Mayweather-McGregor: The Money Grab The Public Demand
By: Sean Crose
The public is going to get what it wants. And what it wants is a novelty act. Indeed, what it wants is for Floyd Mayweather to fight Conor McGregor in a boxing match. And so it’s probably going to happen. It’s also going to bring down untold amounts of money, even though the chances of the fight being the least bit competitive are nil. What’s more, millions of people are going to gleefully cough up tons of green willingly to watch it all go down. Why? Because, with Ringling Bros. out of business, a new circus apparently must come to town.
People want hype and spectacle and a Mayweather-McGregor matchup will offer plenty of both. Plus, let’s not forget the fact that there are young MMA fans out there who know little to nothing about boxing and who are convinced no man alive can best their hero, McGregor. This, of course, is all reminiscent of the time not so long ago when we were told Ronda Rousey was the greatest fighter in all of history and that was simply all there was to it. Let’s also not forget that the media will do its duty and promote this thing to the hilt.
Funny thing, the media. It tends to lean progressive – yet it loves its white fighters, like Rousey and McGregor. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine McGregor getting the attention he does if he were a black guy from the states. Not that anyone cares at the moment, however. After all, this promises to be the biggest thing since Mayweather’s mega fight with Manny Pacqiuao. You remember that one, don’t you?
Here’s the truth:
The paying public is perfectly entitled to get this fight if it wants it. And clearly, the public wants it. So there we have it. Yet some of us have a right to complain. Why? Well, imagine a baseball game being arranged between the New York Yankees and the New England Patriots. Now imagine it being presented as THE most relevant event in all of team sports. More relevant than the Super Bowl. More relevant than the World Series.
It might benefit the teams involved, but it would be of no benefit to their respective sports, would it? Major League Baseball would look like a less than serious endeavor and the NFL would look like a poor cousin. In other words, serious fans, writers, analysts and commentators would have good reason to gripe. And so gripe some of us shall in the face of this behemoth, knowing full well it will all fall on deaf ears.
Frankly, this whole thing actually harkens back to “The Battle of the Sexes.” Don’t know about that one? Perhaps you once did and forgot about it. Here’s the cheat notes: Bobby Riggs, an aging tennis star who knew how to get attention, essentially played what we today call the gender card by essentially claiming women’s tennis wasn’t as good as men’s tennis. A major match went down between Riggs and women’s tennis maestro Billie Jean King, a match which ended in a King victory. Needless to say, the event was an enormous success.
Of course, some people claim the Riggs-King match was less than a serious affair. Riggs was in his fifties, after all, and King was close to a quarter century younger. Still, at least the “Battle of the Sexes” was between practitioners of the same sport. It wasn’t some weird combination of a tennis star facing a badminton icon. One problem with Mayweather-McGregor is that it may well be pushed as a serious endeavor. And let’s remember the fact that McGregor has never boxed professionally in his life.
Oh, and lest we forget the matter of race:
This will be the biggest bout between a white and black fighter since Holmes-Cooney. That particular match had simmering racial tension all over it, but was ultimately saved by the fact that Holmes and Cooney were essentially good guys who actually, you know, LIKED one another. Mayweather and McGregor, on the other hand, love behaving like jerks. Truth be told, I envision Mayweather playing the part of elder statesman here, but the fact that McGregor has presented himself as a kind of gangster/conqueror may indeed prove problematic.
The truth is that an arrogant white European trying to act as if he’s combat sports’ version of Attila the Hun may not play well at all in an event of this size and scope. Hopefully both men will be somewhat subdued in the lead up to this fight, if it is indeed made. For trouble could be brewing here. Believe it. It’s not like there haven’t been plenty of warning signs already.
Ultimately, of course, this may all prove to be a fun affair, a novelty act that’s appreciated for what it is and nothing more. Who knows? Perhaps McGregor will pull off the ultimate upset. Floyd will be at least forty if and when when they fight and won’t have stepped into the ring in around two years. Maybe McGregor will prove to the world what a unique phenomenon he truly is. None of the arrows are pointing in that direction, though. Which, in the end, is why this whole affair comes off as so ridiculous.