FLOYD Mayweather and Conor McGregor are set to break pay-per-view records but why are people so enamoured with what may be one of sport’s great mismatches?
John Douglas never would have imagined a man like Conor McGregor would be held to ransom by his code of ethics. After all, McGregor has made his name and fortune from a set of rules foreign to that of the ‘sweet science.’
Douglas, better known as The Marquess of Queensberry, was the man that developed the rules of modern day boxing.
First introduced in 1867, these rules are the backbone of the sport — even to this day — and exactly reason why so many believe McGregor has little chance of beating a fighter of Mayweather’s ability.
Despite all of this, the world is buzzing about this fight. There are three main types of fans and each has its own agenda for tuning in.
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THE CASUAL FAN
“He’s in a f***ing tracksuit! He can’t even afford a suit anymore,” roars McGregor at Mayweather.
“He is f***ed … There’s no other way about it. His little legs, his little car, his little head. I’m going to knock him out inside four rounds, mark my words.”
It’s this kind of swagger from that has piqued the interest of so many to the absurdity of this fight.
Sure, many believe McGregor has little chance of victory but they couldn’t care less about the outcome. The casual fight fan is more concerned with the hype, build-up and fireworks.
This is more of an event than a boxing match to the casual fan.
They adore the flashy suits and profanity-ridden rants but, more importantly, they want the opportunity to be involved in such a spectacle.
The office water cooler conversations will undoubtedly centre around the fight this week and there will be few who don’t have an opinion on it.
These are the fans that will ensure this fight breaks records when all is said and done.
THE BOXING FAN
“It’s an affront to the sport.”
“A circus act.”
“McGregor shouldn’t be allowed to talk to Floyd about boxing, let alone fight him.”
These are just some of the things that can be seen online or heard in passing
conversation between boxing fans and aficionados.
So many followers of the sport of boxing are bemoaning the fact that this fight is even happening. They’re indignant, they talk in absolutes about the result and they lament the attention that its garnered from the mainstream. So why will they watch?
Most just want to see their own opinion validated. A simple case of ‘I told you so”.
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By watching Mayweather beat McGregor — something they ‘know’ will happen — it’s as if
they gain some kind of advantage over those who have dared to have an opinion against the status quo.
It’s downright absurd to think that McGregor could possibly land a clean shot on Mayweather, let alone beat him. At least in the eyes of most boxing pundits.
Fans of the ‘sweet science’ are an insecure lot and, for many, this fight is a source of anxiety. The sooner Mayweather makes light work of McGregor, the better, in their eyes.
THE MMA FAN
McGregor is a genuine superstar in MMA so fans of the discipline will be tuning into see what he can do — on boxing debut — against arguably this generation’s finest boxer.
One fan I spoke with summed it up best when I asked why he would watch.
“To see the unthinkable happen,” he said. “There’s so much talk about crossing over between the sports and can it be done?”
It’s fair to say win for McGregor would prove that MMA fighters — the ones who primarily use their fists, at least — can make it in the world of professional boxing.
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Many fans view his winning as unthinkable but there are plenty who know that one punch can alter the course of a fight.
Unlike boxing fans, MMA fans aren’t talking in absolutes. Everyone who steps in the ring has a punchers’ chance and McGregor is known to have a fair bit of power in his hands.
It might be unthinkable but, for MMA fans, a McGregor win is not impossible.
The rationale is different for the different groups of fans but the fact is they’ll all be watching what should soon be spoken of as the highest selling fight in the history of boxing.
An amazing achievement for a fight between two men whose records are worlds apart.
Daniel Attias is a contributing boxing writer for Fox Sports Australia. Twitter: @Dan_Attias
Originally published as Biggest fear for MayMac’s most ‘insecure’ fans
Source: sports dailytelegraph