The great American writer and cynic H.L. Mencken famously observed: “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” We got a great demonstration of this last year, when Floyd Mayweather’s “boxing match” against Conor McGregor proved to be the biggest sporting event of 2017.
Not only did the American public come together to make this farce happen, they even conspired to move the betting line to a laughable 4-1. That was closer odds than you could get for the majority of Mayweather’s fights against actual, experienced, world-class boxers.
In the wake of that carnival show, many fans were left observing that “McGregor did a lot better than some people expected.” Maybe. It also looked to me like Mayweather was largely carrying him throughout the early rounds of the fight.
I expected that would be the end of it and the mismatch would gradually recede into the boxing lore of strange novelties. But unlike smart people who make lots of money, I was failing to underestimate the intelligence of the American public. Because this week we are suddenly hearing rumors I hoped never to hear: Mayweather vs. McGregor II.
This time around, it looks like they are trying to sell a matchup under MMA rules, in the Octagon. UFC boss Dana White has already observed that the fight only makes sense if it happens under MMA rules. He is half right. A rematch in a boxing ring would be pointless.
But so is a fight in the cage. I gave McGregor zero percent chance of beating Mayweather last September, so it’s hard for me to say I would give Mayweather even less chance of beating McGregor in the Octagon. But I guess I have to say–I give Mayweather less than zero percent chance to win in the cage.
I still can’t really believe that this clown show might take place. But I didn’t believe it was possible that they would actually box each other, and that ended up happening. The truth is, there are a lot of really stupid people in America. And they still have money to spend.