layoff will not remotely factor in to how much less he will own McGregor: It will be complete, no matter what.
The promotion will be another matter, although there will surely be farcical elements. It will go well.
Both Mayweather and McGregor are flamboyant in their own ways, each capable of stirring up a hurricane of publicity. Idiots who don’t cover either sport but fancy themselves insightful when a big bout happens will write think pieces about boxing vs MMA, never minding that McGregor would humiliate Mayweather in the octagon in precisely the way Mayweather will do the opposite on Aug. 26; the outcome says nothing about the merits of either sport. Yet more idiots will talk about Mayweather going for a 50-0 record — which is nearly meaningless considering whom #50 will be coming against — and whether he’s the best ever. (He is no [although he is pretty far up the list] and that isn’t going to change this summer.)
In short, it’s the kind of fight people will be talking about for a whole host of reasons.
Yet it’s the kind of fight that’s sure to end in disappointment for anyone who buys it, which makes it one of those “good for boxing to be getting attention, bad to be getting it for this kind of crud that will leave everyone angry afterward” situations.
2017 has been pretty good for professional pugilism, ya know? This is bound to overshadow everything. But what’re you going to do? Everyone will throw a lot of money at it and we’ll go back to normal-ish before long — a sometimes good product that large swaths of people ignore until moments like this. Until then…
This fight is a testament to that old Menckenism: No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
— Jeremy Schaap (@JeremySchaap) June 14, 2017