Of late, there has been a huge amount of comment online about a potential fight between Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregor. The two have sniped back-and-forth at each other for quite a while now on Twitter and in other venues. In recent days, the hypothetical bout between boxing legend and MMA star has started to get discussed as if it is a serious possibility.
I still refuse to wrap my mind around the idea that this fight could actually happen. Mayweather’s name comes up in conversations over the best pound-for-pound fighter of all time. McGregor has zero professional boxing matches. He is an outstanding athlete and has some of the most explosive stand up in MMA. But there is zero chance that he could be competitive with Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match.
Some of the best boxers of Mayweather’s generation have struggled to connect with him at even a 20 percent rate. These were tremendous athletes who spent years and years perfecting their ability to close distance, cut off the ring and put together accurate combinations of punches.
McGregor, gifted athlete and born fighter that he is, has none of that background.
Under normal circumstances, this is a bout that wouldn’t even get sanctioned. In 2015, Illinois refused to sanction Pawel Wolak to go pro in MMA without any amateur fights, even though he had briefly been a top-10 junior middleweight in boxing and actually wrestled in high school. And Wolak was only trying to fight on a minor-league level card. McGregor is talking about crossing over to fight the man who retired as the undefeated, pound-for-pound champ.
But this fight would most likely have little trouble getting sanctioned, due to the huge amount of money that it would generate. For Mayweather, it would represent a huge payday for virtually no risk. In his view, it would be a kind of ultimate win in the “boxing game.”
Oddly, my best hope for seeing this absurdity avoided comes down to UFC head honcho Dana White. McGregor remains under contract with the UFC and they would almost certainly be able to block the fight in court, just as Bob Arum was able to do when Ricardo Mayorga attempted to take an MMA fight while still under contract as a boxer with Top Rank.