Fantasy match-ups are a big part of sports fandom. Usually, they stem from generation gap. Your dad, for example, has probably been espousing the greatness of Robert Jaworski for as long as you can remember, while you’re convinced James Yap is the G.O.A.T.
But rarely are arguments over athletes in different sports get brought up, which is understandable. How could you possibly compare a Jaworski to an Efren “‘Bata” Reyes when their playing fields are completely world's apart?
Combat sports are the exception. No matter how different the rules, fans have always loved to debate about boxers going up against wrestlers, or judokas roughing up karate fighters, etc.
The first time it happened on a big stage was when Muhammad Ali faced off against Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki in what could very well be described as a farcical “fight” at best. .
Well, it’s 2017 and we’re still talking about another fantasy match-up between different fighting arts. Frankly, we're getting tired of this shit.
We first saw it when Mike Tyson attended a kickboxing show and got into a “face-off” with Bob Sapp that looked more staged than Tyson’s WWE brawl with Stone Cold Steve Austin. Years later, Anderson Silva sounded off about fighting Roy Jones Jr. More recently, we were debating the idea of a mixed-gender fight between Ronda Rousey and Floyd Mayweather.
What do those events have in common? That’s right, none of them ever happened.
Each time, the parties involved had something to gain either in the form of exposure or more buying power for their next fight. And that’s what this Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor business boils down to.
McGregor, after winning two UFC belts, now feels he’s bigger than the promotion that spawned him and is lusting after more money. By challenging Mayweather, he’s thrusting his name into the biggest possible spotlight and growing his name (and wealth) even more.
For Mayweather, McGregor presents the ideal muse for his 50th fight. The popular Irishman can draw pay-per-view numbers, while also being an outsider to the boxing establishment.
This wouldn’t be a passing of the torch fight, since McGregor isn’t a ranked boxer to begin with. This would be a one-off spectacle if ever—one that we’ll forget about quicker than Pacquiao vs. Mayweather.
The reality is, there are too many obstacles right now for the fight to happen. The UFC recently offered Mayweather $25 million, which Money naturally found ridiculously low. Fair enough; remember how much money he made fighting Pacquiao?
McGregor may have acquired a pro boxing license and Mayweather has “officially” unretired, but there needs to be a lot more cash on the table before any contracts are signed. The promotional hype train will keep stringing us and our ever-ready wallets along for the foreseeable future.
But what if a miracle happens and the boxing match actually takes place? It’s a simple outcome, really.
In one corner, you’ve got a future boxing hall-of-famer who is arguably one of the greats. A guy who carved out a legendary career by hitting and not getting hit better than anyone else. In the other corner, you’ve got a rising MMA champion with zero professional boxing experience. McGregor might throw punches as part of his MMA training, but he can only practice the sweet science so much compared to Mayweather’s lifetime of devotion.
If you thought the Pacquiao fight was boring and one-sided, then don’t get your hopes up for an exciting scrap.
These crazy battles are over 9000!
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Spoilers ahead—read at your own risk