Well, it’s here.
Floyd Mayweather will square off against Conor McGregor in Las Vegas on Saturday night, and the world will be watching.
Watching for what, we don’t exactly know.
“I don’t see this as really an athletic venture or as a fight. I see it as an event,” legendary boxing trainer and analyst Teddy Atlas said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I don’t know if they’re using a formula of Jerry Springer re-runs. The morbid curiosity of people out there, they’re hoping to see something crazy. Maybe they see McGregor kick him in the head – and I’m not being facetious here. They’re selling entertainment. They’re selling curiosity. They’re selling imagination. It’s a Spider-Man movie.”
Atlas described this fight as a “caveman” (McGregor) boxing a “scientist” (Mayweather). He wouldn’t be surprised if McGregor intentionally disqualifies himself and embarrasses Mayweather in the ring.
“My sport is a corrupt sport – and I love my sport,” Atlas said. “It’s possible. I’m not trying to break any stuff here or get conspiracy theories going, but I’ve been in the business 40 years. It could be Plan A, it could be Plan B. I don’t think he kicks him because all of a sudden he short-circuits and he forgets. No, that won’t happen. It could come out of frustration, but purposeful frustration where he knows that he can’t win the fight, he’s being humiliated and maybe that’s his way out. Or maybe it’s Plan B.”
If McGregor is getting tagged, he could simply kick Mayweather, ground him, and punch him into oblivion.
Mayweather would be defenseless.
“He gets disqualified, he gets fined,” Atlas said of McGregor, “but he jumps up, he puts his hands up in the air and he proclaims himself the emperor of the universe in combat sports, and his brand goes through the roof. We live in a society (in which) people would actually like it. They would actually like it.”
There’s also the possibility of McGregor landing a lucky punch or actually being competitive with Mayweather in points.
That would be bad for Mayweather, but it would be even worse for boxing.
“Forget his career. It would hurt the sport,” Atlas said. “I’m not worried about his career. I like Floyd a lot, but Floyd’s going to be okay no matter what. I’m worried about the other fighters coming up, how they can suffer, how the sport can suffer and how the integrity of the sport and the credibility of the sport can suffer if a guy who has never been in the ring before, who doesn’t belong in the ring – and he doesn’t belong in the ring – with an elite fighter, if he can someway survive or be competitive, even if he loses, he wins. MMA can’t lose here. They can’t lose. Boxing can lose. MMA can’t lose.”