Mayweather vs. McGregor: The Farce of the Century
“Only in America…” is one of most iconic quotes from legendary boxing promoter Don King, which is the three perfect words to sum up Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor. Some are calling this the fight of the century, while others are looking at it as more of a media and sporting farce. Can the mixed martial arts, loudmouth Irish fighter take down the undefeated 40-year-old boxer?There is an air of old school professional wrestling at the heart of this event. Like Wrestle Mania I, when celebrity tough guy Mr. T teamed up with Hulk Hogan, long before fans learned the golden boy wrestling champion didn’t get his physique from saying his prayers and taking his (legal) vitamins, this event is taking from the Vince McMahon playbook of “entertainment”.Counter Culture of Combat SportsYes, Mayweather vs. McGregor is destined to be a farce of epic proportions, but that won’t put off the public from buying into the fight. Why? Boxing is a sport that once pitted some of the meanest, baddest tough guys in sports against one another. That is no longer the case as MMA – or the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the largest MMA organization – has become the banner sport for the counter culture movement of combat sports. Other than just money, a lot is at stake, as boxing can prove its superiority in the encounter, proving MMA is just a blood sport for the person interested in carnage and crash TV.Get Rich or Get Knocked Out TryingThe projections for ticket sales ahead of the August 26th fight in Las Vegas are $77 million. That figure would put it just under Mayweather’s previous fight. The spectacle, and it will be a spectacle, will sell out; and if Mayweather’s fight against Manny Pacquiao in 2015 is any indication, prices for seats could cost an average of $4,000.Both fighters are destined to receive a major paycheck, regardless of the outcome. But it isn’t just the fighters who will make out well. The pay-per-view providers are projected to make $475 million, while promoters and anyone else hanging on the coattails of the two men should fare quite well too.There is no secret that both fighters love money just as much as they love themselves, and boxing (or MMA in McGregor’s case) has been the light that led both out of poverty and difficult young lives. Mayweather’s father may have been a professional boxer, but he still lived with a heroin addicted mother. McGregor was on the dole in 2013, and received a $235 check from the government the week before his UFC debut. The two are shining examples of how such violent sports can change lives for the better, financially.The Final ConflictBoxing great Lennox Lewis has already declared Mayweather vs. McGregor to be “ridiculous”, but the countdown is on. Amongst the hoopla and hubbub of the fight, it already feels like the August 26th event will be the first of a series. If McGregor wins, it will be Mayweather’s first career loss – he enters the fight at 49-0.If he loses, the Michigan native will want to get his win back, especially if he is beaten in a boxing match by a man who has never boxed professionally. A Mayweather win – which is what bookies are predicting – just proves McGregor is all talk when it comes to a boxing match. But will he attempt to goad Mayweather into the UFC octagon for a second bout and more cold hard cash? Mayweather vs. McGregor II can’t be far away if the first was put together with such haste. Mayweather vs. McGregor III: The Final Conflict will then follow, and promoters will get every last bit of interest out of the public.Fighting for Reputation It isn’t just Mayweather and McGregor whose reputations are on the line. In truth, boxing has everything to lose if Mayweather is dropped by the Irishman. The sport has been on the decline for more than a decade. Promoters, contracts with television channels, and disappointing fights have all contributed to its decrease in popularity. The rise of MMA has also hurt the sport that was at one time covered by major media outlets across the world. Yet, many of those outlets focus more attention on MMA nowadays.On the contrary, MMA has everything to gain if McGregor can defeat Mayweather. The sport can be legitimized in the eyes of many, and more sports purists who don’t recognize combat sports may have to give it column space – or the digital equivalent. That, or both sports could fall into the purgatory that has engulfed professional wrestling for some time. Has MMA and boxing jumped the shark or is this the future of major sporting events? Regardless, the real winner is anyone making money off of the Farce of the Century.