Mayweather vs McGregor: "The Money Fight"--The Aftermath
A couple of boxing fans standing, talking (in long line) at T-Mobile Paradise, Nevada.
"You waiting to get in?" "Yep." "Got a ticket?" "Nope." "I also need one."
Sounds of success heard, felt, and seen on Aug. 26, 2017 when Floyd Mayweather Jr., 29, went against lightweight, mixed martial arts challenger, Conor McGregor, in a well-hyped fight. But those in the shadows with running mouths making no sense did say (one) sensible phrase that Mayweather and McGregor were billed as "The Money Fight." Can't argue with that. Big time sportswriters called it, "The Biggest Fight in Combat Sports History." In History? Lot of ground to cover there. This was a boxing match. Boxing matches have brand-name boxers who have fought, bled, and paid their dues--Archie Moore; Jerry Cooney; Joe Louis; Rocky Marciano and "The Greatest," Muhammad Ali. Long live, Ali. Listen! Dadgum it, if Ali were in top shape, McGregor wouldn't be as cocky as he was against Mayweather, an undefeated eleven-time five-division boxing world champion while McGregor was a two-division mixed martial arts (MMA) world champion and current UFC Lightweight Champion--who asked to fight Floyd Mayweather with boxing rules. Did you get that? Boxing rules.
Speaking of Ali. "The Greatest," is well-acquainted with getting into the squared circle to take on challengers, but in this case, it not a boxer. In April 1975, at a reception held in the United States, Muhammad Ali was introduced to Ichiro Hatta, president of the Japanese Amateur Wrestling Association. Ali characteristically bragged to Hatta: "Isn't there any Oriental fighter who will challenge me? I'll give him one million dollars if he wins". This flippant remark made headlines in Japan, and Ali's challenge was accepted by Inoki, whose financial backers offered the boxer $6 million for the fight. The deal was struck in March 1976, and the fight was scheduled for June 26 at Tokyo's Nippon Budokan. But as in all publicity stunts, (I still wonder why Ali would even agree to such a dog and pony show) the "fight" was a pharse with Hatta not being able to land a punch on Ali and visa versa. Really?
Meanwhile back in line at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada, the same two boxing fans who were talking when this piece started are still engaging in conversation.
"One round?" "Nope." "Three?" "Nope." "You still need a ticket?"
10 rounds. That's all Mayweather, in expected grace and fashion, needed to extend his professional boxing undefeated streak to 50 victories and 0 defeats (50–0), perfect score--surpassing the 49–0 record of Hall of Famer, Rocky Marciano by defeating McGregor by (TKO) in the 10th round. Mayweather's guaranteed disclosed paycheck was $100,000,000 and McGregor's guaranteed disclosed paycheck was $30,000,000. However, the purse for the two fighters was expected to be substantially higher for each, with Mayweather reportedly earning over $300,000,000 from the fight and McGregor earning $100,000,000--these financial numbers do not reflect the concessions, parking, and other immenities, but for a retiring boxer, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., $300 Super Large is a choker of a paycheck. No more work for Floyd. No more work for Connor. For these two, if both can manage their fortunes sensibly, it will be bright lights. Big city. Gonna party all night long.
So who really won the fight? Can you sit there and tell me, a college grad with a degree in Business Administration, that $30,000,000.00 over-shadowed a feisty McGregor's athletic, determined attempts to, and I should laugh, knock-out Floyd Mayweather? Maybe his $30,000,000.00 guaranteed loot was enough to take Mayweather's bruises disappear from McGregor's face, huh? It is possible. And it's possible that one day just outside of San Diego someone will spot a pink unicorn. Old timers (chewing on stogies) in the boxing game, not business, will stand up quickly and say, when boxing matches are held today, the winner takes the purse--no matter how much. The loser, if a contract price is agreed upon, they too get to eat steak for quite a long time. So I ask again, who really won the "Money Fight?" I can inject that today's losers, if their game is managed right, they do not have face any humiliation, depression, or a sad case of the blues all during next week. Huge amounts of money can affect different people in different ways.
As all people who know and follow boxing will agree that in 2017 and back as far as 1990, there are no such things as sorry purses for losing boxers. Not even when Muhammad Ali won, he did not win all that much--for most of his winnings were divided among his relatives, friends, management, lawyers, trainers, and suckers who lived on his name. And I won't even mention Leon Spinks when he lost the title back to Ali. His meager winnings and what was left of his friends disappeared (along with Leon) in today's front page headlines.
We still have two issues to address: One, I want to share my real thoughts about Mayweather and McGregor and what we were calling "The Money Fight," and two: My real thoughts about a crack that McGregor supposedly made not long after his 10-round fight with Mayweather was history. This guy was smart. I give him credit for running up and speaking before the moment of his loss got cool. Now I bet you are so excited right now that you want to get up, hit the kitchen and make yourself a pan of cocoa. Okay. Go ahead. I will wait. And could you bring me a waffle with Aunt Jemima?
While I am waiting for you, I go back to those same two boxing fans still standing on the outside of T-Mobile Arena, in Paradise, Nevada.
"You get to see the fight?" "Fight? I saw a dance!" "Oh, you got in to see it?" "Nope, a chick with an iPhone had a big screen and she let me watch with her. Only cost me $40 bucks."
I didn't get to watch "The Money Fight" directly. Did you happen to check on how many bucks a pay-per-view cost? I did. But I did keep close eye on ESPN and by the updates, it looked like Mayweather was just dancing just long enough to give the fans their expensive ticket's worth. I really think this. I remember when Mike Tyson was a gorilla and ate a few junk cars prior to his fights and knocked everyone and everything out cold. Tony Tubbs (his last name: a dead give-away) was obviously low on cash or judgment for when Tyson got in the ring in some expensive civic center in Tokyo--it took less than 22 seconds, Tubbs was face-down on the canvas and Tyson had not broken a sweat. Instead of Tyson's throngs of fans cheering, they all boo'd him and chanted ugly phrases in Japanese. Talk about an insult. If only Tyson's manager had thought to talk to him about the diplomacy of losing, the fans would have loved it. After this fight, I do not recall Tubbs ever climbing into a ring with anyone else.
But the term, "fight," not as in "The Money Fight," but with brutal licks by grown, well-specimens of boxers like 1800s white version of Muhammad Ali: Jim Sullivan who did not show mercy to the weakest of opponents. Mayweather and McGregor did land a few good licks and sure, the licks hurt when they landed on these guys' faces, chins, and bodies. No way could a fight of this magnitude be fixed, arranged, or even wired. Coincidence, it has been said, is the savior of convenience, and what's so bad about how the fight looked? These two boxers were on a mission. A quest. One to retire so wealthy that rumor said that (Mayweather) was going to purchase Nevada if he won and the other, well, his paycheck would make any middle-class retired American feel cheated for not going taking up the art of a pugilist.
As for the bomb shell-of-a-remark made by Connor McGregor a little while after the fight was over, I got to give Connor an A+ for being more than boxer who knows how to use his right cross. This McGregor chap stole every spotlight that was shining on him. And with the attention, both international and national being on him, he made "the" remark about getting together with Mayfield for a rematch. No joke. At least he didn't look like he was joking. I didn't hear any snare drum and cymbal. Could it be? A rematch? You know what this means: Ponying up even more funds by the same promoters to talk the now-retired Floyd Mayweather, Jr., out of that same retirement to face Connor McGregor again, but in some other locale. Probably a richer water hole. That's all it would take.
In the days, weeks, and months ahead, the rumor mills have already went to work on their third shift checking sources, banking information, interest rates, insurance for the fighters, negotiating a nice, big, arena where more boxing fans can be squeezed into those unisex one-seat-fits-all seats with that ridge in the middle of one's behind and getting Vince McMahon or Snoop Dogg to do the emceeing. Wy' this thing will be wrapped up and ready to be put under the tree before Christmas 2018.
Two questions remain: Was Mayweather joking about retiring? And was McGregor joking about a rematch?
I can't answer about Mayweather. He is one shifty operator. But I can tell you about Connor McGregor that I don't want to be the first to say I told you so.
© 2017 Kenneth Avery