Boxing has always been there.
We were raised on the Philadelphia legend that was Rocky Balboa, we knew that Fridays nights were East Rand boxing nights on the main television and we thank Game stores for returning the everlasting brand Everlast, right?
All of these years later, I have figured that the beauty in boxing is in the will to square up on an equal plane, to fight fiercely and to not fall. How else may a barbaric bout be so neatly tempered into a competition of skill and discipline?
So I scratched my head slightly when the #MayweathervMcgregor fight was made ‘official’ and now that it is a few seconds away – with no indication of cancellation, clearly – I am trying to understand just where the heck the beauty is in this.
Trash talk too much
The art of ‘trash talk’ has degenerated into an awkward spectacle of snapbacks that I am unsure serves sport in any way. Granted, this gives to the build-up of the fight and all of that shock value, but to hear grown men calling one another “bitch,” “hoe” and “little girl” has to make one wonder what we are accepting as the norm. It boggles my mind that this is practically all that it took for 26 August 2017 to be sanctioned: no Olympic credentials, no ongoing title battle, no past meeting of the two – just a load of trash talk.
Cut from the same canvas
UFC and WBO are as much worlds apart as are netball and basketball, or, baseball and cricket. For fundamental intents and purposes, the two may be common based on minor similarities but it cannot be said that they are the same. What stands out are the physiological limitations in pitting both athletes against one another and the fact that seems to have been sidelined.
“We were very surprised this bout was even sanctioned and was going to be permitted to carry on. The thing I really fear, truly fear, is that somebody’s going to get really hurt in this upcoming fight.'” – Larry Lovelace, President: Association of Ringside Physicians.
Taking a gamble
Betting has become a brazen player in virtually any professional sport league, much to the detriment of those who believe in the puritan participation in any exchange these days. But a merit to the fight seems to have been found in the high stakes invested in the make up of the men behind both Floyd and Conor. From their hometowns, in their technical teams and by their promoters, the story makes for an enticing gamble on the ‘devil you know versus the angel you don’t.’
Money makes the world go ’rounds
A lot of corporations – and the players themselves – are set to make a lot of money out of this mis-marriage. Television rightsholders are basking in their glorious methods of pay-per-view and premium subscription. Brand logo’s have clamored on to every thread possible. Mayweather is selling tequila. And Mcgregor is selling toothpaste. It all makes for ridiculously fun boxing cents for many over a weekend of debit orders for most.
“I am honoured to be here, to give you this spectacle. His [Mayweather] little legs, his little core, his little head, I am going to knock him out inside four rounds, mark my words. I am a young, confident, happy man that has worked extremely hard for this. He will be unconsciousness in four rounds. He has never faced this. I don’t fear him.” Conor McGregor (at opening tour press conference, Los Angeles, 11 July 2017)
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps
If one was to look at the upside, perhaps this fight isn’t the frolic that it has posited itself to be. Perhaps there is something that both the UFC and WBO can reap from this that is beneficial to both the wrestling and boxing worlds apart. Perhaps it is good that at a portion of the world’s population anticipates tuning into the fanfare that may, in turn, bring the crowds back to boxing or give the UFC some new kinda’ street cred. Social media will undoubtedly not be short of #hashtags to update and some will – for the sake of pop culture – not want to miss out on this out of sheer curiosity.
Perhaps I ought to sleep now.
Perhaps I won’t miss much.