ALL ABOUT THE MONEY
The gaudy Mayweather-mcgregor circus rolls into town
IDON’T recall awarding just one paltry star to a fight I was previewing before, but then we have never seen anything like this before. Unfortunately, in a few days’ time, this one-star contest will have been seen by millions upon millions (as adverts for boxing go, this is off the scale) when the greatest fighter of his generation makes his comeback (while almost certainly breaking Rocky Marciano’s sacred 49-0 tally) against a hideously overmatched opponent (who has never boxed professionally in his life).
For those of you who have just returned to civilisation after spending the last two years buried deep inside the moon, and are now wondering why there is a loud tattooed Irishman doing weird Matrix-style shizzle in training while threatening to take over the sport, well, get ready for this: On Saturday night (August 26), cocky 40-year-old Floyd Mayweather, multi-weight king and one of the best of all time, will embark on his 50th professional outing against the even cockier Conor Mcgregor – an MMA superstar making his boxing debut – in a 12-round super-welterweight contest, sanctioned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, at the T-mobile Arena in Las Vegas. And those watching at home will likely pay record-breaking fees to Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and Showtime in the USA.
Perhaps I’m still missing the point of this extravaganza. Such exposure should elevate this event beyond onestar, no? The spectacle appeal, of which there is obviously plenty, is the real reason people are buying this hogwash, after all. To paraphrase someone on Twitter, who objected to my objections about Mayweather-mcgregor taking place, ‘We’re not going to watch this to see who wins, we’re going to watch to see how he wins.’ Indeed. With the outcome already a given, then, we just want to see how savagely the big favourite decides to beat up the big underdog? No, I’m sorry, I still don’t get it. This is not what boxing should ever be about.
At least their personalities were made for each other. Rarely have two egos combined to create such a toxic racket, yet – for a certain kind of human being – this meeting of minds has already been irresistible entertainment.
During the course of their increasingly obscene four-day f **kfest of a world tour, the pair swore, according to a recent Thomas Hauser report, 173 times. Insults were spat, spluttered and screamed while accusations from naysayers about racism, homophobia, sexism and, above all, exceptionally bad taste, were largely ignored. Who cares about such minor quibbles? To hell with anyone who might be offended because, bottom line for anyone involved, this event is going to make millions. Bottom line for the sport, though: this hideous mismatch will be the most-watched event in history. Isn’t there something deeply troubling about that?
‘WE’RE GOING TO WATCH THIS TO SEE HOW FLOYD WINS’
FRANKLY UNBELIEVABLE: The stats on the righthand side say it all