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Mayweather made Vince McMahon proud with ESPN interview

10
Aug

If nothing else, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is doing his very best Vince McMahon impression.

Despite his August 26 boxing match with UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor being an epic mismatch of grotesque proportions, Mayweather is selling this fight like a master huckster. During his interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith that the website posted on Tuesday, Mayweather did everything in his power to create an atmosphere where boxing’s undefeated pound-for-pound great can be defeated by a pugilism novice who has never laced up a pair of 10-ounce gloves.

It was fascinating to watch, really.

The brash and supremely confident Mayweather attempted to cast doubt over his own boxing superiority by both building up his opponent while putting his own ability into question.

“He’s a lot younger. When you look at myself and Conor McGregor on paper, he’s taller, has a longer reach, he’s a bigger man from top to bottom. He’s a lot younger, so youth is on his side,” Mayweather said. “And I’ve been off a couple of years. And I’m in my 40s. So, if you look at everything on paper, it leans toward Conor McGregor.”

Yes, there is an 11-year difference. But Canelo Alvarez was 13 years younger when he met Mayweather in 2013. Not only that, but he was bigger and stronger. Of course, Canelo is also a better boxer and had far more experience competing on a big stage in a boxing ring than McGregor did.

And Canelo couldn’t even touch Mayweather in that bout.

But Mayweather isn’t really trying to sell “us” a narrative. Instead, he’s trying to sell the casual boxing fan on the possibility that he could lose to his Irish opponent. And he’s doing all of this with a straight face.

It’s like Vince McMahon selling pro wrestling fans on the idea that the 5-foot-6, 175-pound Rey Mysterio could beat the 7-feet and over 400-pound Big Show in a wrestling match.

But at least WWE fans are conditioned to the bizarre world of wrestling where these things can conceivably happen between the ropes. Boxing fans are not. For the most part, we can sniff out a mismatch right away and will complain about it despite what the overmatched opponent’s professional record might be blown up to be.

The thing about McGregor is that he doesn’t have a boxing record. He has his MMA resume, but that’s like LeBron James bringing his NBA championship rings to a Cleveland Browns game and getting the nod to go under center against the New England Patriots.

None of this will stop Mayweather from selling McGregor as a credible opponent, however. Surely, he knows how ridiculous this fight is. But how can you blame a man for coming out of retirement to make possibly a couple hundred million dollars for 36 minutes of work against a guy who has never boxed. It’s like Clayton Kershaw being asked to pitch three innings against the Golden State Warriors. The threat is minimal yet the payout is extraordinary. For those of us who respect the sweet science, this is abysmal. But in the era of social media and allowing narratives to be created by non-combat sports fans, it’s a dream come true.

Mayweather won’t go as far to say that he’ll lose, but he’s not going to treat his opponent like he did Oscar De La Hoya or Shane Mosley. No point in burying a man who has a fraction of a chance to beat him. Instead, Mayweather will set out to give you all the reasons why you shouldn’t count out McGregor.

“I’m not the same fighter I was two years ago. I’m not the same fighter I was five years ago. I lost a step,” he said. “A fighter like Andre Berto isn’t even supposed to go the distance with Floyd Mayweather, but remember, I was 38. It’s obvious I’m slipping a little bit to even let a fighter like that go the distance with me. I’m not what I used to be.”

Mayweather continued by stating that the sport is taking a toll on his body and he’s no longer able to knock out opponents. But he’s going to try. And that part is certainly uncharacteristic of the 49-0 fighter who is known to take very little risks in the ring. But who is he fooling? Mayweather is going to fight like he always fights. And if McGregor makes a crucial mistake, he’ll capitalize. He may not be actively looking for the knockout, but he’s definitely going to take it if McGregor gives him the opportunity.

Whether readers of this website purchase the pay per view or not isn’t that big of a deal. Simply put: It ain’t for you.

This is spectacle over substance. This is for the Skip Baylesses and Shannon Sharpes of the world who casually watch combat sports. This is for the people who only watch the Super Bowl at a friend’s house party but have no clue who the quarterback for either team is. This is for everyone who has bought a Mayweather fight but is surprised when the fight isn’t exciting.

Whether we like it or not, Mayweather knows what he’s doing. And McMahon is somewhere smiling.

  • Ewan Leaper

    Supposed to stop Berto? It had 12 rounds written all over it from the get-go…

    • Orca

      Yeah, that made me ‘huh?’ Hatton back in 2007 was his last legit stoppage against any other boxer.

    • Dawud Bryant

      At points in the fight it looked like if Floyd put his foot on the gas he might stop him, same as the Judah fight. But then Berto started throwing back and Floyd decided to ease up and win by doing the bare minimum. Why change the habit of a lifetime?

  • Chris Wallace

    “This is for everyone who has bought a Mayweather fight but is surprised when the fight isn’t exciting.” Well said. There’s a sucker born every minute—as well as a latently homosexual Mayweather nutrider who will defend their fraud deity as they simultaneously get their pockets picked. To each his own.

  • Fist_ti_cuffs

    What’s different between this and the fight that fishnets just sold the public back in May. Just saying………

    • Mark Schoeman

      I love fishnets…but nothing other than a lot of boxing fans got conned. The difference is most still don’t know they were conned because they really thought it was a legit fight. It’s like in The Sting where they need the mark to walk away not knowing he’d been taken. With Floyd/Conor they can see the con before it’s happened and it makes them angry.

      But that’s the only difference…

      • Fist_ti_cuffs

        “I love fishnets” Lol

      • Frank-dogg

        No! Real boxing fans didn’t. Casuals and non-casuals got conned. Lol I have people come up to me and asking for my opinion. Dude i get people that don’t watch boxing, and don’t watch MMA giving me their 2 cents. I tell them, ” It’s a boxing match from a master defensive technician atg from this era vs. an MMA fighter that is learning how to box again. Connor has no chance!” In the octagon, All Connor. In the ring May all the way. Total mismatch ain’t going to see it!!! Get Money in with Spence, get money in with Thurman, or get money in with Porter????that makes more sense to us boxing fans. Right?!

  • Fist_ti_cuffs

    Mr Hale, your stories are usually decent, but your hate via sneak disses in this article was weak. This fight will be as exciting as any fight this year because the public (Trump Supporters) actually think McGregor can win

    • Mark Schoeman

      I just don’t get why this fight bothers folks so much. The number of fights that I’ve seen as mismatches, that turn out to be mismatches, but are sold as competitive, are just too many to count. Some I’ve watched, some I’ve skipped, and none have troubled me…even when the media and fans buy the salesmanship.

      I think the only question is when does Conor realize he’s out of his depth? Is it before he’s KO’d or only after? If it’s before does he go for broke and get KO’d, go into a shell in which case risk-averse Floyd carries him to the end of a dull fight…or does he channel Mike Tyson from the summer of 1997?

      It’s all entertainment. All sports are. I’m GGG/Canelo and the Flyweight tripleheader to see the best face the best…and I’ll watch this “on the radio” to be entertained. I watch the NBA to see the best and the Big 3 to be entertained. It’s just not something to get worked up over.

      • Fist_ti_cuffs

        Wow you killed it. I love the basketball analogy too. Conner is a counter puncher, so I expect to see Floyd step to him. His corner will probably stop it around the 7th-8th round. It’ll look like Mayweather vs Gotti.

        • Mark Schoeman

          I think that’s exactly what it will look like…but hell, I’ll play devil’s advocate. Back in 1990, Mike Tyson was killing everybody so when he was paired with a total no hoper who had surrendering on his stool at the top of his resume, I was watching the NBA All Star weekend instead until I got a call in the 6th round to flip…

          Could 40 year old Floyd have lost a step, could Connor rough him up, take a point deduction or two to rattle him, make him get aggressive, and land the luckiest of lucky punches?…I’m the guy that though Buster Douglas couldn’t dominate Mike Tyson if you gave him 1000 tries, so what do I know…

      • Ruben Reyes

        this fight bothers me because boxing is not a game. You don’t “play boxing.” someone can get seriously hurt. Most ring deaths occur on mismatches, and this has mismatch written all over it. I can’t believe the NSAC sanctioned a 20 year boxing veteran versus someone with no pro boxing experience. And it shouldn’t count on Mayweather’s boxing record. This should be an exhibition bout. But as long as our thirst for blood, 3-ring circuses and f-bombs is alive, to hell with safety and rules.

      • Stephen M

        I’m not that worked up but it’s a con:
        con (kŏn) Slang
        To swindle (a victim) by first winning his or her confidence; dupe.

    • Frank-dogg

      Keep on sucking that TMT dick! Wear them shirts all you want. Them niggas ain’t paying you shit. This fight will be exciting?! Really?! Like Roger Mayweather would say, “You don’t know shit about boxing!” lol You let them take your money, and if you have a girlfriend, let them fuck her too. It’s going to feel same way. Lol

      • Fist_ti_cuffs

        Ass clown, I’m a sports fan and this is sports. Quit being so pussified. I can actually afford to purchase this bout as my WIFE and I both make 100k plus per year. Go look in the mirror and slap the shit outta yourself.

    • Jorge

      In the ring its a mismatch. Intrigue doesn’t make a fight exciting, the fighters do. One guy is an undisputed pound for pound champ going against a novice making his pro debut. Now you defend mismatches it’s Floyd? Groupie

      • Fist_ti_cuffs

        I’m absolutely defending this fight. He, or Conner would be a fool not to take the money and run. All those MMA guys were yelling to anyone who would listen that not only could Conner kill Floyd in the ring, but even Rhonda would spank him. Well we all saw how she turned out when she faced a real striker, and I’m sure Conner will receive the same treatment. Why bother commenting on Floyd, when you are gonna hate regardless of what the topic is. You’re just jealous as usual because your pitiful life didn’t turn out how you wanted. looks like you’re the real groupie………now go play in traffic. -_-

      • madmaxmedia

        Maybe CM Punk can box the winner!!

  • Bomber Man

    No fight will actually take place come August 26, fans and viewers will see either a DANCE or a CIRCUS. This event is CRAP, McGregor and his team just care about the money, they don’t even care to win, just all about the money, just selling the fight. All people who bought their tickets are ignorants and know nothing about a real fight.

  • Guy Grundy

    It ain’t for me…then again, neither is synchronized swimming.

  • Black Oracle

    I wasn’t interested at all in this event, but I got to admit, Connor and Floyd have wore me down to at least be intrigued. I don’t believe the fight will be boring, I think Connor is really motivated and determined to Knock Floyd out. If Connor can land anything of significance on Floyd, or dare I say rock Floyd, the fight will already be better than Floyd’s last 3 fights combined. If Connor tries to stalk Floyd and follow him, that could get Connor hurt, or Floyd can lose the crowd, if Connor is trying to make a fight, but Floyd is just being elusive and not letting his hands go. Either way I believe it will be better than any of Floyd’s recent fights for however long it lasts. The undercards are pretty good as well. Paying $100 would suck, but I am getting wore down every day