In a way, Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor are famous (make that notorious?) for the same reason: they’re really good at beating people up. So, in a way, their upcoming boxing match (August 26th at T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas) makes sense.
In another way, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever! McGregor is a lanky mixed martial artist with extremely limited boxing experience. The highest praise you can give his boxing skills is that he’s a superb striker for a mixed martial artist. That’s like saying Zach Lavine is a really good high-jumper for a basketball player. Zach’s got a crazy vert, but he sure as s*** wouldn’t medal in the Olympic high-jump. It’s a completely different sport with its own intricacies and technique.
But that, in essence, is what McGregor is being asked to do.
Floyd Mayweather is in the conversation for the best pound-for-pound boxer ever. Let that sink in. He’s almost boxing’s version of Pele or Jordan or Gretzky. Yes, he’s 40. But he was 39 the last time we saw him in the ring, and that didn’t stop him from dominating 33-year-old Andre Berto, a former welterweight world champion. That came just a few months after he cruised to victory over the legendary Manny Pacquiao. The man has literally never lost in the ring (49-0, 26 KOs).
I’m struggling to come up with the proper words to describe just how big a mismatch this fight is going to be. The current odds, which have Mayweather at -800 and McGregor at +500, give Floyd an 89% chance to win and Conor a 16% chance to pull the upset. (Side note: if you’re wondering why those odds go well past 100%, it’s because sportsbooks like to make money.)
Those are preposterous. McGregor’s chances are not nearly that good.
To drive this point home, I’ve created a mismatch hierarchy of potential fights, races, and games, most of which would be more even than this upcoming “superfight.” I’ve also created my dream undercard for what should be a ridiculous night.
Use the comment section to let us know where you think Mayweather/McGregor should slot in on the hierarchy.
From a fairness perspective, an MMA fight between Mayweather and McGregor would make a lot more sense than a boxing match. Mayweather’s sublime boxing skills would still count for something in the Octagon, whereas McGregor’s MMA arsenal is 90-percent nullified by the Queensberry Rules.
McGregor mocked Mayweather’s age by posting a pick of Mayweather’s dad on Twitter. I think he’s subtly hinting that he was calling out Floyd Sr. this whole time, since that would be a much more even matchup. Floyd Sr. was an accomplished fighter in his day and taught Jr. almost everything he knows. At 64 years old, I think he’d still give McGregor a run.
The main event is barely going to be a boxing match, so I’m not limiting the undercard to fights. Let’s get a track set up and pit three of the fastest non-Olympic sprinters against each other. Inspired by Ross’s challenge to Hamilton, a fellow Cincinnati athlete, this race would be fascinating. There are arguments for each runner. Ross broke the 40 record at the NFL Combine. Billy Hamilton is the fastest man in the majors, going from home to first in just 3.52 seconds earlier this year, and routinely doing things like this. Then there’s The Freeze; I probably don’t need to tell you who he is, at this point, but just in case:
The Freeze (a.k.a. Nigel Talton) comes in the favorite. He has ambitions of competing at the 2018 World Indoor Track Championships, and has a career best 100 meter time of 10.47, according to FloTrack. Ross ran several sub-11-second 100 meter times at Jordan High School, but doesn’t train for that distance anymore. Hamilton is the wild card . He’s never been a competitive track athlete, despite his natural speed.
Apparently a race between Phelps and a great white is already in the works for Shark Week. That’s not a big enough stage, and doesn’t have high enough stakes. Plus, it wouldn’t be a contest, since sharks are literally five times as fast as humans.
Instead, flood the arena like it’s the Colosseum in Rome, then release Phelps and a hungry shark. All Phelps has to do to win is stay alive for two minutes!
Photo credit: Andrius Petrucenia [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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