Be careful what you wish for.
After a week’s worth of promos and conferences, there are some that are regretting wanting to see a fight between MMA fighter Conor McGregor and the undefeated Floyd Mayweather.
We’re about six weeks away from the fight and now we’re at the point of no return when it comes to chaos.
Last week during their press tour, McGregor repeatedly used words such as boy and monkey, which have racial undertones. I get that he is Irish and that the word “boy” is a regular part of his vocabulary but it doesn’t change the fact that using it when addressing a black man is problematic.
So how did McGregor address this?
“A lot of media seem to be saying I’m against black people,” McGregor shouted to the crowd at the New York presser. “That’s absolutely [expletive] ridiculous. Do they not know I’m half-black? Yeah! I’m half-black from the belly button down.”
Mayweather is no saint. Clearly if you’ve followed his career you’d know about all of his very public transgressions, from ethnically-problematic remarks he’s made to the charges of domestic violence he’s been convicted of.
So how did Mayweather top McGregor’s trash talk?
“You punk, you [homophobic slur], you ho!” he barked at the press conference.
The point of no return.
This is the sewage needed to promote what’s going to be a boring fight. The only way McGregor wins this fight is if Mayweather takes a dive. Otherwise, how can an MMA fighter who was out-boxed by a Diaz brother have any shot at the defensive genius that is Mayweather. Meanwhile, Mayweather hasn’t knocked out a fighter since 2011.
This fight will be boring.
You’re not going to sell this fight on what’s happening between the ropes. You sell it through trash talk and hot garbage. People who side with McGregor will do so because they believe Mayweather is a terrible human being. Those siding with Mayweather believe McGregor needs to be humbled. So you play on those feelings, just like these two have done, through the sewage that was those press conferences.
To be fair, I’m not looking at boxing as a beacon for morality. Why would I look at gladiators — who literally hit each other in the face for a living — as people who should be cultured and respectful?
I’m a wrestling fan. I’ve seen a lot of bad acts in the wrestling world. Just centering around race/heritage, I can pull up multiple examples of racial stereotypes turned gimmicks (the wrestling world turned a Canadian into a Scottish stereotype just because.) But it’s wrestling. It’s to be expected. That’s how we should treat any more promos from McGregor or Mayweather. Yes, it’s terrible using homophobic slurs ever. But it’s boxing. And you shouldn’t expect anything less from these two.
In general, I’m a fan of chaos, especially when it involves people taking themselves too seriously. I long for the 16 over 1 upset in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. I root for scenarios where top officials are scrambling because a team may have outsmarted a rule. Remember that playoff situation back in 2015 when Lockhart lost on purpose against San Marcos so that both teams can clinch a playoff berth? Chaos. And I loved it. That’s the only redeeming value I can take from this buildup for McGregor/Mayweather.
Here’s what I’m not looking forward: The think pieces. Boxing is not a place to find morality. If this gladiator sport makes you uneasy, I get it. Nothing about that press tour should be considered normal, decent, moral, etc. But again, it’s boxing. And the way you sell boxing in 2017 is the same way you sold wrestling back in the day. Through the sewage that is this trash talking.
Have we heard a peep yet from what should be a great fight in September between Canelo Álvarez and “GGG” Gennady Golovkin? Nope.
This is what the people wanted. Floyd versus Conor. Just don’t act surprise if they both continue this path of garbage to even more unappealing heights — or rather, lows.
Just know that once the bell rings, and you watch the fight and see that McGregor finally landed his 10th punch of the night, except it’s in the 12th round, this is what you wanted. The garbage worked. They have your money. But hey, is this not why you are here? Are you not entertained?
Only way I’ll be entertained is if they bring the circus inside the ring.
Imagine this scenario. McGregor, frustrated that he can’t land a punch just goes all out and nails Mayweather with a swift kick to the gut, causing trainers and others that are ringside run inside the squared circle and a melee erupts.
You can root for Mayweather or McGregor all you’d like. I’ll be rooting for chaos.