It’s actually happening.
Undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. (49-0) will fight UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor (21-3) in a boxing match on August 26 in Las Vegas. According to Yahoo, the fight could take place at either the MGM Grand Garden or T-Mobile Arena.
On paper, this fight seems to make sense. Both men are, in very different ways, “obnoxious” and fight in the 145 to 150 pound range. In addition, both fighters will likely get huge paydays, as McGregor pointed out a few months ago.
However, this fight between a boxer and mixed-martial artist will ultimately end in America tearing each other apart, limb from limb. All you need to do is look at the history of boxing, some of which involves Mayweather.
I will pick the undefeated all-time great boxer over the guy who has zero professional boxing matches
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) June 14, 2017
America Couldn’t Handle Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries
On July 4, 1910, Jack Johnson, an African-American and then-world heavy weight champion, defeated Jim Jeffires by technical knockout. (White) People were so angry at the result that they started riots across the country. Here’s the story of just one of the riots in New York:
In the “black and tan” and “San Juan hill” negro sections mobs set fire to a negro tenement house, hurled stones at windows, and tried to keep the occupants in by blocking the exits. The fire department routed the mob.
America Couldn’t Handle Larry Holmes vs. Gerry Cooney
On June 11, 1982, Holmes, an African-American and then-WBC heavyweight champion, took on Cooney, who promoter Don King dubbed as the “Great White Hope.” At the time, there had not been a white world heavyweight champion in 22 years, and Cooney was looking to change that.
As you can imagine, there was a lot of racial tension and animosity leading up to the fight. Both white supremacist groups and African-Americans stated that they would have armed supporters at the fight. There was even a story that police put sharpshooters on the roofs of hotels surrounding Caesars Palace for fear of violence.
Holmes picked Cooney apart and eventually knocked him out in the 13th round to keep his title. But perhaps the bigger story was that two judges had Holmes ahead by just two points when the fight ended. If Cooney did not have three points taken away from him during the fight for low blows, Cooney would have been ahead on the judges’ scorecards.
Nothing brings out the worst in people like a boxing match.
Remember When Mayweather Fought Ricky Hatton?
You don’t believe Americans will root for McGregor because he’s not from America? Guess again.
Do you remember when Las Vegas was Ricky Hatton’s backyard for one night in 2007? Listen to the crowd before Mayweather’s entrance:
If I didn’t tell you the place of the fight, you would have thought it took place in Hatton’s home country of England. Despite the “Born in the USA” entrance, Mayweather was a man without a country that night. The crowd booed him mercilessly before he easily defeated Hatton via TKO in the tenth round.
Americans will have no problem rooting for McGregor.
Remember When Mayweather Fought Oscar De La Hoya?
The fight took place on May 5, 2007, also known as “Cinco de Mayo.” Keep in mind, De La Hoya is of Mexican descent, though he did represent the United States in the Olympics back in 1992. Anyway, here is how Mayweather came out to the ring:
Obviously, wearing the sombrero to the ring was very problematic. But the point is that Mayweather is not going to have many fans backing him in this fight, as shown by the chorus of boos he received on his way to the ring. Even if he were to do something offensive to insult McGregor’s Irish nationality, it really won’t make much of a difference since most of America is already rooting against him.
Remember When Adrien Broner Fought Marcos Maidana?
Broner, an African-American, fought the Argentinian Maidana in San Antonio, Texas at the Alamodome. The 5,000 mile distance between Argentina and Mexico did not seem to matter, as the fans made it clear who they were rooting for that night (from ESPN’s Dan Rafael):
He [Maidana] had Broner in serious trouble as he winged hard shots from all angles. Broner was holding on as the crowd chanted, “Chino! Chino! Chino,” Maidana’s nickname.
Not to mention, Argentina and Mexico do not have a lot in common. But on that night in 2013, they sure received Maidana as one of their own. I can’t imagine how many people will watch this fight wrapped in an Irish flag or in some type of St. Patricks Day apparel.
august 26, 2017 will forever be known st. patrick's day 2 https://t.co/2gcjL65pQj
— se vasrie mēre (@danny_shin131) June 14, 2017
Remember When Mike Tyson Fought Lennox Lewis?
Most of America will become Irish on Aug. 23. Boxing promoters are very good at getting the public to believe that the underdog can emerge victorious. People don’t even need an emotional attachment to the fighter to believe. They just need a reason.
Back in 2002, Mike Tyson fought then-WBC heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis in Memphis. This fight was at the tail-end of Tyson’s career and he was three years removed from biting Evander Holyfield’s ear off. He just wasn’t the same boxer he was in his prime.
Tyson came out in the first round and got picked apart. It was clear he was not going to win that fight. But because he was Mike Tyson, there were people who said, “He’s still got a chance.” When it comes boxing matches, people will convince themselves of something and hold on to that belief for as long as possible.
Don’t trick yourselves into thinking, “It only takes one punch.” Don’t trick yourselves into thinking that McGregor can win this fight.
Mayweather-McGregor Will Not Go Over Well in America’s Current Environment
You have all seen what has happened to America since November’s presidential election. America is more divided than ever along not just political lines, but racial lines.
Mayweather has used race baiting to promote fights in the past. More specifically, he has used those tactics against Latinos (see Oscar de la Hoya). His uncle and former trainer, Roger Mayweather, used to refer to himself as the “Mexican Assassin” due to his many wins over Mexican fighters. In five of the past ten years, Mayweather has fought on Cinco de Mayo weekend. All five of those opponents were of Latin descent.
Unfortunately, McGregor has dabbled in some race baiting as well, though not nearly to the extent of Mayweather. In a press conference last year, he called the little brother of opponent Nate Diaz “a little cholo gangster from the hood.”
From the promotion to the real fight itself, Mayweather-McGregor is nothing but a clown show. McGregor has absolutely no chance of beating Mayweather in a boxing match. Don’t buy the fight. You will not only be wasting your time, but you will be furthering the divide of the United States of America.