Farce of a fight

25 August 2017 Comments 0

Is this so-called ‘fight of the century’ really a fight, or is more of a farce?

No prizes for where I’m heading. I’m fairly and squarely in the ‘farce’ camp. It’s nothing but a crude attempt to fleece the public.

In fact, it reminds me of a similar set-up more than 40 years ago when the great Muhammad Ali fought a Japanese wrestler, Antonio Inoki. If you haven’t seen it for yourself, there are quite a few YouTube videos of it, principally showing Inoki lying on his back kicking his legs while Ali danced around him. It was the biggest non-event around. It was painfully embarrassing for everyone concerned, and none more so than for ‘The Greatest’ – a real low point of his wonderful career.

In the Mayweather-McGregor fight, as much as we all love the ‘David and Goliath’ battles in sport and the whole concept of fairytales, it ain’t gonna happen in this one, folks.

Let me tell you now. Conor McGregor doesn’t stand a chance against the might of Floyd Mayweather Jr, even though he retired two years ago.

Sure, I know McGregor is a champion in his own genre, with a 23W-3L-0D record in the UFC but come on ….! He’s never taken part in a professional boxing contest before and he’s up against Mayweather who has a 49-0 record and is the finest boxer of his generation. (By the way, that’s not to say Floyd Mayweather is a fine person!)

In my view, even a journeyman boxer could take out Conor McGregor in a boxing contest. He doesn’t have the technical skills or expertise in a fight that is being played under boxing rules. If it was under UFC rules, it could be different.

So lop-sided is this contest that the US Association of Ringside Physicians believes this bout shouldn’t be happening at all!

But whatever way you look at it, what this farce boils down to is the almighty dollar.

The promoters, the UFC and Showtime Sports, saw it as an opportunity to make enormous bucks and that’s what they’re doing. Mayweather Promotions – terrific marketers – saw an opportunity too, and all parties say the deal was sealed relatively quickly.

I bet it was: Mayweather is rumoured to be receiving at least USD$100 million and a further USD$25 million in clothing sponsorship! Yes, truly. McGregor is rumoured to be on about one-third of that amount.

This isn’t about sport. It’s about entertainment. And just as we learned in Benjamin Best’s excellent documentary, Dirty Games (which I’ve mentioned previously), it would be amazing if the fix isn’t in – even though it doesn’t really need to be in.

Both fighters’ camps will have agreed to drag this out for entertainment and TV purposes. After all, while the arena in Las Vegas will be packed, there will be millions and millions will be glued to it around the world. Once the minimum TV obligation is met, eventually Mayweather will smash McGregor – but not too hard to do UFC’s star any real damage, thank heavens for that – and everyone will be happy.

Well, almost everyone. Not me.

And there’s one more person who shouldn’t be either. The late, great Rocky Marciano. He went through his entire career undefeated. The all-time boxing record today is shared between the real-life Rocky and Mayweather at 49 wins apiece, and no losses.

When Mayweather wins this one, history will show he surpassed Rocky’s record and will have won 50-0. To me, that’s a situation that is not only a farce but shows a total lack of respect for Rocky Marciano and the sport of boxing in general.

Bah, humbug. I can’t say ‘may the best man win’. I just can’t take this farce seriously.

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P.S. If I’m wrong and McGregor wins, I’ll eat my SKINS hat!