Money. There should be a picture of Floyd Mayweather next to the word “Money” in the dictionary for a number of reasons.
First of all, Mayweather owns a lot of it. His bank statement ends in so many zeros it looks like it’s written in binary. His garage looks like an NFL team’s players parking lot. The guy casually carries around a million dollars in a duffle bag like dirty gym clothes.
He calls his entourage “The Money Team.” I’m guessing that’s mostly based on said team having gobs and gobs of said money. Yeah, this guy likes being rich.
Most importantly, though, Mayweather is money in the boxing ring. He’s arguably the best boxer of all time — I’m by no means a boxing expert, but there are only a few guys in that argument.
Saturday night, he proved it.
When rumors broke long ago of a potential Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight, I was intrigued. Mayweather had been retired for two years, a now 40-year-old boxer relaxing on a 49-0 record. McGregor was a tattooed Irish madman cracking skulls in the world of mixed martial arts.
When the fight was officially announced in June, I was shocked and hyped.
But then, the buildup. It became a spectacle, a damned circus. I was watching two egotistical maniacs berate each other, spitting and cursing like town drunks. Misogynists flinging around sexist, racist and homophobic slurs as they paraded around the country promoting their fight like orangutans hurling their own poop at a zoo.
So why did I watch this money grab Saturday?
Honestly, I’m not sure. I guess I was just too weak to escape the intrigue. Even though I knew deep down that McGregor had zero shot of winning, maybe, possibly…what if he did?!
So, some buddies and I cracked some cold ones and hunkered into the couch with hopes of the unlikely.
Who was I rooting for? Again, I’m not sure. Mayweather has a history of domestic violence, yet, his skills in the ring were shamefully something to marvel. He was going for 50-0. McGregor’s chances were so low, it was almost impossible to root for him knowing the inevitable outcome. Rooting for McGregor was rooting for the Cleveland Browns. But how insane would it have been for McGregor, a cage fighter, to knock out the greatest boxer ever?
At the end of the day, it didn’t matter. What we got Saturday night was best-case scenario.
Both fighters guaranteed the fight would end before the allotted 12 rounds. A slew of Mayweather punches ended the fight in the 10th, a TKO for win number 50.
Mayweather was a far superior boxer. He studied his opponent, he took some licks and he waited. When the time was right — about round seven — he struck. He didn’t deliver devastating blows like “Iron” Mike Tyson, but as McGregor credited him, Mayweather was unbelievably composed.
McGregor held his own, too. His boxing skills were surprising and impressive. His size and length seemed to frustrate Mayweather early, and fighting aggressively was his only chance. He needed a knockout — a long shot, but his only hope.
Eventually, though, the UFC fighter wore down. Mayweather’s composure outlasted McGregor’s tenacity. As McGregor’s hands drooped, Mayweather’s hands came in a fury of kidney shots and brain-rattlers.
The ref called the fight just before a devastating blow, the right call in the boxing world. McGregor said he was just “fatigued and wobbly,” but so is your chum when the bouncer kicks him out of the local pub. Could they both have taken another shot or two? Probably, but both would probably end up passed out with throbbing headaches.
It was a heck of a fight, as entertaining a fight as I’ve watched — the opposite of Mayweather-Pacquiao. Credit to McGregor, and props to Mayweather’s 50-fight run in the ring.
Now it’s time for the actual Fight of the Year, Canelo vs. GGG. I’m excited.