It all started as a game of teasing. Some social media naughtiness, bad taste jokes and insults from both sides.
But no one would imagine that the fight between the multi boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. and the UFC Champion Conor McGregor was really going to happen.
I accredit that to the great media power the Irish has. Besides the talent, Conor is one of the biggest fight sellers in the current sports world. He can turn any fight into a media battle. And that is crucial in every sport these days. Of course the context also helped.
For an already retired Floyd, who is one of the best fighters in the history of box, there is nothing better than a fight which will give him dozens of million dollars while he doesn’t have to risk too much.
For Conor it is also a great chance. The Irishman can get with this fight a projection never imagined in the world of UFC and MMA, while also winning money of a lifetime. It was killing two birds with one stone.
But this fight quickly got out of control. The promotion tour was sold out in every city it went to. The fight is all over the media and got past the borders of specialized press.
In an amazing way, this fight has now gained a bigger proportion than the fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao, which was for most the greatest boxing fight of our time. And here we are talking about what many purists consider a “freak show”, with no real reason to happen besides the money.
Floyd Mayweather Jr
But now that doesn’t matter anymore. We are before a great sports clash but it will happen with boxing rules, which clearly favours the north-American. Mayweather considers himself the greatest fighter in the history of this sport.
He retired undefeated with 49 wins in 49 bouts, winning 26 of them by knockout. He is only questioned because of his defensive skillset, which makes him a player with spectacular dodging ability and very hard to strike.
Besides that, his refined technique produces very efficient counter-attacks, surgical even. Mayweather doesn’t waste blows or energy. Which makes him a competitive guy, even at 40 years of age. The defensive fortress as many call him.
And naturally, since this style of boxing is less spectacular than a striking one, there are many who question this self-titled greatest fighter of all time. However, it is undeniable that he is one of the best fighters in the history of Boxing.
His last fight was against the American André Berto, where he won by unanimous decision. On the final stage of his career, people started accusing Mayweather’s fights of being boring. That is somewhat true, since as he aged he lost some of his power and his opponents started Reading the fight better, so he became a more economical boxer and a lot more pragmatic in his fights..
His last 7 fights were won via decision and he hasn’t knocked someone out since Ortiz in 2011. But in the mean time he has faced some of the best boxers of his generation.
Conor McGregor is skyrocketing inside the UFC. It is still a bit unbelievable how meteoric his ascension inside the organization was. As I said before, this was in great part due to his ability of promoting his own fights.
But also because he is a guy that can deliver. He doesn’t just talk shit, he backs it up and he is a phenomenal fighter. You don’t dethrone a featherweight champion and an athlete like José Aldo, who was undefeated for 10 years while fighting the best in this category, the way he did. An historical knockout in 13 seconds
Everyone was saying that it was McGregor’s peak. But then he decided to go up to the lightweight division and challenged the then champion Eddie Alvarez. That resulted in another belt, and another record: No one had ever held two UFC titles simultaneously. But there were some setbacks. And they were all caused by a single guy: Nick Diaz.
When McGregor accepted the fight to save a card, it was supposed to be an easy win for him. But he ended up knocked out. There was a controversial revenge fight, where the Irishman won, but some people disagree on the decision made by the judges. The only drawback here is that McGregor never made any defence of his belts before going into Boxing and taking on Mayweather.
Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor –Boxing vs MMA SuperFight:
I see trouble for McGregor here. He has precision and power, as it is shown by his record of 18 KO’s in 21 wins. But that was in MMA. I know McGregor has boxed when he was younger but that doesn’t make him a boxer, just like it wouldn’t make Mayweather an MMA fighter if he had practised that sport when he was a child.
McGregor has an interesting boxing setup but he is strong against UFC fighters, who generally have super weak boxing skills. Besides that, a fight inside the octagon is a whole lot different from a boxing fight.
The fight tends to be much closer, and Mayweather will offer the Irishman a lot less space to react than his usual UFC rivals do. We know that McGregor works very well on his precision and counter-attack. But that is Mayweather’s playground. He’s maybe the best at it in boxing’s history.
There is still the question about the fight itself. Forget UFC’s McGregor. We will have one of the best boxers in history facing off against an athlete who never fought in professional boxing. I don’t even believe it will get to the judge’s scorecard.