CRAWFORD | The Mayweather-McGregor fight is over, and contributed nothing good
Floyd Mayweather defeated Colin McGregor in Saturday night's much-anticipated fight, but the baggage both fighters hauled into the ring was too much for WDRB's Eric Crawford.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The big fight is over, and my goal has been achieved, to write not a word about it, nor watch it, nor, apparently, to even be awake when it began, though I do admit I enjoyed about 15 minutes of ESPN commentary when the whole enterprise was delayed because of problems with the pay-per-view feed.
Because let’s not forget what this was really about – a massive payday for the two combatants, and feeding the massive ego of one in particular.
The pre-fight delay has become a part of the game, of course. Almost an expected part of the hype. They say that widespread outages caused the 25-minute (or so) delay of Saturday’s night’s fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.
The same thing happened when Mayweather fought Manny Pacquiao in 2015. That’s better than what happened in 2012, when Pacquiao delayed a fight so he could watch the end of a Heat-Celtics playoff game.
Mayweather came out of retirement for this payday. I’d just as soon he stayed in it, but when you wear a pair of shoes or underwear only once before throwing them out, you have to keep the revenue coming somehow.
I don’t begrudge him the wealth. Shoot, I think his willingness to flaunt his prodigious consumption is perhaps the most entertaining thing about him. I get a kick out of that.
But the greatest fighter of his generation – 50-0 after his TKO of McGregor, the MMA star making his first pro boxing match Saturday night – didn’t need to hit quite so many women on his way to the top.
That U.S. sports fans would celebrate and support a man with his history of criminal abuse – including actual jail time – is disappointing.
Moreover, the run up to this latest farce was disturbing on both sides.
McGregor referred to Mayweather as “boy” and made reference to a scene in Rocky III with “dancing monkeys in the gym.” Mayweather, who called him out on his racist statements, then himself called McGregor a homosexual pejorative (for which he later apologized).
I guess all of this fits into the realm of “entertainment.” I just don’t like the notion that you can say anything you want if you’re promoting a prize fight, but heaven forbid anyone say it in any other kind of discourse.
The whole thing is distasteful, but we literally celebrate it. Yeah, Mayweather punched women, but look at all those Bentleys. Sure, he’s reprehensible, but have you seen how hard he trains?
To pay $100 to watch these guys felt too much like rewarding them for that behavior. The willingness of ESPN, for instance, to legitimately cover this fight and give it publicity makes me feel as if all of its social-justice posturing is just that, posturing. Which is fine, that’s what I think it is anyway. But at least be consistent.
We’re in the midst of national hand-wringing and tension over events in Charlottesville, Va., and we should be. But Saturday night, on pay-per-view, the same hate we saw on news channels just a couple of weeks before was celebrated as a night of good entertainment. And it got paid.
Which is it?
Boxing knows, race baiting helps drive up interest and profits for fighters. It’ll use anything it can get.
I just saw nothing worthwhile in this entire exercise.
Now I want to say this – I’m not writing this to make you feel guilty if you watched this fight. I’m talking about how I feel here.
Luke Brown, writing for the London-based online daily The Independent, put the views of most sports fans well when he wrote: “identifying as a sports fan often involves leaving your principles at the turnstile, and willingly ignoring your moral conscience for 12 rounds, or 90 minutes, or at least the next two Fifa World Cups. . . . At least both (fighters) are going to take a few punches in the face for their troubles.”
I’m not trying to spoil anyone’s Corn Flakes on a Sunday morning. I know it was a big event, a sports and cultural happening that the sports media hyped for months. I understand that the cross between boxing and mixed martial arts made it an even bigger draw. I understand that people get excited for big fights, and that the betting world goes crazy. What I’m not going to understand is when many of the same people in sports media go back to pontificating about race or wringing their hands over concussions in football next week.
I get it.
But I don’t.
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