By: Kirk Jackson
Floyd Mayweather 49-0 (26 KO’s) aims to join the 50-win club, as he takes on MMA star Conor McGregor 21- 3 (MMA) 0-0 (Boxing) in the biggest combat sports-related event of the year as we approach the date Aug 26.
If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few months, you may be familiar with all of the commentary and criticism leading up to this event.
Some of the boxing purists, mma and UFC supporters, perennial Floyd Mayweather detractors – appearing in all forms whether it’s a fan, fighter, trainer, promoter or whomever, voiced their displeasure of the match-up and the notion of Mayweather adding another win to his record if he can defeat McGregor in their showdown.
“He doesn’t deserve (the 50-0) record, because he’s not fighting a fighter,” Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum told TMZ Sports about the 49-0 Mayweather.
“He’s not fighting a real boxer. McGregor is a good MMA guy, but it’s a different sport. It’s not a fight, for Christ’s sake. And three weeks later, De La Hoya’s doing a hell of a fight, (Gennady) Golovkin and (Canelo) Alvarez. That’s a good fight.”
Golden Boy Promoter De La Hoya echoed similar sentiments, but don’t be fooled by these two. If afforded the opportunity, they would jump at the chance to pit any of their fighters against McGregor. Only issue is the demand for whatever match-up they can conjure up isn’t there.
Win No. 50 holds significance because it breaks the tie Mayweather has with legendary heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano.
Although Mexican Great Julio Caser Chavez Sr. long surpassed the mark during his career, the 49-0 record holds great significance for whatever reason.
For the critics believing a Mayweather victory would be hollow the record/achievement or should warrant an asterisk due to McGregor’s lack of experience, the question to ask is how do you feel about Roberto Duran?
What are your thoughts about Sugar Ray Leonard and Joe Louis?
This question is posed because if we analyze their careers, we will find instances when these legendary fighters faced opponents with either zero experience or zero chances of winning.
Leonard defended his welterweight title against a fighter (with experience) but was a garbage man.
45 fights into his career, Duran fought Jose Vasquez 4-0 and right after next faced Adalberto Vanegas 2-0-1. For Duran’s 48th fight he faced 1-4 Andres Salgado.
Duran would then go on to fight guys like Ezequiel Obando, Pepe El Toro, Bernando Diaz, Alirio Acuna and they all had less than six fights each. Some of these fighters were winless.
Keep in mind this is a prime Roberto Duran. I understand the concept of tune-up fights and fights to keep busy but if the criteria applies…
The “Brown Bomber” Joe Louis had the “Bum of the month.” In the span of 29 months beginning January 1939 through May 1941, Louis defended his title thirteen times.
Despite its disparaging nickname, most of the “Bum of the month” club were top-ten heavyweights. Of the 12 fighters Louis faced during this period, five were rated by The Ring as top-10 heavyweights in the year they fought Louis.
Some of the fighters not rated in the top ten by The Ring, we could argue did not belong in the ring with the heavyweight champion.
There was controversy surrounding many of Marciano’s fights with rumors of Mafioso influences, crooked judges and fighters taking dives or purposely forfeiting fights.
Many of the opponents Chavez Sr. faced possessed abysmal records with worse skills to match.
Should Scott Walker have shared the ring with Chavez? Another question is at which point can we discredit a win on someone’s record?
Across many sports, combat sports included, the team or singular athlete (in this instance) has a soft touch every now and then.
This may not necessarily be a walk in the park for Mayweather. There’s a certain demographic believing McGregor is the better fighter, or that mma fighters are vastly superior to boxers even if they face a boxer in their sport.
Remember former mma star Ronda Rousey has the ability to defeat Mayweather in the boxing ring too.
At the very least, McGregor is in his physical prime at the age of 29-years-old, as Mayweather is coming off a two-year retirement and he is the older athlete as he is well into his forties.