The world of sports is full of exciting events. There is something big happening almost all the time and there is plenty for the fans to cheer on about. But right now, there is one particular event that is taking up majority of the limelight and that’s largely down to the madness of it all. You guessed it right, it’s the most awaited ‘boxing’ game of recent times. A bout on the 26th of August 2017 between one of the best defensive boxers the world has ever seen in Floyd Mayweather, and a notorious Mixed Martial Arts Irishman who was the first man to hold UFC titles in two separate weight divisions simultaneously in Connor McGregor.
It would have been normal and not insane if it was any other boxing match but it’s hardly just that. Connor McGregor has never had a professional boxing bout in his career. This would be his first time and he is going to be facing the man who has seen it all and done it all. The man who has only once been knocked to the mat in a fight in his entire career and even in that match, Mayweather got up to finally win the game via a unanimous decision.
McGregor and Mayweather faced each other off for the first time in their press tour that lasted four days. The promotional tour kicked off in Los Angeles, on to Toronto, then Brooklyn, New York and finally ended up in London, UK. The two fighters faced off in a war of words and many would say that the Irishman came out on top. McGregor was able to get under Mayweather’s skin multiple times, mocking his sense of dressing, his age, the fact that he can’t read (Mayweather raised himself and left school early to box. He might be dyslexic and can read basic sentences but can’t comprehend more complex sentences and words), not to mention McGregor’s tailored suit at the first press conference in Los Angeles. At times, it basically looked like both fighters were trying to see who could come up with more profanities. McGregor had a great performance at the mic but will he be able to repeat that performance in the ring? Most people are highly skeptical about that.
After over 20 years in the ring, Mayweather aged 40, possesses an unbeaten record of 49-0 with 26 knockouts. He shares the same unbeaten record as the legendary boxer Rocky Marciano who remained undefeated and had a record of 49-0. Mayweather is widely regarded as one of the best defensive boxers in history. He won 15 different titles during his career. He hung up his gloves twice and is coming out of retirement to fight Connor McGregor yet again so it’s not really a unfamiliar territory for the great boxer. Most critics and former champions are giving McGregor no chance and that’s largely down to the kind of brilliant defensive boxer Mayweather has been. He might not be that great at the mic but he surely is the one to beat inside the ring and that’s where it really matters.
Connor McGregor, 29, holds a record of 21-3 in Mixed Martial Arts. He is the former UFC featherweight and current UFC lightweight champion. He was the first man to hold UFC titles in two separate weight categories simultaneously. He has never had a professional boxing fight in his life and it’s hard to imagine how he would catch up to Mayweather’s lifetime of boxing training. That is precisely why many of the experts are of the opinion that this fight is a mismatch. Yes, McGregor is a fighter and he’s a strong fighter too but he is up against the man who has hardly ever taken a punch in his life. McGregor’s fans would say that his different style and MMA training would offer a different problem to Mayweather than what he has seen in his career and that it’s just about landing that one punch. They believe that the “Notorious” Irishman is precisely the man who could cause the upset. He loves being the underdog and he loves performing like an underdog. His confidence has led many of his fans to believe in the improbable. Mayweather’s fans however, are of the opinion that the best of the world boxing have tried to land that one punch and failed against Mayweather over so many years and that McGregor just isn’t good enough. Some of MMA professionals say that it’s basically a fight and McGregor is a good fighter, he can cause the upset. But to many, it’s like this: In cricket, if you ask a world class batsman to start bowling and imagine that he’d be able to get the wicket of another world class batsman. It’s the same sport but the roles are reversed and it’s highly unlikely of that happening but at the same time, the batsman might get carried away and take it lightly seeing it as a non-serious competition and it might just happen.
A number of high-profiled sports personalities have questioned the fight saying it’s all about money and it’s bad for the image of boxing. It stands to become the most lucrative fight in the history of sports. If the pay-per-view estimates are right, the fight purse is likely to be around $390m while the total revenues are expected to cross the $500m mark. No one can be sure about how much the fighters are going to make from this fight individually because a confidentiality agreement was signed when both men signed their contracts. So, the exact split will not be revealed. Mayweather walked off with a purse of $240m after defeating Pacquaio and this time, he stands to earn much more than that. Boxing Kingdom revealed that Mayweather is set to make close to $400m while McGregor’s purse is going to exceed $125m which will essentially quadruple his net worth.
Whether it is all about money or not, one thing is for sure; the world has tuned in till the day of the fight. I personally love the story of an underdog. Technically, I know it’s next to impossible but I still love the story of the little guy. The stuff that they make movies about. Who doesn’t? I am hoping to see the madman Connor McGregor cause an upset. Don’t laugh at the notion because against all odds, it might just be McGregor who has the last laugh.
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