With perhaps the biggest “megafight” in recent memory set to take place between WBC champion Floyd Mayweather and UFC champion Conor McGregor, it is more than a clash between two different fighters from two different sports, but a clash of cultures as well.
If you are at this point in my op-ed, then you are me and the other four and a half million-plus who have forked over $100 of their hard earned money to watch this over-hyped spectacle of an obvious money grab. At 40–around the same age as me–Mayweather is boxing in what appears to be his proverbial swan song to the tune of an easy $100 million that he is reportedly expected to pocket, while McGregor is in line for his biggest payday ever at $30 million.
I can understand that this is all about money–hence the name of the special “Money Belt”, but is this fight even worth it? Yes, we all have tuned in to debates across social media, saw and lapped up the Richard Pryor-esque, racially-charged world tour that saw so many cultural and ethnic roasts, that Justin Bieber would have been jealous.
The Money Team vs. Notorious, TBE vs McG, Black vs. Irish, Black America vs Ireland, this fight is just a microcosm of the current day racial and social divide that is current in the Divided States of America.
Loyalties to both fighters are also likely along racial and cultural lines, as many rooting for McGregor want to see the sight of a beaten and defeated Mayweather due to beating his wife. Many want to see McGregor get a proper lesson from TBE in “The Sweet Science” just to shut the brash, loud and outspoken Irishman up.
Both are equally arrogant, trash-talking, boisterous and skilled at what they do, but the sight of an amateur boxer going against perhaps the greatest boxer of this generation who has never lost, is almost an insult.
How is it that McGregor gets to leapfrog over other more well-known boxers to get a shot at Mayweather, yet they couldn’t?
Everything in sports is about business and the bottom line, and boxing needs this fight way more than mixed martial arts, due to the former gradually fading into irrelevance.
Outside of Mayweather, Pacaquiao, Triple-G, Canelo and the Klitscheko brothers, boxing doesn’t have that big-name draw that it did not even 20 years ago.
Once thought of as a mere gimmick, thanks to UFC president Dana White and his shrewd brilliance, MMA has exploded into perhaps the most popular sport today not named football or basketball.
If you care to argue or debate this, name me any five superstars fromthe other sports that have the same draw of McGregor, Brock Lesnar, Michael Cormier, Jon Bones Jones, Ronda Rousey, Paige Van Zant and Anderson Silva.
It’s fitting that such a mega fight is set in Las Vegas, as this is boxing’s biggest gamble in pushing all of its proverbial chips to the middle of the table against the younger and brasher UFC and McGregor, for its sake and survival, Mayweather needs to come up big.