Will Mayweather versus McGregor be a good fight or sham?

Will Mayweather versus McGregor be a good fight or sham?

August 08, 2017 3:00 AM

My old Australian pal Jeff Wells was a master of acerbic cynicism. As a former news and sports reporter in Florida, New York City, Australia and elsewhere, Jeff had a laser-like way of making a point. He could cut to the heart of any person or topic in just a few words as skillfully as a trained surgeon makes a precise incision.

His great wisdom was underappreciated by many of those who knew him. Hopefully, you know or knew someone like Jeff.

Jeff’s greatest areas of expertise were horseracing and boxing. As a savvy observer of both sports, he was a throwback to the 1930’s and 1940’s when those two sports ruled the roost.

I maintain vivid recollections from more than 35 years ago of watching a late-night boxing match in his Park Slope, Brooklyn apartment while his wife Judy, an expert chef from Hong Kong, whipped up something for us to eat and his two young children, Jessica and Joel, slept in a back bedroom.

Jeff wisely told me, “there’s nothing better on earth than, while in the bosom of your family, watching two fighters beat the hell out of each other.”

Ah, the simple pleasures of life.

When boxing is good, the sweet science can be one of the unsurpassed sports experiences around on television or in person. When boxing is bad, it’s one of the most putrid.

These thoughts lead me to the Aug. 26 boxing match between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Will it be great sport or high comedy? This is one question without a middle ground. A tougher question could be, “Does anyone really care?”

The revelry surrounding the bout may be more fulfilling than the fight.

Having consulted some major bookmakers locally, the consensus is it does not matter if it’s a good fight or a well-calculated sham. It’s something to bet on, that’s all. If you book it right, you make money. If you book it wrong, you’ll lose a little and you can say, “the fight was good for the town.”

I asked if I could wager on what round the brash McGregor might get disqualified, but could not find that prop where I inquired. My thought was that after Floyd pops the Irishman a few times in the kisser, McGregor might lose his cool and revert to his Mixed Martial Arts roots.

I read where McGregor could lose a significant amount of purse money should he get dq’d, but who knows if that’s really the case. I haven’t seen the contract. Have you?

Advanced ticket sales to see the fight in person in Las Vegas are said to be slow. Tickets are expensive and perhaps potential buyers are wondering exactly what they’ll be getting for their money. The current thinking is Las Vegas-based mega events, such as a big-time fight, promote Las Vegas and the tourist-based economy. For that reason alone, locals should hope the fight is competitive and a success.

A somewhat wiser version of yours truly, perhaps overly influenced by my old friend Mr. Wells, might sing a different tune. No commentator or expert I’ve heard says McGregor has any chance of beating Mayweather. So why expend any energy thinking about it?

As gambling itself sadly becomes less important in Las Vegas, the show becomes the thing. It may turn out to be a great spectacle with lots of hype, showmanship and exaggeration. A competitive match may just be a bonus.

It could be well worth the money to go in person or buy the pay per view. My friend Jeff wouldn’t say this is where the sports world, particularly the fight game, is headed. He’d say we are already there.

It’s disheartening to me that it’s likely to be a great show and unlikely to be much of a fight.