It has been tabloid nirvana and has broken the internet for months. The highly publicized Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather and Conor McGregor fight has continually generated global headlines. If it were to happen, it would be more than just a battle between two of the best to ever grace the ring. It would symbolize a battle between two very distinct sports; street combat versus the pugilistic art of fighting. This virtue in itself posses a major dilemma for both camps with aspects such as rules officiating the bout playing a major role in the final decision. Negotiations are currently ongoing, and several details have to be ironed out before any major announcements start making rounds. Ultimately, whether or not Mayweather will face McGregor solely lies on how well these issues are sorted out.
One of the most important matters in question is money. Mayweather is the kind of sports personality that openly expresses his adoration for the dollar. To him, it’s all about how much money he will pocket at the end of the day. In this case, it is expected that he will ask for as much as 60% (similar to Manny’s fight). Danny White, UFC president, recently guaranteed Mayweather of at least $25 Million if the highly anticipated fight would ever come to fruition. Floyd responded by describing the offer as being ‘comical’ which is understandable because he netted over $205 Million in Pacquaio’s bout. However, there is no denying the massive potential that this fight holds. The pay-per-view and gate receipts revenue alone promise to be an obscene amount.
Another issue to be considered is Dana White’s approval. It might seem obvious that White would back McGregor to fight Floyd, but given the current UFC contract between the two, tables are more likely to turn. Yes, there is a considerable amount of cash to be made but at what cost? McGregor still has four UFC fights left on his current contract. He is UFC’s reigning cash cow. If it so happens that Mayweather shames McGregor in the ring, it would mean McGregor’s marketability back at the UFC would be dealt a major blow. This would not be good for business in as far as Dana White and his associates are concerned.
Would the fight be a boxing match or mixed martial arts? That is a key question because neither wants to play into the other fighters hands. BetFirm.com estimated each fighter has over a 95% chance of winning in their preferred format, meaning the battle will be even over before the opening bell rings.
Apart from financial barriers, there are also regulatory barriers at play. The most prominent destinations for the bout would be California, New Jersey or Nevada. However, what happens if the states in question refuse to take part in regulating the contest? Dubai and Belfast are excellent international options although this would result in a lengthy planning process. The only local athletics commission to likely sanction the bout is the NSAC (Nevada State Athletic Commission). Bob Bennett, the NSAC executive director, deemed the fight as one that they would welcome with open arms. However, McGregor is yet to gain a boxing license in Nevada following his scuffle with Nate Diaz. He has a California boxing license, but this does not necessarily mean he is sanctioned to fight. He has never actively participated in competitive boxing. This poses major sanctioning dilemmas for the respective committees.
McGregor’s inexperience is by far the greatest barrier. Letting him fight in a boxing ring is not only dangerous but also reprehensible. But then again, the amount of money at play is enough to drown any sense of sportsmanship and decency. There is no hiding the fact that the NSAC is not the most upright athletics panel around. It is the same committee that allowed the great Ali to continue fighting even after it was evident that his health was already deteriorating. It is, therefore, safe to assume that regulatory barriers won’t be much of a problem.
Therefore, the fight is most likely to take place. This will probably be in the fall (between October and November). As to who will win the match; the answer is a bit too obvious. Were it in the octagon, McGregor would wipe the floor with Mayweather’s head. But boxing is a very different kind of fighting. Mayweather is yet to taste a loss in the boxing ring after 49 matches, and I do not see McGregor, a decorated UFC fighter, being the one to deliver Floyd’s first-ever loss in a boxing ring. It is a question of how long it will take McGregor to realize how bad an idea this was after the opening bell.