Replace UFC’s Conor McGregor with Reptile & Floyd Mayweather Match Gets Interesting
By Ivan G. Goldman
Floyd Mayweather in a cross-sport showdown with MMA scrapper Conor McGregor? Nah, I’ve got something better. Why doesn’t Floyd wrestle an alligator?
Gators, being lizards, are pretty dumb and you could probably find one who’d settle for only 30 or 40 percent of the pay-per-view money. And as my colleague Matthew Becher pointed out to me in an email, if Floyd gets himself a Chinese alligator it would have even more trouble reading all those contract clauses.
Also, Chinese alligators, I’m told, weigh about 80 pounds while U.S. gators can get up to 500 – quite a lot for any welterweight to handle.
Whatever gator you choose, the match puts Floyd back on the sports pages where he wants to be and also a little change in the pocket of his advisor Al Haymon, who’s besieged with legal fees while his grand idea of a PBC empire collapses all around him.
Not that I’m praying for a PBC collapse. I like the PBC. I look upon it as a Robin Hood-tinged organization that takes money from the fat-cat investors of investment colossus Waddell & Reed and distributes a lot of it among prizefighters and their teams (with a nice little slice going to boxing godfather Haymon). But I digress.
Apparently some media agitator named Colin Cowherd has announced that his sources indicate Mayweather-McGregor is all set for September. His sources are so dug in and important that he labels them as “intel.” And an MMA site says rumors of the match – this is an exact quote now – are “running rampant.” Wow.
Clearly these MMA folks have never tried to get Mayweather to sign a contract. They’re in for quite an experience. But I say let’s put a stop to this madness while we consider the benefits of substituting a gator for McGregor. McGregor, my Wikipedia intel informs me, is a UFC champion from Ireland who’s a big, trash-talking draw and has never defended his featherweight title.
And apparently he’s smart enough to know that his income might rise astronomically if he could get the retired Mayweather into a ring or cage or something, Mayweather being, of course, the best-paid fighter of all time, a guy who earned some $400 million to defeat Manny Pacquiao in a dull contest the world looked forward to for years. Not that the world wanted the contest to be dull. But let’s not get into that again.
The proposed McGregor match would apparently be fought under prizefighting rules, making him a goner. Mayweather reportedly said once that MMA is a sport for white boys who couldn’t make it in boxing, but I will not comment on this beautifully crafted thought. McGregor isn’t the first MMA champion to offer a circus challenge to Mayweather. So did Ronda Rousey before she got knocked out by Holly Holm.
Superbly skilled prizefighter James Toney, aging and down on his luck, entered a cage against Randy Couture and lost toot sweet under MMA rules.
Muhammad Ali once opposed a Japanese wrestler named Antonio Anoki and Anoki spent much of the night scuttling around the canvas like a turtle on his back and kicking at Ali’s legs. Ali circled him and didn’t throw a punch until round seven. The event went the distance of 15 rounds, was called a draw and was one of the biggest entertainment duds of the 20th century.
Boxing is a special sport, as is MMA, and trying to mix them gets you into all sorts of quandaries about rules and such. It’s like trying to blend football and baseball.
Which is another reason I prefer an alligator. An alligator doesn’t give you any arguments. It doesn’t even care who enters the ring first, though it may demand some kind of national anthem. But these details are easily ironed out – as long as the gator doesn’t bite off more than he can chew.
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 wherever fine books are sold. Goldman is a New York Times best-selling author.