Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor. As of this writing, there are still conflicting reports about whether or not this fight will actually happen. I was just talking to my brother about this last night, as the topic came up in his recent interview with Eric Breaden, who predicted that Mayweather would win in a boxing match and McGregor would win in an MMA match.
That is an easy and logical prediction to make, which makes me wonder why the heck Mayweather would even agree to this? If you think about it, what does he really to have to gain from this fight? If he wins, well, all he did was beat a non-boxer. So what? Is that really something to brag about? Does that make any sort of statement about the superiority of boxing over MMA? As accomplished as McGregor is in MMA (and it’s not like he’s undefeated), the fact remains that he’s not a boxer. So beating McGregor, in what would be McGregor’s first professional boxing match doesn’t really mean anything.
But what if Mayweather loses? Yes, it can happen. Upsets happen. Flukes happen. All it takes is one lucky hit, and Mayweather could could go down. Mayweather has been retired for over a year now and he is turning 40 in a couple of weeks. McGregor’s 28. So you never know.
So if Mayweather were to lose, there goes his undefeated record. Being undefeated is one thing Mayweather will always have as his legacy. Something no critics can ever take from him. But if he loses to McGregor, that’s over. Even if they had a rematch after that, and Mayweather won that, it won’t change the fact that he would no longer be “undefeated.”
So, really, what’s the upside? Sure, if Mayweather wins, then his undefeated record goes from 49 (currently tied with Rocky Marciano) to 50. But I still feel like there would be an asterix on that record, as it would always be noted that his 50th victory was against an MMA fighter. There’s no doubt that this would be a huge money-drawing fight. But, dang, I sure hope that after all those big fights in his career Mayweather doesn’t need to box just for the money.
If Mayweather’s going to risk his streak and legacy for one more match, at least come back and fight a legitimate contender. Heck, how about a rematch with Pacquiao?
As for McGregor. The main upside I could see for him in this match is money. As popular as MMA, especially UFC, has been getting in recent years, it’s drawing power is sill eclipsed by big time boxing matches. And MMA fighter’s careers are shorter, due to the physical damage they take. So McGregor could likely make at least 5 times as much as he makes in his UFC fights in one fight with Mayweather, win or lose. So for him it makes more sense. If this were an MMA fight, I’d say he’s taking the same risk of possibly losing, but still he would make more money than ever, and could just retire after that. So fighting Mayweather, however they do it, works for him.
And, yes, he could lose. I remember years ago talking to a trained martial artist and athlete that I knew, and I asked him the differences between boxers and MMA fighters. And he said that he thought it would be easier for a trained boxer to switch to MMA than vice versa. And his reasoning for it made sense. He said with a boxer you’re taking someone who is used to fighting under certain restraints, like only using your fists and basically setting him lose. Now he can also use his feet, legs, knees, and elbows, and can grapple and use submission holds. But with an MMA fighter, you’re taking someone who is used to using all those various tactics and restraining. Now they have to learn how to only fight with their fists. So it makes sense that the latter would be easier to adapt to than the former.
Well, right now it’s all just rumors and online trash-talking. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what does or doesn’t develop.