Plenty of observers, pundits and fighters have argued that Conor McGregor doesn’t stand much of a chance against Floyd Mayweather, if and when they ever box. But, retired boxing star Oscar De La Hoya believes the proposed bout will be such a disaster, he’s calling on fans to protest the fight.
As this is being written, McGregor – Mayweather is not officially a go. But, recently McGregor confirmed that he’s come to terms with the UFC for the bout, and Mayweather has also sounded optimistic that a deal will be reached. If the fight does get signed, it’s believed it will take place in Las Vegas in early fall.
If the bout does go down, the consensus is that it will generate a ridiculous amount of revenue. Some believe it will be the highest grossing fight of all time. But, according to De La Hoya, the fight has the potential to ruin boxing. Which is why he’s asking fans to avoid the bout at all costs.
Recently De La Hoya posted a lengthy statement on Facebook, and here’s just some of what he had to say:
But if you thought Mayweather/Pacquiao was a black eye for our sport – a matchup between two of the best pound-for-pound fighters that simply didn’t deliver — just wait until the best boxer of a generation dismantles someone who has never boxed competitively at any level – amateur or professional.
Our sport might not ever recover.
I fully understand the initial attraction from any fan of combat sports. McGregor is almost certainly the best pound-for-pound MMA fighter. Floyd is Floyd — the most dominant boxer of his time.
But success in one sport does not guarantee success in another. Far from it. And let’s be clear, these are two different sports — from the size of the gloves fighters wear, to the size and shape of the ring, to the fact the one sport allows combatants to use their legs to strike.
Think about it, beyond Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders, what other athlete has successfully competed in two sports in the modern age? And Jackson and Sanders both played both baseball and football throughout their high school and college careers before going professional.
Furthermore, it’s not like McGregor would be fighting a good fighter, let alone a mediocre one. He would be fighting the best. To use a bit of an extreme analogy, I happen to be a pretty good golfer. Could I potentially hold my own on one of the second-tier tours? Maybe. But would I be able to compete with Rory McIlroy, Jordan Speith or Sergio Garcia? Of course not. Nor would I think to try….
The decorated boxer concluded with this:
It’s a win-win for them. It’s a lose-lose for us. We’ll be $100 lighter and we will have squandered another opportunity to bring boxing back to its rightful place as the sport of kings.
At this point, only we can shut the circus down by making it clear that we won’t pay to see a joke of a fight and telling our casual-fan friends that they shouldn’t either.
Will fans listen? Some might. But I think we all know that the people who pass on McGregor – Mayweather will likely be hardcore, purist fans from either the MMA or boxing camps. Most casual, combat sports fans are going to watch, and a lot of die hard observers will too.