This fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor represents all the misguided values of this generation. Style is now regarded above substance as people would rather have things that look good instead of having things that actually are good. Gold plated is just as good as gilded. This generation holds Rihanna in the same esteem as Whitney Houston. They have Kardashians instead of Kennedys. Genuine talent is regularly eschewed for empty entertainment. And, the pairing of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor in a “boxing match” shows both how far the pugilistic sports have fallen in popularity and how much more valued a spectacle is than a real match.
Mayweather may have actually started this trend in boxing because he made himself a spectacle. And, though he has accomplished things in the sport of boxing that could not have been imagined years ago, made more money than any boxer in the history of the sport, and is the first boxer to manage his own career, he also made the sport more of a show than a grudge match to prove who the better boxer was. He seemed more concerned with the crafting of the appearance of his legacy than he was with legitimizing his legacy by taking on the best competitors. He built a perfect record that equaled the undefeated record of legendary heavyweight Rocky Marciano by dodging any of the boxers who posed any threat of beating him. In his later fights, Mayweather exclusively fought recognizable names whose fighting style could not penetrate his stellar defense. He was smashing tomato cans while creating a historically relevant documentation of his wins. And, this fight is an extension of his craftiness in building his resume without any real danger of taking a loss.
This is the only fight that is more fake than Mayweather/McGregor.
The Mayweather/McGregor fight is the epitome of a hollow contest. In this fight, Conor McGregor will get a payday so exorbitant that he may retire from professional fighting altogether. And, if he finds a way to knock out Mayweather, he will be lauded as the best pure fighter ever. If he loses like he is expected to, no one will have assumed that he would win against the best boxer of a generation in a sport that is not his own. Mayweather manipulated another big paycheck for himself against another opponent who has no chance of beating him. And, McGregor has less chance of beating him than nearly any opponent he has faced in the last decade but he brings a nice cross-section of fighting fans to watch the match. This victory will give Floyd his 50th win and the highest unmarred professional record in boxing history. There are no losers in this fight except the fans. This “fight” is absurd and only casual fans would bother to watch it. Serious UFC fans know that McGregor will be outclassed in the ring with Mayweather, and serious boxing fans know this fight will be about money and legacy. 50-0 pushes Mayweather further into the “best boxer ever” discussion. It tangibly pushes him one win past Rocky Marciano, one of boxing’s great heavyweights without the threat of losing. This term is thrown around too often in regards to matches with much smaller implications, but Mayweather/McGregor is a “travesty” of sports. Smart fans will ignore the fight altogether sending a unified message to the promoters who hide this tripe in the guise of competition.