Conor McGregor May Play Possum against Floyd Mayweather; So What?
By Ivan G. Goldman
When he accepted a fight against the UFC’s Conor McGregor, Floyd Mayweather in one brilliant stroke secured a magic 50-0 record, revitalized his celebrity status, and concluded a deal that will earn him lots and lots of millions, maybe even more millions than when he vanquished one-armed out-slicked Manny Pacquiao two years ago in the largest grossing boxing match ever. And he accomplishes all this with little risk to his health or reputation.
Given these facts, Floyd is a man who clearly doesn’t need much in the way of advice. Still, if I were advising Floyd I’d emphasize one simple idea: don’t fall for any tricks. Because as the referee will instruct you, you must protect yourself at all times.
Playing possum would be a corny move on McGregor’s part, but let’s face it, this is a corny spectacle. A guy with no chance boxing a boxing genius. No octagon, no kicking, no limb-bending, and no wrestling beyond what transpires in a boxing clinch. This will be like a human trying to outrun a racehorse.
Yet plenty of folks will root for and talk themselves into expecting a Rocky kind of ending, where, damn the odds, the no-chance underdog comes from behind with a massive punch to trample odds into dust. Some of them have already put their money on it, which explains why the line, the last I checked, was only -650 Mayweather, +425 McGregor. McGregor bettors are risking $100 against a profit of only $425, which is like putting $100 on a hunch that the Earth is flat. It ought to pay better.
But so far at least, MMA zealots are keeping the line respectable by moving money to the crazy side of the gamble. Although it’s also true a 40-year-old who hasn’t competed in more than two years will be facing an active 29-year-old.
Expect to see a flustered Irishman being peppered minute by minute by a master and unable to do a thing about it. Notice I say peppered, not hammered. Floyd doesn’t, as a rule, hammer opponents. But he usually destroys them. He accomplishes this with speed and boxing science and above all, defense. Really good boxers have trouble landing clean shots against Floyd, and a non-boxer will find it impossible.
I know there’s an element of boxing in MMA, but the fighters employ it under such different circumstances that it’s not boxing. It only looks that way. This, by the way, is not intended to disparage mixed martial arts fighters. They’re tough guys in a tough sport, and if Mayweather-McGregor transpired under MMA rules Floyd would have only the barest of chances.
If in the course of time McGregor looks like a wobbly beaten fighter who can’t take one more punch, Floyd should assume he’s faking and proceed with caution. But of course he’s been doing that for most of his career. When’s the last time you saw him go in for the kill? For that matter, when’s the last time you felt after watching one of his bouts, “Man, that was some fight!”?
He’s created his great career by patiently taking his opponents apart and then continuing to take them apart in a round-after-round beat-down that morphs into an unspoken deal between the two fighters: They both get to finish on their feet as long as no one tries to get cute.
Fans apparently flock to Mayweather fights hoping someone will shut his big mouth, but the fact is, he’s great at what he does and also is in fact tough. We’ve seen him hurt from time to time, and he doesn’t panic, doesn’t go down. He fights back and prevails.
There have already been several matches between fighters from different sections of the combat spectrum. They tend to be either boring, not memorable or both.
In 1976 Muhammad Ali took on Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki, who practiced an early variant of mixed martial arts. For most of the fight, conducted under a smorgasbord of rules, Inoki lay on his back like an upside down water bug, kicking at Ali’s legs. A draw after fifteen tedious rounds. Fans threw trash into the ring, and everyone who paid to see it got screwed.
Seven years ago aging master boxer James Toney, in need of a paycheck, took on MMA fighter Randy Couture in a cage. Toney was taken to the ground early and tapped out after 3 minutes, 19 seconds. Everyone who paid to see it got screwed.
Hardcore boxing fans know what to expect August 26 at the MGM Grand, a relatively small venue favored by Floyd. They foresee a huge buildup bursting with pizzazz followed by not much of a fight. But they may well be outnumbered by MMA fans and casual onlookers who don’t know much about either sport.
A boxing trainer friend of mine, Anthony Huizar, who operates out of Carson, California, is plugged into the ticket maze and expects to come up with a seat. He’s “going for the spectacle,” he told me.
Most tickets will likely be scalped through middlemen by the two fight camps and whatever prices are printed on them will be only a fraction of what fans actually pay, unless they’re super-high rollers, who don’t generally have to pay for anything in Las Vegas.
The sportsbooks’ over/under line is telling. It’s set at nine and ½ rounds, and the under is favored by -180. Bettors expect someone to get stopped, which would have to be precipitated by serious action. Hope springs eternal.
Ivan G. Goldman’s 5th novel The Debtor Class is a ‘gripping …triumphant read,’ says Publishers Weekly. A future cult classic with ‘howlingly funny dialogue,’ says Booklist. Available from Permanent Press and wherever fine books are sold. Goldman is a New York Times best-selling author.
Lucrative Mayweather-McGregor Novelty Bout Officially Set For August 26th
By: Sean Crose
Cue John Williams’ famous theme to the movie “Jaws.” The shark is heading to shore. For the much hyped, hoped for, and hated Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor boxing match is set to go down at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas on August 26th. “IT’S OFFICIAL!!!” Mayweather boasted on his Twitter account. And indeed it is – to the delight of some and the ire of others. The fight will highlight a pay per view card hosted by Showtime, which means fans will have to pay out of pocket for this one or stream it illegally. Those intrigued by the matchup, however, surely don’t care.
It became increasingly obvious that Mayweather, whose record is 49-0, would face McGregor, a loud, bullying UFC star who has never had a professional boxing match in his life, when Mayweather put the date of August 26th on hold at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Vegas. The hold on that date was removed, but after a Wednesday meeting with the Nevada State Athletic Commission came the fireworks, via Mayweather’s announcement.
In truth, this fight means nothing by way of boxing’s current pecking order unless McGregor, who is essentially a boxing novice, stuns the pound for pound great in an upset for the ages, or performs so brilliantly in defeat that attention must be paid. Indeed, Mayweather’s quite clear he’s in this one for the money. McGregor, on the other hand, acts as if he truly believes he has a chance. And perhaps he does. Most boxing analysts simply don’t think so.
None of that will stop the hype train for this, however. Mayweather, who has done time for being an abuser, and who leads an openly hedonistic lifestyle, has long been seen by the world at large as a rogue. McGregor, too, likes playing the bad guy, swaggering about in Gottiesque fashion and mercilessly mocking all those who oppose him. Yet both men have huge, almost fanatic fanbases. Mayweather fans are fiercely – almost comically – loyal, while McGregor fans tend to goofily encourage the Irish native’s anti-social behavior. Mayweather and McGregor may not be nice guys, but that might actually be the reason they appeal to significant swaths of fans.
As much money and attention as the fight is sure to bring in, there are concerns that another Mayweather dominated dud could impact the reviving popularity of boxing. For Mayweather’s twelve round fight against Manny Pacquiao brought in tons of money, but little fan approval. Mayweather is a ring tactician, after all, not a thrilling fighter. And many, if not most, expect him to dominant McGregor come August. Then, of course, there’s the matter of race, always a hot button issue. Those who argue McGregor would never have gotten the fight if her weren’t white might have a point. And, in the hyper, nearly idiotic, defensive mood the nation finds itself in, the verbal jabs of two major league mouths might lead to some drama no one wants to see unfold.
With that in mind UFC honcho Dana White has said the weight limit for the bout will be at 154 pounds, making it a junior middleweight affair. The bout will also go twelve rounds, be held at the T-Mobile arena in Vegas and and be fought with 10 oz. gloves.
More Full Coverage: Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor
Strike Up The Band: Mayweather-McGregor Circus May Have A Location And Date
“Something BIG is coming #BP”
These words could be found today on UFC star Conor McGregor’s Instagram page. What the hashtag #BP means, I have no idea, though an extensive search of Twitter – I got on and typed the hashtag in – revealed that it may be the brand name of the coat McGregor can be seen wearing in the post.
Still, there’s more news to give to those who are deeply intrigued by the possibility of the Irishman meeting the great Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match. No, I’m not talking about Mayweather’s own recent Instagram post, where we dons a shirt declaring him a “Strip Club Supporter.” Nope – this news is far more important to those who find such things important.
For numerous outlets are now reporting that Mayweather’s promotional outfit has, as the Daily News puts it, “booked the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas for a ‘boxing event’ on August 26.” That’s right, gang, a “boxing event.” At the MGM Grand Garden Arena. On August 26th. Strike up the band. The circus may well be a comin’.
The Daily News also reports that the Athletic Commission of the State of Nevada declares on its website “that the bout will be televised on ShowTime.” That bit of news is actually a bit strange, since most would assume this would be a pay per view fight. Not to be mean, but the expression “there’s a sucker born every minute” may ring true here.
Mayweather might have been out of the ring for ages, but he’s an all-time great. McGregor, good as he is plying his trade at Mixed Martial Arts, hasn’t had a single professional boxing match. Still, people want they want. And lots of people would undoubtedly be willing to cough up a lot of cash to see this all go down.
Although a Mayweather-MgGregor bout might well be boxing’s equivalent of a Harlem Globetrotters game, it DOES involve boxing. Therefore BoxingInsider will be sure to keep its readers updated. At least serious fans have plenty of other things to focus on. Andre Ward will rematch Sergey Kovalev this weekend, for instance. And Canelo Alvarez is set to face Gennady Golovkin in September. What’s more, Wladimir Klitschko may come back and, with the help of Anthony Joshua, wrap up the year in grand fashion. In other words, there’s plenty to be happy about for those who take the sport of boxing seriously, in spite of all the silliness.
More Full Coverage: Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor
Boxing Insider Notebook: Klitschko, Joshua, Mayweather, McGregor, Ward, Kovalev, Canelo, Chavez, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 11th to April 18th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME
Klitschko vs. Joshua US Television Rights Settled for April 29th
Matchroom Sport, Klitschko Management Group (KMG) and K2 Promotions have reached agreement with U.S. premium television giants Showtime and HBO to televise the most significant heavyweight world championship match in more than a decade. On Saturday, April 29, IBF Heavyweight World Champion Anthony Joshua will face former unified world champion Wladimir Klitschko from a sold-out Wembley Stadium in London.
Showtime is the exclusive U.S. television partner of Joshua, while HBO has an exclusive agreement with Klitschko in the States. Each premium network will produce its own separate telecast of the main event match for the U.S. audience. SHOWTIME will televise its SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING presentation live at 4:15 p.m. ET/1:15 p.m. PT, while HBO will televise its WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING production at approximately 10:45 p.m. ET/PT.
Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs) and Klitschko (64-4, 53 KOs) will meet for Joshua’s IBF World Championship and the vacant IBO and WBA World Championships. The British sensation Joshua has knocked out all 18 of his professional opponents in a meteoric rise to stardom, while the long-reigning world champion from Ukraine, Klitschko, aims to win back titles he previously held in his 11-year rule as heavyweight world champion. Joshua vs. Klitschko is promoted by Matchroom Boxing, KMG and K2 Promotions and has officially sold out Wembley Stadium with a record-setting 90,000 tickets sold.
“I’m extremely happy and thankful that our respective U.S. TV partners Showtime and HBO reached an agreement,” said Bernd Boente, Managing Director of Klitschko Management Group. “This happened before in the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao and the Lewis vs. Tyson fights and shows you the magnitude of our event at Wembley Stadium on April 29.”
“I’m delighted to announce this historic deal that will see Britain’s biggest ever fight shown on both HBO and SHOWTIME in the U.S.,” said Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport. “It takes a special fight to break down barriers and boundaries but also networks and executives who believe in working with the best interest of fight fans in mind. With the obstacles in place it would have been any easy resolution to not air the fight in the States but I want to thank HBO and Showtime for their perseverance and allowing America to see one hell of a fight at our national stadium in front on 90,000 passionate fans. Joshua vs. Klitschko is a fight for the ages and we look forward to the show!”
“We are thrilled to be delivering Joshua vs. Klitschko to the U.S. audience live on SHOWTIME,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “On the afternoon of April 29, U.S. sports fans will be able to tune in to SHOWTIME to join a record-breaking crowd of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium and a worldwide television audience in witnessing an event that represents not only the contesting of the heavyweight world championship, but potentially the changing of the guard in the most influential division in boxing. We are proud to be Anthony Joshua’s exclusive U.S. television partner as he attempts to establish his legacy against the legendary Wladimir Klitschko, live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, as Showtime continues its unrivaled commitment to the sport.”
Said Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports: “Both promoters and both networks have found a solution that enables boxing fans in the U.S. to watch the world heavyweight championship. This agreement ensures that our subscribers have access to same-day primetime coverage of the fight. It will mark Wladimir Klitschko’s 22nd appearance on HBO and the first for Anthony Joshua.”
The 27-year-old Joshua has been perfect since turning professional shortly after winning Gold at the 2012 Olympics for Great Britain. Joshua, of Watford, England, won the IBF Heavyweight World Championship with a second-round knockout of defending champion Charles Martin in April 2016, earning a heavyweight belt in the fewest number of fights in more than 20 years. He has since successfully defended the title twice—against Dominic Breazeale in June and Eric Molina in December.
Joshua is just the sixth Olympic Gold Medalist at super heavyweight to go on to win a professional heavyweight world title, joining Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Lennox Lewis, Alexander Povetkin and his rival on April 29, Wladimir Klitschko.
HBO has been the long-time home of Klitschko’s professional boxing career in the States. The 41-year-old has been a kingpin in the heavyweight division since winning Gold at the 1996 Olympic Games. He turned pro shortly after the Atlanta games and ran an undefeated campaign for 24 fights before suffering his first defeat to experienced veteran Ross Puritty. Klitschko quickly rebounded by winning 10 in a row and captured his first world title (WBO) with a unanimous decision victory over Chris Byrd in 2000, a win which avenged a loss by his brother, Vitali, earlier that year.
Klitschko’s most recent reign at heavyweight began in 2006 when he captured the IBF and IBO belts via knockout in a rematch against Chris Byrd. He went on to make 17 consecutive defenses of the IBF and IBO crowns, 13 consecutive defenses of the WBO belt, and eight consecutive defenses of the WBA title. Along the way, he amassed victories over Sultan Ibragimov, Hasim Rahman, Ruslan Chagaev, David Haye, Samuel Peter, Alexander Povetkin, Kubrat Pulev and more. In total he has fought in 28 total world title fights – a unique record in the history of the heavyweight division – compared to just 18 total professional fights for Anthony Joshua. He was the longest reigning world champion (2006-2015) after Joe Louis.
This will be Klitschko’s first outing since losing the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO titles to Tyson Fury in 2015, his first defeat in 11 years.
Closed Circuit Venues Announced for Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr.
The hottest ticket in town is for the sold-out Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. mega fight that is set for Saturday, May 6 at T-Mobile Arena. Due to the demand of closed circuit telecast tickets, additional locations have been added for the Cinco de Mayo weekend showdown between two-division world champion Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) and former WBC World Middleweight Champion Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs).
In addition to the previously announced MGM Grand Ballroom viewing location, Liberty Loft at New York-New York Hotel & Casino and The Still at The Mirage Hotel & Casino will now show Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. live on Saturday, May 6, giving fans the opportunity to experience an exciting night of boxing live in Las Vegas in an electrifying setting side-by-side with other fight fans.
Tickets for the closed circuit telecast of Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. are priced at $75, not including applicable fees. All seats are general admission and additional tickets go on sale Wednesday, March 12 at 10 a.m. PST at any MGM Resorts International box office or concierge desk. Tickets also can be purchased by phone with a major credit card at 800-745-3000.
Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. is a 12-round fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Tecate, BORN BOLD, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Adriana’s Insurance and Interjet. Lemieux vs. Reyes is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Eye of the Tiger Management, Matthysse vs. Taylor is a 10-round fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Arano Boxing and Star Boxing. Diaz, Jr. vs. Avila is presented by Golden Boy Promotions. The event will take place on Saturday, May 6 at T-Mobile Arena and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Kovalev vs. Ward II Tickets on Sale
Tickets for Ward-Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” go on sale to the public today at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT. Tickets priced at $1,255, $755, $505, $355, $255 and $105 not including applicable service charges will be available on axs.com and at the Mandalay Bay Events Center box office.
Ward vs. Kovalev 2: “The Rematch,” a 12-round mega-fight for the WBO/IBF/WBA Light Heavyweight World Championships, is presented by Roc Nation Sports, Main Events, Andre Ward Promotions, Krusher Promotions and Corona Extra, and is sponsored by Monster Products and Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The championship event takes place Saturday, June 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Follow the conversation using #WardKovalev.
TMZ Sports Reports Mayweather vs. McGregor is Still Not Close
Dana White recently told TMZ Sports that the rumored Mayweather vs. McGregor fight isn’t even close to happening. TMZ also reports to not expect much movement on the fight being made until after Conor’s baby is born, as Dana White has said they plan to meet up after McGregor’s girlfriend gives birth.
Dana also told TMZ that Ronda Rousey hasn’t officially retired yet.
Helenius Hits Back at Chisora: “You Are Going to Get Knocked Out!”
Robert Helenius (24-1, 15 KOs) has hit back at claims made by Dereck Chisora’s (26-7, 18 KOs) coach Don Charles ahead of their rematch for the WBC Silver World Heavyweight title on May 27 at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland.
‘The Nordic Nightmare’ holds a controversial split decision win over Chisora from their all-action showdown December 2011, which many, including Charles, believed the British boxer did enough to win.
“Every fighter needs an incentive, and the incentive here is to correct the original decision,’’ said Chisora’s trainer. ‘’Dereck has to be the referee, judge and the jury. We are not leaving anything to chance.
“I hate giving fighters instructions to go out looking for the KO, but for this fight, Dereck is under strict instruction to go out there and knock this guy out.
“Robert is a good fighter, but without a doubt he has not been the same man since he first fought Dereck. Dereck knocked every last inch of confidence out of him. I am very confident that Dereck will knock him out!”
On hearing these comments, Helenius has issued a video message to his long-time rival, in which the Finnish heavyweight states: ‘’You can be the judge, you can be the referee, I don’t care, you are going to get knocked out anyway, On 27th May, I’m going to be coming to the ring with both my hands so you better be ready!’’
Caleb Plant Makes Impact Speech to At Risk Youths at Spring Mountain in Las Vegas
This past Saturday, undefeated super-middleweight contender, Caleb “Sweet Hands” Plant (15-0, 10 KOs), made an impact while doing a speaking engagement to at-risk teens at the Spring Mountain Youth Camp (SMYC) in Las Vegas. Caleb spoke to the youth about a variety of subjects but mostly about staying focused on their goals.
“I really wanted to come talk with these kids instead of at them,” said Caleb Plant. “The kids were very well mannered and they asked a lot of questions. I was honest with them and I believe I made a positive impact on the entire group. They have a boxing program up there and I was able to give a few pointers to some of the kids. It was a very uplifting experience for me and I’m grateful to the Spring Mountain youth leaders for inviting me.”
About Spring Mountain Youth Camp: (SMYC) is a staff-secure correctional facility, housing male youth between the ages of 12 and 18. This division provides for the therapeutic, educational, social, medical and recreational needs of approximately 240 young men each year. SMYC is located at Angels Peak in the Mt. Charleston National Forest Area. It sits at an elevation of 8,470 feet and has a capacity of 100 youth.
Andre Dirrell and Jose Uzcategui to Battle for Interim World Title on May 20th
An exciting night of action will feature super middleweight contenders Andre Dirrell and Jose Uzcategui in a matchup for the Interim IBF Super Middleweight World Championship plus two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy in a WBA 140-pound world title eliminator against Kiryl Relikh on Saturday, May 20 from the recently opened MGM National Harbor in Maryland and live on SHOWTIME.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast is headlined by WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. making the second defense of his title when he faces top challenger Oscar Escandon.
Top 168-pound contenders Dirrell (25-2, 16 KOs) and Uzcategui (26-1, 22 KOs) are set to meet in a 12-round matchup with the winner in line to face IBF champion James DeGale, who is currently recovering from injuries sustained in his draw against Badou Jack in January on SHOWTIME.
“This fight is a massive step towards my journey to success in 2017,” said Dirrell. “To me, this is my championship fight leading up to the rematch with the current champion, James DeGale. Jose has all of the tools of a champion, so he’s fierce competition for me. But I will show the world that I’m up for the task. This is my year!”
“I’m very excited to be facing a fighter the quality of Andre Dirrell,” said Uzcategui. “These are the types of fights that I’ve wanted and I look forward to coming out victorious. This fight will be another step on the way to my dream of becoming a world champion.”
A world champion at 130 and 135-pounds, Barthelemy (25-0, 13 KOs) and the former world title challenger Relikh (21-1, 19 KOs) will battle in 12 rounds of action for the right to be the mandatory challenger for current WBA Super Lightweight Championship held by unified champion Julius Indongo.
“I’m very excited to be back in the ring, especially on SHOWTIME against a top-ranked contender in Kiryl Relikh,” said Barthelemy. “This victory will get me one step closer to fulfilling my dream of becoming the first Cuban to win world titles in three different weight classes. I’m very motivated and I will not be denied on May 20.”
“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity in a world title eliminator,” said Relikh. “Rances Barthelemy is a good fighter, but my experience at this weight will help me get the victory. I’m ready to do whatever it takes to get this win and eventually wear that world title belt around my waist.”
Tickets for the live event, promoted by TGB Promotions, are priced at $200, $150, $100 and $50, and are now on sale. To purchase tickets go to http://mgmnationalharbor.com/.
Representing his hometown of Flint, Michigan, Dirrell looks to take one step closer to a rematch with DeGale after dropping a narrow decision to the current IBF champion in May 2015. The 33-year-old bounced back from the defeat in his last outing by earning a wide unanimous decision over Blake Caparello last April. After a decorated amateur career that saw him win two U.S. Amateur World Championships in addition to an Olympic bronze medal, Dirrell was unbeaten in his first 18 pro fights before losing a split decision to Carl Frosh in 2009.
Born in Venezuela, Uzcategui now fights out of Baja California, Mexico, where he won two fights last year by knockout. The 26-year-old shot up the rankings in 2015 when he stopped previously unbeaten Julius Jackson in the second round after knocking his opponent down four times. Uzcategui was undefeated in his first 22 pro fights and enters this bout on a four-fight win streak.
A Cuban amateur national champion, 30-year-old Barthelemy has yet to taste defeat since turning pro in 2009. Born in Cuba but now fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev. he won a super featherweight world title in July 2014 by defeating Argenis Mendez in impressive fashion, and followed that up with a second round TKO victory over Angino Perez. After dominating former champion Antonio DeMarco in June, he won a world title in a second division when he impressively defeated Denis Shafikov in December. Most recently, Barthelemy made the lone defense of his lightweight belt with a decision over former champion Mickey Bey last June.
Fighting out of Minsk, Belarus, Relikh returns to the ring after challenging the former champion Burns for the WBA title in October 2016. The 27-year-old was undefeated after turning pro in 2011 leading up to his world title shot. Relikh owns wins over veteran contenders Christian Ariel Lope, Joaquim Carneiro and Lazaro Santos de Jesus.
Mayweather-McGregor If It Happen’s It Must Be an Exhibition!
By: Ken Hissner
On March 20, 2016 the former 3 division world champion Roy Jones, Jr., 63-9 (46), was permitted to fight Vyron “Cannon” Phillips who was making his debut as an opponent. Phillips had 6 amateur bouts.
Phillips was 33 years old and Jones 46.
Jones who has dual citizenship in Russia was coming off his second knockout defeat in 3 fights in that country when a contest was held and Phillips came up the “winner” but not for long. It took place at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix, AZ, approved by the weak minded AZ Boxing Commission. It took Jones just 5½ minutes before referee Wes Melton stopped the mismatch.
If any boxing commission approves of a Floyd Mayweather, Jr., 49-0, of Las Vegas, NV, and Conor McGregor, 0-0, of Dublin, IRE, boxing match the ABC Boxing Commission should drop that state from participating in any world title fights or something worse.
McGregor was given a boxing license on November 30, 2016, by the California Commission. Several boxers have offered to fight McGregor who hasn’t accepted any of these offers. McGregor hasn’t fought as a boxer since he was the All-Ireland boxing champion at the youth level.
McGregor started in MMA at age 12 and in March of 2008 at the age of 18 became a professional and has a 21-3 record with losses in 2008, 2010 and 2016. In April of 2013 he started fighting in the UFC. His last loss was avenged 5 months later in August of 2016 and followed by his last match in November in the UFC. He was the UFC featherweight and the current UFC lightweight champion. His highest weight is 154.
For the sake of boxing let’s hope Mayweather decides not to take this bout against an amateur with no professional boxing experience!
Breaking: Reports Indicate Ridiculous Mayweather-McGregor Match “Close” To Being Made
By: Sean Crose
Word is out that Floyd Mayweather is close to reaching an agreement with MMA star Conor McGregor to meet in a boxing ring. At least one Irish paper has reported on the rumor. So has Yahoo’s Kevin Iole. So has ESPNs Stephen A Smith. Indeed, Smith spoke with Mayweather himself, who claimed the bout is “close” to being done. Nothing, however, is official at this point.
However, Dana White indicated to TMZ Sports that the reports are not true.
With that in mind, I’ve reached out to McGregor’s gym in Ireland, as well as the man’s management. As of this writing, no confirmation or denial of these rumors has been forthcoming. Boxing Insider will update if and when further information becomes available.
What makes a potential Mayweather-McGregor boxing match unique is the fact that it is a blatant and open money grab on the part of everyone involved – save perhaps for the hyper confident McGregor – who, by the way, has never boxed professionally in his life. There’s essentially no two ways to look at this. It’s a novelty act, after all, and nothing, not even a stunning McGregor upset win, will change that. Hopefully the fight, should it be made, won’t be promoted as a serious endeavor.
Mayweather has proven to be a massively lucrative money earner in the past decade. Not so much so McGregor, but then again, the UFC, who McGregor fights for, doesn’t pay big stars the way boxing does. McGregor is enormously popular at the moment, though, and there’s little doubt this circus would bring in lots of attention and revenue.
Is Mayweather vs McGregor Another Barnum & Bailey Show?
By: Ken Hissner
Roy Jones, Jr., 64-9 (46) had a contest and in March of 2016 the winner of the contest would fight Roy. Vyron “The Cannon” Phillips was the winner. The only boxing background he had was 6 amateur bouts. He made his debut in boxing as a professional with Jones on March 20th of last year losing by TKO in the second round at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, AZ. He is 34 and came in at 194 ½ while Roy came in at 201 ¾
One has to wonder how the AZ commission ever approved of such a bout. In Thailand it happens all the time but in the US? McGregor had some boxing matches in his youth. Mayweather won’t beat him at MMA and McGregor certainly isn’t beating him in boxing.
Speaking of Jones on February 17th in Wilmington, DE, he is taking on Bare Knuckle Champion and former boxer Bobby Gunn, 21-6-1 (18). If Gunn came out with no gloves on Jones would leave the ring. They were supposed to fight around 3 years ago and it fell through and Gunn took on former IBF light heavyweight champion Glen Johnson and lost all 8 rounds in a decision in December of 2013. So it’s been 3 years since he fought in a professional boxing event.
Gunn is 71-0 with all knockouts in bare knuckles. Jones is 48 and Gunn 43. This writer has seen Gunn in Bare Knuckle bouts on www.youtube.com and he is no one to mess with in that sport. He is also one of the nicest people who would want to meet. Jones on the other hand is cocky but once a great champion.
After Jones lost 3 straight fights back in 2009, 2010 and 2011 he ran through 8 opponents before getting knocked out by Enzo Maccarinelli in 2012. He came back with the “Phillips fight” and in August won a 10 round decision over Rodney Moore. They were his only two bouts in 2016. Gunn on the other hand lost his last 3 bouts.
Let’s hope this bout with Mayweather and McGregor isn’t considered a professional boxing match so he can go to 50-0!
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.
Breaking: Conor McGregor Gets License…To Box In California
By: Sean Crose
First things first, this author is most distinctly not interested in seeing a fight of any kind be made between iconic boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and UFC star Conor McGregor. Still, this is a site that delivers boxing news and when a major figure of any kind gets a license to box, well, that’s newsworthy. And indeed, it’s been reported by ESPN that McGregor has just received a license to box in the state of California. Whether or not this has anything to do with an impending match with Mayweather, or if perhaps it’s just a gimmick on the publicity minded McGregor’s part remains to be seen.
Potential Thurman-Garcia Bout Raises Interesting Questions
By: Sean Crose
Word is out – via RingTV.com – that Showtime honcho Stephen Espinoza is hoping that Danny Garcia will face Keith Thurman in a high end matchup early next year. Think of it as a welterweight unification of sorts…one that will eventually make its way around…. maybe. The truth is that there’s something frustrating about having to wait roughly six months for a fight that could realistically go down in around twelve weeks or so (though – in fairness – Thurman is said to have received damage from cuts recently – presumably from his bout with Shawn Porter). Fans can be accused of being over-eager, immature, or simply clueless as to the reality of things, but there’s no denying most anyone who follows boxing would like to see a Garcia-Thurman bout sooner rather than later.
After all, these are two undefeated pros who may well be entering their primes, fighters who bring quality resumes and real excitement to their bouts. To be made to wait, only to find out the fight may never happen at all, is truly frustrating. It’s also indicative of why boxing isn’t as popular as it could be – never mind used to be. People simply like things in a timely manner. It’s not impatience. To the contrary, it’s the expectation of professionalism on behalf of promoters, managers, networks and fighters. The fact that the UFC now delivers major card after major card only serves to make boxing look less than functional in contrast.
Then again, perhaps it isn’t boxing that’s making the big mistake here. Take the UFCs two biggest stars of the past year. Ronda Rousey was said to be the toughest fighter on the planet. What’s more, there was the feeling that if one didn’t agree with that ridiculous assertion then one was somehow a chauvinist (talk about brilliant marketing!). Yet Rousey ended up getting beat in her 13th fight – not just badly, savagely – roughly three months after her previous bout.
Then, of course, there was Conor McGregor, the mouthy Irishman who bullied his way to an impressive record and much fame. Fellow UFC fighter Nate Diaz claimed McGregor was given special treatment by the organization, but no one wanted to listen – until, of course Diaz gave McGregor a real beatdown last March – roughly three months after McGregor’s previous bout. The point to all this? That perhaps the UFC does a better job with its own brand than it does with the brands of its individual fighters, which is something to think about.
Say what you will about guru Al Haymon, there’s little doubt he makes sure his top fighters are well paid. Just how much, one may wonder, did McGregor and Rousey really earn from fighting so frequently in the past twelve months? Probably nowhere near what boxing’s top fighter, Floyd Mayweather, made in the twelve months previous to those. Boxing fans are mad that they’re made to wait. Yet will either Rousey or McGregor ultimately have as successful career as Mayweather? Or Pacquiao? Or Thurman? Or Garcia?
It’s hard to tell, really. And that’s rather telling in and of itself.
Even though it’s frustrating not seeing fights like Thurman-Porter and GGG-Canelo arrive in a timely manner, none of those four guys risk ultimately becoming flashes in a very large pan. Still, couldn’t things speed up a little so long as a fighter’s individual health isn’t on the line? Boxing is largely a consumer based business, after all…and, generally speaking, the customer has some legitimate complaints right now.