What a Beautiful Disaster: London Presser for McGregor vs. Mayweather


What a Beautiful Disaster: London Presser for McGregor vs. Mayweather
By Eric Lunger

The trains are on the track and barreling towards each other. Can you resist watching the crash? I hate to admit it, I hate to acknowledge it, but Mayweather vs. McGregor is actually happening. On August 26th in Las Vegas, if you didn’t already know.

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Photo Credit: Showtime Sports

Partly fueled by Mayweather’s undeniable charisma, partly by the impish weirdness that is Connor McGregor, but mainly by the enormous amount of cash that is being generated for the promoters and combatants, the “crossover” bout is set for Showtime PPV, with initial reports that the purchase price will be close to $100 for HD.

It comes at an interesting time for boxing fans, with some high level bouts on the immediate horizon. Maybe this is the shot in the arm that boxing needs. Can boxing capture some segment of the huge MMA market by putting on a great show? I wish, but I doubt it. The technical brilliance of boxing does not appeal to the instant gratification crowd that follows MMA. Defense and strategy are not what MMA fans want. They want to see McGregor “break his whole face,” as the Irishman claims he will do to the Flint, Michigan phenom.

The two men have been clashing verbally this week at a series of press conferences, if you can call them that.
The final round today in London was even more stage-managed and more choreographed than the others, complete with dramatic introductions and theatrical ring walks to the mock-up ring in the center of the SSE Arena. Predictably, the British fans were worked up into a frenzy of singing before either fighter even said a word. Then, inexplicably, tables, water bottles, and a lectern appeared in the “ring,” and the “press conference” began. McGregor was vulgar, sometimes almost funny, but a parody of himself.

Mayweather reverted to his role as the villain, which he used to do well. The crowd chanted “pay your taxes!” Coming from a British crowd, that was mind-breakingly ironic. Part of me hoped the Mayweather team would have re-enacted the Boston Tea party right then and there.

Unfortunately, they refrained, and we were then treated to some uninspired trash talk from Mayweather. “You’re a microwaved meal. I’m a home-cooked meal.” Wow. Really? There was little of the quick-witted but malignant charm that Mayweather had in his youth. Not that it matters, the whole affair is a joke, a cynical money-grab that can only tarnish the legacy of one the great boxers of all time. I guess it’s entertainment, but it’s disaster.

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