Bob Arum: ‘Anyone knows Mayweather-McGregor isn’t competitive’
The response to the August 26 “super-fight” between the MMA guy and the boxing guy has been met with a range of reaction.
Many in the boxing sphere are not heavily enthused. Some think the buildup will be entertaining but the result is pre-determined, by virtue of a skills gap.
No way Floyd Mayweather Jr. can lose. It’s just a question of, does he KO Conor McGregor? If yes, then how quickly?
Over in the mixed martial arts sphere, it looks like there is a higher degree of excitement. It seems McGregor fans and MMA fans alike give the Irishman, 0-0 as a pro boxer, more of a chance to compete with Mayweather and many tout his firepower.
They like his “puncher’s chance” and don’t view video footage of the charismatic hype master with the same guffaws and disdain that Sweet Science fans do.
If this fight had been booked and the Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao fight hadn’t happened two years ago, and there hadn’t been the still lingering blowback effect from that, then I think #MayGregor gets looked at with more welcoming eyes. But truth be told, there is no shortage of folks out there who still feel stung at buying into the hype for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.
The head cashier at the grocery store I most often frequent, in Brooklyn, asked me a couple days ago what I thought about this August 26 thing. Mayweather is a defensive savant and McGregor has only practiced boxing. I reply, “This won’t probably be competitive – though that’s not to say one can’t be entertained by the lead-up and event, if one is in a proper frame of mind, and gets what the range of possible outcomes are.”
“Yeah, I’m still pissed at myself for spending $100 to watch Mayeather-Pacquiao. The fight sucked,” she told me.
Everyone even tangentially attached to the boxing and MMA worlds is being asked how they see this event, the “P.T. Barnum” bout.
How about the topmost promoter in all of boxing history, who helped get Mayweather-Pacquiao to the finish line, one Bob Arum of Top Rank?
How does the 85-year-old Brooklyn born dealmaker assess it? Could it help or hinder the sport?
“Does the sport take a hit from it? I don’t think boxing takes a hit,” Arum told me. “Anyone with a brain knows Mayweather-McGregor is not a competitive fight. It’s a spectacle. No one is holding a gun to anyone’s head to watch it. It has nothing to do with the long-term future of boxing.”
Noted. It of course will remain to be seen. My take is that watchers – even MMA rooters – will want and need Floyd to stop McGregor for them to feel satisfied after purchasing. A clinic of technical majesty, a superlative display of the mastery of the art of “Hit and don’t get hit” won’t do it, won’t leave the people with a full belly and a satiated status as a consumer.
I confess; it’s not a given for me that Floyd stops Conor. No, it’s a given that he could do so if he chooses but will he choose to? Does he have that mindset at 40 years of age? Will his hands hold up on that stubborn skull?
Let’s hear if from you. After pondering this last week, what happens on August 26? Is Arum right? Can Floyd stop Conor? Or are you a Conor fan splashing around this boxing pool and do you think I’m egregiously remiss in not giving the UFC’er proper due and respect? Some have pointed out that it’s good for us to get attention and buzz and this is the way to do it, absent that Tyson type, to help us get to a state of transcendence. You agree? Talk to us!
The more competitive and exciting bout occurred in the checkout of Michael Woods’ favorite grocery store, when the folks in line finally beat the hell out of Woodsy for standing there yakking about boxing with the head cashier, while all their ice cream melted. It’s hot in Brooklyn, you know.
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