When it comes to the fight game, I often look for historical parallels in an effort to make sense of the modern world.
While the hardcore regard Golovkin – Canelo as THE FIGHT on boxing’s immediate horizon, there is no question that it has and will be commercially upstaged by the Mayweather – McGregor sideshow.
Fight fans of my age and beyond will remember the huge global anticipation ahead of Marvin Hagler vs Thomas Hearns and the pervasive sense that nothing else mattered until these two mesmerising titans had settled their differences .
In context of the era, it is simply impossible to imagine that fight being relegated to ‘second fiddle’ if Sugar Ray Leonard had somehow announced his intention to come out of retirement and fight Chuck Norris, 3 weeks ahead of Marvelous and Tommy’s legendary slugfest.
So how did we lose the plot and when precisely did it happen…? Much is made in this day and age of the ‘build up ‘to a big fight and social media offers fans a comprehensive fly on the wall vantage point of every last strategic profanity or ‘handbags’ at dawn scuffle. It’s fair to say that the boys at IFLtv have carved a lucrative brand out a self perpetuating situation and you can hardly blame them for that but, once again, I hark back to Hagler and Hearns for a sense of perspective.
Despite a bubbling entity between the protagonists that would have burned had you stood too close, it seems important to note that Marvin and Tommy never so much as laid a hand on one another throughout a 3 week USA wide promotional tour. Had the timelines agreed, can you imagine McGregor ever agreeing to
fight either one of these men in their vintage, regardless of any astronomical sums on the table…? And would the collective 1980s boxing audience have willingly forked out for the inevitable one round blow out that would have unfolded on closed circuit cinema screens…? I think not.
Where Floyd Mayweather is concerned, of course, there is no such reassuring guarantee of carnage when a novice takes on an all time great at his own game. Let’s cut to the chase:
It is impossible for Connor McGregor to defeat Floyd Mayweather in a straight professional boxing match and this novelty affair can only go the distance of the Michigan maverick wants that to happen.
Anybody with the morsel of a boxing brain understands that but the likelihood of an ‘arrangement’ in place by way of ‘damage limitation’ seems enormous. In an era when everything is about aesthetics, what savvy individual could possibly rule out a semi scripted ruse as cynically choreographed as the ‘build up.’…?
For anyone who might be anticipating the circus on August 26 more keenly then the clash between the two best middleweights in the world, 3 weeks later, I will leave you with a hopefully apposite analogy;
How many of you ever went on a date with an insanely sexy young thing, investing a sum equivalent to the Brazilian national deficit on dinner, cocktails and frippery only to get blown out a the end of the night before concluding, ‘Ah, but the build up was great…’,..?