By: Kirk Jackson
The lifestyle is flashy. Luxurious cars, custom suits, jewelry, large houses, big pay days and plenty of trash talk.
Are we describing Floyd Mayweather or Conor McGregor?
Photo Credit: USA Today
It’s evident McGregor emulated the Mayweather blueprint; following the golden path to riches and is now closing in, capitalizing on millions with the conclusion of facing Mayweather in this mega-fight.
Taking in the full aspect of mental warfare; disrespecting opponents, flaunting his lifestyle and bragging about his abilities in and outside the ring/octagon.
“Conor stole the Floyd Mayweather gimmick to come out and talk about the money,” says mixed martial arts fighter and analyst Chael Sonnen, regarding Mayweather’s influence on McGregor.
“The bottom line is, he (McGregor) is exaggerating his wealth, it happens all the time.”
Many point and suggest Mayweather emulated the styles of old school wrestlers Gorgeous George, Ric Flair and egotistical persona’s of boxers like Hector “Macho” Camacho a younger Muhammad Ali.
It’s a fair argument. Mayweather however, like any true heel character, truly embodied and embellished his role as the villain.
Which of course led to more financial success
Haters and critics are actually your biggest fans. Haters waste time, energy and effort on those they hate. Whether it’s paying to see that athlete lose, or whichever the case may be, haters pay attention and drama sells.
McGregor is very intelligent and realizes this; however the hate one would think he should receive for his actions doesn’t necessarily resonate with him and the demographic he appeals to.
There’s a measure of double standards in play, as McGregor appears to be well received by most fans and media in spite of his obnoxiousness and disrespect towards opponents.
Conor has convenient complexion in this instance. One of the differences between he and Mayweather.
Observing McGregor discuss boxing tactics and technique, expanding on his favorite fighters is quite revealing.
Mentioning his admiration of Roy Jones Jr., Prince Naseem Hamed, he almost slipped up and mentioned Mayweather as well; remarking on Mayweather’s technique for working the pads while warming up.
It’s obvious McGregor studied Mayweather’s every single move, from inside the ring and out.
He wants to be Mayweather; he wants to be recognized as the best in his sport, he wants to be the highest paid athlete and he wants to transcend his sport (this fight against Mayweather is evidence).
A boxing match isn’t the end game for his level of ascension however.
Movies, television, fight promotion, various forms of entertainment is the end goal for McGregor. He is chasing Mayweather inside the ring so to speak and attempting to emulate his footsteps outside the ring.
Which brings into play an interesting dynamic analyzing this match-up of two prideful warriors.
McGregor studied Mayweather and must have some form of thought regarding his chances against the pound-for-pound boxing great.
His harsh words regarding Mayweather are hollow if he truly understands who he is facing.
Albeit Mayweather is 40-years-old and there is a chance of “Father Time” striking in this bout against Mayweather, who is two years removed from fighting.
But aside from that, McGregor knows Mayweather is a winner, well-trained, dedicated and a disciplined athlete he cannot take lightly.
It’s foolish underestimation on his part if he is taking Mayweather lightly and that’s where the similarities between the two end.
It’s likely Mayweather doesn’t view McGregor as competition inside the ring or out; although he may respect McGregor as a tough opponent and prepare as such.
Perhaps he views it as a student and teacher relationship between the two.
The student can study, learn and emulate the teacher, however ultimately the student and teacher travel different paths.
It’s a matter of if the student will fail the lesson, or will he surpass the teacher?
McGregor may talk brash, but it can be assumed he wants the crown Mayweather currently covets. The empire McGregor desperately wants to create may be at stake Saturday night depending on the result.
Mayweather and McGregor saw this fantasy match-up as a grand opportunity to capitalize on. There’s the notion from the mixed martial arts contingent (mostly McGregor fans) believing their Irish King took this fight prove he is the best fighter across all sports.
Current UFC fighter Cris Cyborg believes McGregor took the fight to show the world he is the best, although she does not believe in his chances to win against Mayweather.
“I don’t believe he will win the fight,” Cyborg said. “Mayweather will win this fight, for sure. He’s (Mayweather) at another level. But (McGregor) is brave, and he opened doors for mixed martial artists in boxing and for boxing fans to come to mma and vice versa. It will help our sport grow.”
Cyborg highlighted my point actually; emphasis on opportunity.
Because if McGregor truly wanted to fight the best boxer, he could choose an active boxer, in their physical prime.
Errol Spence, Keith Thurman, Canelo Alvarez, plenty of guys to choose from.
McGregor saw a business opportunity. None of the aforementioned fighters possess the star power of Mayweather. With star power, comes opportunity, with opportunity, comes money.
There’s the possibility he can continue to ascend like the one he admires, Mayweather, or he can fizzle out like UFC contemporary Ronda Rousey.
Or who knows, perhaps he, along with UFC President Dana White can work with Mayweather at some capacity moving forward. Wouldn’t that be interesting?