It looks like the most talked about matchup of the year is finally going to happen. Through months of back and forth, disagreements regarding the contracts and many fans thinking that there was no way the fight would actually happen, Mayweather vs. McGregor is now definitely going to happen. Even though it was announced earlier in the month, throughout the year there were announcements that were quickly denounced because of said disagreements. But right now, the date of August 26th is official, and the “super match” is finally agreed upon. While some people can’t wait to see the match and put an end to the debate, many other fans are getting flashbacks of the film “The Great White Hype.” So will this be the most important match of the year, or will it simply be another pointless snooze fest?
First off, many people have speculated whether McGregor will be able to handle Mayweather’s speed and defense. Nearly everyone who is a big name in combat sports, including Nate Diaz, Sugar Ray Leonard and Mike Tyson, have voiced their opinion, with mostly everyone agreeing that McGregor isn’t skilled enough to give a good fight to Mayweather, only having a “puncher’s chance” against him. However, many people still believe that Conor McGregor may end up surprising Floyd. Even Mayweather’s camp says that McGregor’s recent video of him struggling against a sparring partner may be and elaborate way of getting him to let his guard down against the UFC fighter.
Other than the skills of each fighter, we also have to analyze whether or not either fighter is actually putting anything on the line. Sure, at face value, this fight seems like the Ultimate fight to end the Boxing vs MMA debate. However, neither side will actually prove their point, regardless of who wins. For example, if the expected outcome happens and Floyd gets the victory, then nobody will be surprised. He’s a pro-boxer who has made legends of the sport look silly with his defense, so of course a MMA fighter who is used to using more than just his hands, and isn’t used to facing someone with as much striking defense is going to struggle. However, even if Conor McGregor pulls off the major upset, with a knockout blow being the only real chance at a victory, it only means that a younger, naturally bigger MMA fighter managed to beat a 40 year old boxer who doesn’t have the same speed and power that he had years ago. Even casual fans know that Conor would crush Floyd in an MMA fight, and the odds are equally against Conor in a boxing match against Floyd. In other words, it’s almost like having a cross country runner going up against a sprinter, where if it’s a 40-yard dash, it’s no contest even though both are gifted athletes.
Although many people believe this will be an easy victory for Floyd Mayweather, it’s still a win/win for Conor McGregor at the end of the day. McGregor doesn’t necessarily need to get the victory against Mayweather. If McGregor can at least hurt Floyd once, or if he surprises everyone and at least knocks Floyd down once, it would mean that he was able to do something that great boxers haven’t been able to do for the many years. Even if he loses the bout, just hurting Floyd, or getting him in trouble a couple of times would still justify a boxing career and possible matches against top 10 boxers in his weight class. For example, look at how amateurish Mayweather made Canelo Alverez look in their bouts and look at Alverez now. All McGregor needs to do is not look completely terrible against Floyd and let the fight be exciting, and it will justify a boxing career. If this happens, it could be a real game changer in the fight business, giving other MMA prospects hope that there is always a chance at a decent boxing purse when their having second thoughts or contract disputes in their MMA career.
While most fight fans are divided on who will win this match, or whether it’s actually an important fight at all, it is certainly the most talked about fight of the year. Although it’s an exhibition match, much more may be on the line than just a potential victory or loss, whether it’s Mayweather's legacy or McGregor adding more potential to his career. However, one thing is for certain, it’s that if you’re a fan of either one of the two, you’re going to be entertained by not only the fight, the continuing build-up to the match. We can’t wait for August!