Why so serious? This is fight promoting 101

Mayweather-McGregor — two fighters feeding the hype machine like only they can (If you don’t like it, change the channel)

In practically every sport, the winner is decided at the conclusion of the event or game. You can’t win at something, or be called a winner before the game in question has ended, can you?

Some would claim that winning is not only an outcome, it’s also a process, and depending on your definition of “winning”.  For Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor – a month removed from the ultimate winner-loser showdown, a man vs. man fight – I am here to tell you that they both have already won.  And, as fight fans, fans of combat sports, and fans of entertainment…so have we.

Many will say, and they very well might be correct when all is said and done, that the most entertaining aspect of the Mayweather-McGregor spectacle has already taken place — over a month before the two square off in Mayweather’s home ring, the two have paraded around on a four city, four-day international press tour that saw two of the loudest mouthpieces to ever walk this round (or flat if you ask some folks) space rock we call Earth.

A tour that saw “Rich and Richer” travel from Los Angeles, to Toronto, to New York, and finally across the pond to London, England, all the time yelling and screaming their respective reasons why this fight will be the demise of their opponent. Each stop got more profane, more offensive, more gimmicky, all the while serving the exact purpose it set out to do — CONVINCE PEOPLE THAT PARTING WITH $99.99 TO WATCH THE GREATEST DEFENSIVE BOXER OF OUR AGE DANCE AROUND AND JAB AN MMA FIGHTER PARTICIPATING IN HIS FIRST EVER PROFESSIONAL BOXING MATCH IS A WISE FISCAL DECISION.  And I’m in no way ashamed to admit to this simple fact…I’m sold.

For those who love boxing and/or MMA, this fight was nothing short of a pipe dream for the longest time.  Nobody in their right mind could have thought we would see a day where Floyd “Money” Mayweather and “The Notorious One” Conor McGregor would square off in a fight (outside of a chance altercation on the Vegas strip I suppose). Much like how no sane human being would’ve imagined Donald J. Trump as President of the United States (I’m still in disbelief every time I turn on CNN)…But alas, 2017 has been a clusterf*ck of a year and delivered both to us — I suppose you need to take the good with the bad? (PS. Trump is really really really really bad and I hope he soon goes back to fake firing people on TV – such a twat.)

Now, I know neither Mayweather nor McGregor are choir boys.

Both have their issues.  But they are not Donald Trump (I have zero time for anybody who would debate me on that).  Floyd has proven time and time again that he not only uses MONEY in his nickname, he also uses it to skirt the law and avoid just punishments associated with his history of domestic violence.  Apart from being sentenced to a 90 day jail term, he has danced, bobbed, and weaved around the criminal justice system.  A routine he often exhibits inside the ropes,  he’s just as adept at doing it outside of them as well.

Furthermore, Mayweather was released from his 90-day sentence after just 60 days, with the courts citing good behavior.  Just how the f*ck does Floyd Mayweather qualify for good behaviour?!?! Nothing the guy has ever done leads me to believe he is capable of anything resembling good behavior.  Money has the unique ability to get you out of the most incriminating of situations.  Just ask Trump (LAST TIME I SWEAR!).

McGregor is years behind Mayweather in age and light years behind in experience at this stage of his career.  The age factor is one of the few reasons people are giving him any sort of shot in this fight.

Just a few years ago, he was cashing welfare checks to eat.  His highest fight payday, until this deal was struck, was an estimated $15 million for his UFC 202 bout with Nate Diaz (Of that $15 million, $3 million was the official fight purse with the remaining amount being composed of sponsorships, fight bonuses, and PPV share).  Financially speaking, this fight is unchartered waters for Conor, whereas for Floyd, who refers to himself as a “nine-figure fighter”, this is merely another day at the office, his last day as a matter of fact.

Remember when he referred to McGregor’s biggest payday as training camp moneySolid chirp.  Without the domestic violence history of Mayweather, McGregor still has many haters out there who claim he is nothing but a loud mouth Irish hooligan who falls well short of satisfying the expectation put on all professional athletes. To be a first class model citizen and role model — I’ve always had issue with that responsibility being levelled on athletes.  For one, I’ve always believed that we, as fans and observers, should be able to separate the man or woman from the athlete version and I believe that is a key distinction that should be made.

The example I often bring up is Adrian Peterson: As a human being and parent,  he strikes me as a flawed dude with questionable parenting tactics and a skewed moral compass .  But as a football player, he is one of the greatest running backs to ever play the game.  He is a human highlight reel on the football field.  Idolize him on the field…challenge his actions off …Separate the two!

There are so many others I could list but I’ll keep it to my main example, for which most people will hate me (I don’t condone disciplining your child with a switch, but based on the backlash he received after that incident, one would have thought he was OJ Simpson).  My point being that professional athletes, like any human, can be dicks.  They make mistakes and fall short in the morality department from time to time.  However, nobody is forcing you to watch them, listen to them, read about them, or emulate their actions and decisions.  

To watch a Floyd-Conor press conference and be offended by what you see is putrid and laughable.  What were your expectations going into said press conference? — personally, I find political debates to be much more offensive. At least the fighters are being somewhat honest and truthful with their words and statements.  Both DO believe they will win, both DO believe the other is complete and total horse shit.  But do we really honestly believe anything that’s said in a political debate these days?

For all those disgusted and offended by the actions of these two geniuses (yes, that’s what they are in their line of work), a simple solution — change the channel, read a book, go on a hike, DO ANYTHING ELSE!  We live in a world with millions of publications to read, thousands of TV channels at the tips of your fingers, and if that doesn’t suit you, fire up Netflix or Hulu and watch their library of on-demand shows and movies…DISCLAIMER – Some of the content can be offensive and contain harsh words that may result in one seeking to inflict harm on themselves or others.  I wouldn’t want anyone to think that a stand-up comedian actually encourages rape because they made a rape joke – Best to mute it to be safe.  After all, words are seemingly capable of murder in this day and age).

For fight fans, and fans of sporting spectacles, we will continue to be glued to the excitement that this once-in-a-lifetime fight is brewing up.

We will continue to cheer and scream at every chirp and tongue lashing.  The hate-filled speech won’t, or shouldn’t cause us to go out and pick fights with strangers.  The war of words shouldn’t lead us down a path of verbal and physical destruction against those around us.  For some, it will.  But those people are idiots and we all know there’s no accounting for idiots in this world (Why is it necessary to put DO NOT DRINK warnings on bottles of turpentine — who is considering taking a swig? IDIOTS! Can’t help them).

They are as much a certainty in life as death and taxes.

The build up and eventual fight on August 26 (more likely to be a dance routine led by Mayweather) will be nothing short of memorable.  Many will gather to watch the show.  To take it in live, you better have saved up a small fortune.  For both fighters, it is in their best interest to project an endless aura of hate — that’s what feeds the fight machine.

This is not the Olympics.  This is not a morality contest.  This is not a promotional tour for a summer blockbuster.  This is a fight – a form of competition human beings have loved and craved since the beginning of time — ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!?!  —

Floyd and Conor respect one another despite what they say.  They both hold each other in high regard, and to question or take issue with how they are selling this fight shows a severe lack of appreciation and understanding for the fight business.  This is fight promoting 101, and with it we must understand that grown ups, like kids, say the darndest things.

Come fight night, only one will have their hand raised.  But both of them have already won.

 

Ciao for now,

JS

 

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