The sun rose on Sunday
I woke up on Sunday morning and the sun was up and shining for another beautiful summer day in Southern California. The event that so many dreaded – the match-up between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor – has come and gone. The circus has packed up and moved on.
And guess what?
It didn’t permanently besmirch the pristine reputation of boxing. It didn’t mark the end of Western civilization. It came and went and now we can look forward to a big September that sees a stacked schedule and, hey, the return of football season.
Mayweather-McGregor was what it was. (Now, for full disclosure, I only saw the second half of the proceedings on a…well, I’ll plead the fifth on that). Word on social media was that McGregor won some early rounds against a tentative Mayweather but, by the middle rounds, “Money” moved forward and gradually pressed the action. But, from my vantage point,it did look, on my Samsung phone, from Tony Roma’s in Carson, that Mayweather was carrying McGregor. At the same time, Mayweather had aged a bit and was uncomfortable with having to initiate the action so much. Being a bigger guy and a southpaw, Mr. MMA might have played a role.
It was akin to the Harlem Globetrotters running the triangle offense in the first half versus the Washington Generals.
Call it the $400 million sparring session. There really were no “losers” here. For both combatants, this was the proverbial “low risk/high reward” proposition. Floyd was never going to lose to a novice. McGregor wasn’t expected to win and would bank millions, regardless. At the end of the day, the highly accomplished boxer beat an opponent making his pro debut. Duh.
Although, of course, some didn’t see it that way. I actually got the following email on Sunday morning. The identity has been sealed to protect the author from embarrassment:
“What did you think about the fight tonight? ‘Course we should’ve seen it coming, considering, if it would’ve gone any longer, the casinos would’ve lost so much money that I think they probably had (referee Robert) Byrd stop the fight when it looks like it might be a good time but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a championship fight get stopped when a boxer has not gone down to the ground at least once or has blood and obvious potential medical issues, like they can’t open their eye and it’s swollen to the size of a grapefruit – and then usually a medical doctor gives an opinion of whether the fight can continue or not.
“Has there ever been an instance in Nevada professional boxing where a TKO has been awarded with similar circumstances as tonight?
“Why didn’t Robert Byrd warn Mayweather to quit ducking down like a little baby and getting in the fetal position trying to obviously force disqualification? He did this repeatedly in this fight and has never done that in any of the previous fights he’s been in. After about the fourth round, in him doing it at least 17 times that I counted, it would’ve been appropriate to warn Mayweather not to do that. Would it be OK if Conor McGregor just turned around? It’s right when Mayweather was throwing a punch to intentionally let him hit the back of his head, the same thing, and it’s bullshit that the only warning went to McGregor. Professional boxer, undefeated for 50 matches, knows better than that.
“If you look at post (-fight) for images, before they got cleaned up, Mayweather, his eyes, where his right eye looks like actually you got the shit beat beat out of him with a bat – McGregor show no bruising, swelling of the eyes, bleeding or anything. He looked completely normal.
“I guess it’s a way for boxing, Mayweather and the casinos to make it seem, it’s a win-win situation and hand the torch over to MMA combat sports because boxing really, at this point, is about as corrupt as horse racing.
“Then again, I’m not like a huge Conor McGregor fan. I think that (Nate) Diaz won both fights and got robbed on the second one that I thought he decisively won, so maybe the UFC’s going to end up taking the same path professional boxing did.
“I would rather watch two MMA fighters of any matchup experience levels, etc. than another boxing match of any future championships. Mayweather’s maybe 51-0 but look at who he’s fought. He’s not even in the same league as Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, George Foreman, a (Evander) Holyfield and those types of guys.
Now, I’m not sure why this non-boxing fan chose this scribe to send this particular missive. I’m debating whether or not he’s trolling (he has to be right?) but the scarier thing is he just might be serious. But now that this is over, the respective fan-bases can go their separate ways and concentrate on their niche sports.
Speaking of boxing, there was actually a card on HBO on Saturday that took place at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, in front of an announced sell-out crowd of just over 7,600, that featured Miguel Cotto against Yoshihiro Kamegai, in which the Puerto Rican star captured another world title (the vacant WBO 154-pound belt).
As expected, it was a fun-yet-one-sided affair that saw Cotto consistently land hard punches on the hard-charging Japanese fighter, whose spirit was never extinguished. As Kamegai just shrugged off one punch after another and keep charging after Cotto, round after round, one had to wonder if it was really Yoshihiro “Kamikaze” in there. Kamegai is iron-chinned but unfortunately feather-fisted and he never really got to Cotto.
In winning just about every round, Cotto was actually made to work very hard for 36 minutes in what he says will be his penultimate bout, in a storied career. It was a strangely entertaining contest, given the lopsided nature of the proceedings. Kamegai’s toughness is at the very upper reaches – even for combat sports, in which the ability to absorb punishment is a prerequisite.
Now the focus can turn toward a blockbuster September in the sport of boxing. On Monday, things get rolling for the promotion of the Saul Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin battle on September 16 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, with an open workout for the public and press, that takes place at L.A. Live, starting at high noon.
(Hey, maybe now Oscar De La Hoya can stop tweeting about May-Mac).
Golden Boy Promotions and K2 Promotions have a solid three weeks to build momentum to this highly anticipated showdown. There were those who believed that having this past weekend’s event would completely overshadow this one but it wasn’t as if purchasing one event prevented you from buying the other. Many casual observers of the sport bought Mayweather-McGregor as a novelty event but hardcore denizens of the sport were always going to tune into this as the best pure match-up that on the boxing schedule.
“Canelo” is one of the sport’s true marquee attractions and “GGG” is a bona fide draw in his own right. Nothing in that regard has changed after August 26.
Before that, you have the “SuperFly” card that features a trio of highly-anticipated 115-pound contests headlined by the rematch between WBC titlist Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez. It’s among the best fight cards on paper that has come to fruition in years. This show is expected to be a sell-out on September 9.
So yeah, life goes on and there’s a ton to look forward to.
Such as Miami-Bethune Cookman and Antonio Margarito-Carson Jones this weekend, amirite??
So that was a real legendary title reign Gervonta “Tank” Davis had at 130, huh?…Rey Vargas’ size and length will trouble anyone at super bantamweight…Yordenis Ugas, who defeated Thomas Dulorme, has been on a very solid run of late…Tureano Johnson fought like head movement was illegal last Friday night against Sergey Derevyanchenko…I liked what I saw from Saul Sanchez and Ruben Torres in Corona…So the first Thursday night college football game on ESPN is Ohio State vs. Indiana? Ehhh…”‘What Carter Lost,” the story of 1988 Dallas Carter High School, was one of the very best “30 for 30″s of recent memory. Loved the old footage of Jessie Armstead before he went to “The U”…I can be reached at email@example.com and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.