Mayweather vs. McGregor: Hate It Or Love It

The biggest boxing event in the last century is less than 3 weeks away and the thunderstorm of dispute and debate that it stirred up has not only hypnotized people into talking but has turned this into a full-fledged tornado of controversy. All thanks to the pairing of two world class fighters in Floyd “Money” Mayweather (49-0-0) and “The Notorious” Conor McGregor (0-0-0) later this month in Las Vegas.

The super welterweight battle at the T-Mobile Arena pits the former number one “Pound for Pound” rated star and most financially successful boxer in the history of the sport against the first simultaneous UFC two-division champion and most financially successful mixed martial artist in the history of MMA. Yet, with credentials in abundance, talent through the roof, and star power to make artists Justin Bieber and Adele blush , the high-profile fight has stayed on the front page partially due to allot of negativity.

Here are reasons why the Showtime PPV event on August 26th is being hated on and how to debunk the shade being thrown at this show left and right.
1. Credibility
The first and probably most argued point from aficionados negatively critiquing the fight is that it’s unjustified for a boxer the caliber of Floyd Mayweather to finish his career against a debuting fighter. Floyd is one of the most decorated men to ever lace up the gloves while in contrast, McGregor is making his professional debut inside the squared circle. Yes, he has a stellar MMA record of (24-3) in the cage but, he was just recently approved for a boxing license. Some can point to his original roots in combat being traced to his days as an All-Ireland champion in boxing when he competed at Youth Level however, it won’t suffice the boxing purists who expect more.

Those folks will argue that undefeated, popular, young welterweight champions in Errol Spence Jr (22-0) and Keith Thurman Jr (38-0-0, 1 NC) could have served as better, more qualified and credible candidates to send the Michigan native off into retirement. Mayweather could’ve proven that he is still the man to beat notwithstanding his 2-year absence in a showcase of the former king ascending to his throne.


Photo from Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

Sadly, casual to hardcore fans don’t have much of a leg to stand on since Mayweather has accomplished everything in the sport. From being an Olympian who medaled, having a successful professional career and becoming a household name, tying Rocco “Rocky” Marciano’s coveted 49-0 record, becoming a 5-divison champ and holding the records for biggest live gates and PPV buys in all of pro boxing. His accolades are legendary since someone like Mayweather comes around once in a lifetime. He has worked for two decades to get to this level, one that didn’t even exist before him, and he can choose to fight somebody on PPV over a parking spot and it would still sell.

2. Money Fight
The dispute to this Showtime pay per view is that it’s one final money grab by “Money” Mayweather alongside his dance partner, McGregor. This isn’t to say that the brash Irishman would retire from fighting altogether but, in what would be an unprecedented move you could definitely see Conor leave MMA after this fight and buy out of his UFC contract. For years there have been whispers that UFC fighters are underpaid contractors and with the $50 to $75 Million USD that “The Notorious” stands to make he could not only jump ship but purchase every single vessel in that dock. Imagine McGregor following in Mayweather’s footsteps by doing what Floyd did a decade ago? Buy out of his current promoter’s contract then go on to establish himself as Jay Z once rapped, “a business man, not a businessman”, promoting his own bouts be it in a ring, cage or Octagon seeing as how the exposure from this fight alone would guarantee eyes tuning in the next time he fought regardless of the outcome on August 26th.

Rebuttal: The concept of “The Money Fight” oddly enough is nothing that Showtime has shied away from in the slightest bit. The phrase or hashtag was splashed, dabbed, tagged and sprayed on every wall, commercial, social media post and poster that sprouted. It almost became “cool” to call it that rather than an insult and with the $300 Million purse it’s supposed to generate for the star attraction plus estimated 5 million Pay per view buys, this show will undoubtedly redefine the term, “money fight”.

3. Underserving
Lastly, some fight fans struggle to digest the level of attention from the media that this card is getting. Nevertheless, be it undeserving attention, recognition and coverage, or all of the above – people will be tuning in. Former Olympian and 5-divison champion, now boxing promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, immediately took to social media and interviews bashing the event calling it a “circus”. Miguel Cotto’s final fight might be happening this summer in Carson, California and airing on Showtime rival HBO. Ironically enough, the match happens to be the same night as “The Money Fight”. Golden Boy Promotions and Cotto Promotions actually had the date first before Mayweather Promotions swooped in to set up shop. Add to it, the Showtime event without question shortens the PPV buys on the highly-touted Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin HBO next month. No matter where you turn, no one is safe from this vacuum of attention involving Floyd and Conor.

Rebuttal: De La Hoya may have voiced his opinion as well as those of many purists in the world of MMA and boxing but, the sad part is that it gave Mayweather vs. McGregor that much more shine. De La Hoya and Cotto might not be too happy with having to share a date with their former in-ring rival Floyd Mayweather but the fans that didn’t know about it probably know now thanks to “The Golden Boy’s” many followers. If Oscar and company are upset at the financial leak and attention Mayweather will take away from Golden Boy Promotions’ “Canelo vs GGG” event in September there is no one is to blame but the promoter for prolonging the Canelo fight for more than a year. The negative light cast by Oscar and other sports analysts was still light and, as the saying goes: “any publicity is good publicity”.

Fans can talk bad or talk good, but at the end of the day they’ll be doing just that. And in a world that never existed before: one where there is a middle ground between pro-boxing and pro-MMA fighters to legitimately back their man in a debate of: “who do you think will win?
No matter which side you stand on be it for or against the fight, you have to love the perfect storm of drama and attention that Mayweather vs. McGregor already is and hate that you weren’t the one to come up with this multi-million dollar idea.

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