Floyd Mayweather’s last big fight was the heist of the century.
Millions of people–even those who aren’t overly invested in boxing, like me–had anxiously awaited for his long-overdue bout with Manny Pacquiao, in the so-called “Fight of the Century.” Yet what the moronic masses were ultimately treated to was a sham, inclusive of publicity stunts from the likes of Kimmel and Bieber, gratuitous advertising, ridiculous product placements (the Burger King, anyone?), and…to top it all off…a listless…uneventful…fight. And all this was made worse, of course, by reports afterward confirming that Pacquiao fought with a separated shoulder.
But what did he care! No one inside the ring that night lost! Mayweather obviously made millions, Pacquiao–“the loser”–made millions, the promoters made millions, Las Vegas made millions–everyone seemed to come away with something! Except for us, as we carelessly forked over more than $400 million in pay-per-view revenue, a record, while the sales from the gate at the MGM Grand Arena, full of what my dad would label as V.I.S’s, or Very Important Suckers, totaled roughly $72 million (or roughly $5,000 a person).
To be fair, we didn’t know then that the bout billed to be bigger than any boxing event this millennium would be a bust. Yet with regard to this super-fight in two months, we should know now not to make the same mistake twice.
The intrigue is certainly there, in almost a David vs Goliath kind of way. A man who competes in, what many would argue, a completely different sport, poised to dance with a once-in-a-generation boxing technician, a first-class defensive tactician. An undefeated fighter. But this man, perhaps even this fool, is a transcendent star in his own domain, the octagon. And he has more to gain–unparalleled notoriety in not one, but two sports–than the 40-year-old opposite him with little left to prove.
Nonetheless, the follow up to Ocean’s Eleven was Ocean’s Twelve. And Ocean’s Twelve –entertaining, yet derivative and strangely self-mocking–was no Ocean’s Eleven —suave, exciting, and rewarding. However, this analogy, admittedly, is flawed, because in terms of enjoyment, Mayweather/Pacquiao was no match , comparatively, to Ocean’s Eleven. Yet the main takeaway is this: the two movies were still centered around scores of epic proportions.
This Floyd Mayweather/Conor McGregor fight slated for late August is clearly the sequel to the previous “heist of the century” that featured “Money” Mayweather. Oh, he’s money all right. But because he’s so technically sound, to the people like you, me, and the rest of the younger generation that doesn’t truly know or appreciate boxing, he’s not very entertaining.
And to those who think McGregor is the necessary boost of energy this fight needs to exceed the hype, be skeptical. The money will already be made before he steps into the ring. Perhaps McGregor has more pride than Pacquiao, who not only fought with an injured shoulder against Mayweather, but did not seem to be particularly upset when he lost (after all, he had just made millions!). But regardless of whether McGregor is truly motivated to take down Goliath, his learning curve of the nuances of boxing alone may be too much to overcome.
“Fool me once…shame on…shame on you…….fool me you can’t get fooled again!” Sure, Mayweather/McGregor is arguably a must-watch event, if only because there’s that slim chance McGregor pulls the seismic upset. But it’s still not something to pay to see. Mooch off a friend, instead. That slim chance is likely even smaller than you think, and there’s no indication that shameless greed, just as it was during Mayweather/Pacquiao, won’t be the main storyline once again after what will surely be another overblown spectacle.