HASHTAG HYPE – Which came first, the fake fight or the fake news about it?
After recent weeks of increasingly credible teasers, it appears the blockbuster crossover boxing match between Floyd Mayweather, Jr and Conor McGregor may actually come to megabuck fruition soon.
The latest “news” has the fight being announced within the next few days. We’ll see.
Maybe, and not before much more smoke is blown. Frequently reposted dates list June or September at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. As of April fool’s day, those dates were still vacant on the Nevada Commission’s calendar.
Few fights, if any, in either boxing or MMA have people blabbering nearly as much as Mayweather – McGregor, whether the subject is participant personalities, possible results or the match’s legitimacy.
One thing that is not being debated is the potential event’s magnitude. More and more characters are becoming involved and the snowball effect is rolling.
Prominent boxing personalities like Sugar Ray Leonard or Bob Arum are being asked and giving their opinion on the subject.
A brief video clip of MMA’s TJ Dillashaw sparring with Vasyl Lomachenko quickly garnished tens of thousands of views.
David Haye is reported to have already agreed to a match versus UFC’s Jimi Manuwa, ideally on the Mayweather-McGregor undercard.
Much match related yapping has been inaccurate or insane, but the fact remains that each principal has kept the subject alive through generally respectful barbs on various social platforms. Each man is far more proficient at posting than many legislators. Don’t be surprised if the Mayweather-McGregor scene ushers in a new era of promotion.
The bout still seemed more speculative than substance when Mayweather tweeted “Listen, Conor McGregor, if you really want to get this fight done…take care of your business with the UFC and then have your people get in touch with my people.”
McGregor’s UFC contract seemed to be a primary roadblock, but now that is being posted as no longer an issue. Dana White initially dismissed any possibility, but has now changed his tune.
“There’s so much money involved, I just don’t see how it doesn’t happen,” concluded White.
The event’s likelihood seemed to have turned a finishing corner during a UK paid appearance tour when Mayweather ignited an assembled crowd in Liverpool, saying “I’m coming out of retirement just to fight Conor McGregor. Simple and plain, let’s fight in June.”
If Mayweather wanted to seal the deal, barring a blizzard he should have showed up at Michael Conlan’s pro debut in New York City on St. Patrick’s Day, dressed in the color of American money and flashing some huge emeralds.
McGregor accompanied Conlan to the ring and the resulting free publicity from any sort face-off would be like WrestleMania squared, except this would be real. Any marketing questions would disappear.
General polling indicates Mayweather is seen as more skillful, while McGregor is considered the tougher customer.
The intrigue comes from whether McGregor is simply strong enough to overcome Mayweather’s technical skill. In McGregor’s case, the puncher’s chance is an unknown equation, another mystery to make the fight a huge sell.
The pairing is a promoter’s dream that could conceivably outperform Mayweather – Manny Pacquiao’s 400 million dollar night, with little investment necessary. Fake news and the fighters’ respective histories have already taken care of all that
In boxing, fights that sell themselves are rare, but the UFC brand enjoys a much more consistent foundation of paying fans. You probably won’t get this pay-per-view subscription for less than 100 bucks, and it’s easily imaginable that similarly priced screening tickets sell out many theaters, especially in casinos.
This could be a whole new wrinkle in the combat sport spectrum. The calculating but unpredictable McGregor might decide to deliver a takedown or kick from frustration, desperation, or just for the madness of it. We won’t even go into the potential for chaos in the audience.
As a sports entertainment extravaganza the potential revenue numbers say everything, in possibly the biggest pay per view event yet; with meltdowns galore as countless customers continue to ignore the most fake news of all, that the match is more a charade than an actual contest.
That’s not at all to say it won’t be a real fight with extraordinary skill involved. What it isn’t, or won’t be, is a true “contest” in which both participants have a decent chance at winning under normal circumstances.
The fight has been available for betting action for months. Mayweather is currently around an 8 – 1 favorite.
I would venture that in the cage, McGregor should be favored as much as Mayweather is in the ring. I have no idea who would win a casino parking lot brawl.
Would the fight have the same appeal or any potential competitive scenario if it were to be held under UFC rules and conditions? I doubt it.
How the record book or sanctioning list classifies Mayweather – McGregor is just another detail for the contracts, which will likely involve at least as much finesse as the advertised battle.
Roll over Marciano, and tell Gene Tunney the news. The most successful professional boxer in history is about to go to 50-0.
Still, don’t count on seeing the bout until you hear it from Mayweather. As usual, he’s in control, and until you hear it from that particular promotional president, the story is still fake news.
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