Floyd Mayweather, one of the finest defensive boxers in the sport’s history, and Conor McGregor, a Dublin brawler and the highest paid fighter in the Mixed Martial Arts’ game, will finally replace their incessant trash talking with action when they meet in the ring today.
But surely the MayMac stoush, likely to start about 1.30 Sunday AEST, is not the only spectacle worthy of our money or deserving of our undivided attention on Sunday afternoon. There must more deserving local competitors than these two.
At the MCG, for example, the Tigers play the Saints in Nick “Rooey” Riewoldt’s swansong game. He’s been an AFL great and has done his bit for cancer survivors.
He’s not as loud-mouthed or trashy as Mayweather or McGregor. He deserves our respect. But I suspect he won’t get it this Sunday as locals head to the nearest pay-per-view screen to watch the trash-talkers in action.
Beamed in from shyster city, Las Vegas, the fight has been billed by some as the greatest event in sporting history.
Ali’s fights with Frazier and Foreman were far greater.
What of the ‘Fab Four’ – Leonard, Duran, Hagler and Hearns – welterweights who kept the sport alive after Ali left the ring? They are far more significant boxers than either Mayweather or the irritating, untried Irishman, McGregor.
How can any reasonably minded person believe the hype surrounding this fight? It’s just two trash-talking boneheads slugging each other senseless in a bout that has no meaning.
Not one of boxing’s many governing bodies recognises the MayMac fight.
On the undercard is a far more important bout. Wales’ Nathan Cleverly fights Badou Jack for the WBA Light Heavyweight belt.
Though Jack is managed by Mayweather Productions, at least this fight means something other than a truckload of money.
The failure of the fight to cut through the MayMac media hype shows how badly boxing is travelling. World titles are a dime-a-dozen and some are not worth a pinch.
With Manny Pacquiao on the slide and Mayweather gloving-up for a final payday, there are few stand-out names to excite pay-per-view (PPV) punters down the track.
UFC is also in the doldrums. As the Bleacher Report recently noted, it’s running out of big-name fighters to attract PPV audiences.
Behind the MayMac hype, it’s hoped that this stunt will reboot interest in both sports.
Regardless, expectations of a MayMac windfall are high. The fight is expected to top $US700 million in revenue, exceeding the $US623 million generated by the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. While the latter attracted 4.6 million PPV buys, UFC President Dana White expects MayMac to top 4.9 million at an average $US99 a pop.
The purse is expected to be higher than the $US300 million for Mayweather-Pacquiao, with Floyd pocketing the bulk
The winner will also get a diamond- and sapphire-studded alligator skin belt to go with their bling.
You can’t get much trashier than that!
For months, McGregor and Mayweather have trash-talked their way across the US. They even trash-talked in London.
They are so trashy that you could be forgiven for thinking they’re faking it.
In July, McGregor called Mayweather ‘boy’, a racially charged insult in the US. Mayweather’s entourage played down accusations of racism against McGregor and the slapstick roadshow rolled on.
Don’t be surprised if the slapstick continues on Sunday, and MayMac ends up being more farce than fight.
MayMac is not about sport but gluing eyeballs to PPV screens and creating media hype.
Do yourselves a favour. Pay your respects to Rooey at the MCG or save your money for his cause.
Don’t give it to the trash-talkers in Vegas.