Mayweather (Reality) vs. McGregor (Hype)
What is the worst feeling in a prize fight or sparring?
A. Getting punched
If you answered A, B, or C, you are kind of right…but also wrong. While all of those things feel terrible, the worst possible feeling is being hurt and tired yet knowing that your opponent is neither of those. It’s an unnerving feeling when someone is coming forward swinging at you when you can barely mount any sort of safe defense. If you’ve ever had a dream where you are stuck in the path of an oncoming train, yet you can’t seem to move out of the way, then you know the dreadful emotion I am describing.
That emotion is exactly the mental anguish that Connor McGregor felt towards the end of his mega-fight boxing match with Floyd Mayweather this past weekend. There he was, so exhausted he could barely hold his arms up, no power or snap left in his punches, and not able to use his favorite weapon - trash talking - as he was stalked relentlessly by the most accurate puncher in the history of the sport. If this was an MMA fight he could have worked for a clinch, a takedown, or even pulled guard and tried to recover. But inside the boxing ring there was no where to go. In Connor’s first fight with Nate Diaz, Nate was raining down punches and Connor took the easy way out, he turned over and gave up his back for the choke. Outside of falling down, there was no way out of the ring with Mayweather other than the referee saving him, which he ultimately did.
All in all, McGregor did much better than I thought he would, and he even looked and moved like a boxer. The problem was - and I have been saying it for months - just being able to box is not going to get you very far against an all time great. Mayweather is a very slick, intelligent (and at times boring) fighter and he had the perfect game plan for this fight. It amazes me that anyone bought into the hype that he could happen to knock out Floyd, something that other legends of boxing such as De La Hoya and Pacquio were unable to do. Imagine if Connor announced he wanted to try his hand at freestyle wrestling. Do you think he could magically just happen to pin 2016 World Champion Logan Stieber? I rest my case.
Either way, both fighters should be commended for promoting and putting on an exciting fight. McGregor did as well as he possibly could have and Floyd fought basically a perfect fight - despite “giving away” the first 3 rounds to feel out Connor and let him exhaust himself.
The most important take away from this weekends event is that it is extremely difficult to be ELITE at anything. For those elites that are at the pinnacle of their discipline - whether we are talking Boxing, MMA, Wrestling or even badminton - their skill is something to be admired and respected.
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