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15th Jun 2017

Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather is the best worst fight of all time

Car crash (unmissable) television

Darragh Murphy

I can’t wait to see this absolutely unnecessary bit of sport.

Floyd Mayweather is almost certain to win. As in, Floyd Mayweather is going to win.

So why the hell am I so interested in seeing 12 rounds which could well prove to be the most straightforward of Mayweather’s storied career?

The answer is because the man he will share the ring with is Conor McGregor. And he can sell the fuck out of a fight.

Typically, fights rely on an element of competitiveness to cultivate interest because few fight fans are going to be willing to shell out their hard-earned cash for tickets or a pricey pay-per-view if the outcome is a bit of a foregone conclusion.

Admittedly this isn’t quite a racing certainty because if McGregor hits anyone flush, they will go down.

Mayweather is 40 years old and his reliably impenetrable defence would come undone at some stage if he was to continue fighting. That probably won’t happen against ‘The Notorious’ but it could.

By Christ, it could.

It would still be somewhat generous towards the Irishman to describe the probability of a McGregor win as “a puncher’s chance” and it is the gulf in technical ability that makes this fight absolutely terrible.

Absolutely wonderfully terrible.

If this fight is so abhorrent in its mismatched nature and should never be taking place then you wouldn’t be interested in it. You’d boycott it and not read articles about it like you’re doing right now. I see you scrolling.

The fight appeals to the masses on innumerable levels.

It has a sense of the two hardest lads in your school finally agreeing to fight… And just look at the turnout that the yard used to get when both of them committed to the verbal agreement to test their headlocking abilities in front of their adoring fans.

It also has less of an air of Manchester United vs. the New England Patriots and more of a vibe of “Wayne Rooney is actually going to fight Tom Brady. Can you fucking believe it?”

They should never have the opportunity to throw fists at one another’s face but the fact that they’ve been given just that chance by an organisation as “legitimate” as the Nevada State Athletic Commission lends itself to frankly ridiculous levels of intrigue.

It might be a car crash waiting to happen but just check out the views on NASCAR wrecks on YouTube. People tend to enjoy the odd car crash.

This fight will not be enjoyable as a display of pure boxing technique but it will be a spectacle.

A likely outcome is that McGregor swings at a frustrating combination of shoulders and air for 36 minutes or – and this is slightly more possible – he punches himself out before the midway point of the fight and is finished by the superior technician.

It’s going to be atrocious.

It’s going to be bloody brilliant.

This is Donald Trump talking himself into the White House. This is Roger Stone paving the way for him to do so. This is the reason you know Milo Yiannopoulos’ name.

Shit talk can get you places in this world and there is simply no point in trying to deny the fact that nice guys, more often than not, finish last.

McGregor is a marketing genius and coupled all the requisite administrative procedures with shit talk to get this fight, which was inconceivable only 12 months ago, over the line.

Say what you will about the efficacy of The Secret, the book based on the laws of attraction, but McGregor has shown what is possible when you fully believe in yourself and are articulate enough to sell in bulk what people want but don’t need.

McGregor is not going to outstay his welcome in combat sports. He has made that abundantly clear.

He is quite right to prioritise his bank balance and his ability to provide for his family over maintaining the overrated conventions of boxing tradition.

He has worked hard to grant himself the ability to do what the hell he wants and he will earn an estimated $100 million this August because of the ground work he’s put in.

If he loses, he can return to the Octagon with barely a blemish on his stock or reputation and defend his UFC lightweight title.

And if he knocks Mayweather out, he “is the biggest athlete on earth” according to UFC president Dana White.

McGregor cannot be blamed for making this fight come to fruition and Mayweather is not exactly being forced out of retirement.

These are two men who want to smash their padded hands into the face of their opponent.

And you’re going to watch because it’s better than anything else on the television.

It’s not like they’re robbing unwitting viewers of money. We’re all going to wilfully buy the pay-per-view to see what happens when the two biggest superstars of this generation of prize-fighting are separated only by a referee.

At the end of the day, nobody really cares about rankings or eligibility or mandatory challengers.

A fight is a fight and fight fans want to see big names fighting. The bigger the name, the greater the interest.

It’s not that complicated and it doesn’t come down to McGregor sullying the sweet science of boxing or Mayweather taking advantage of a supposedly easy target for one last payday.

Fighting’s simple, stupid.

These men want to fight and both you and I want to see it.

We know that we’re most likely wasting our money to watch a humiliating display of effective and perfectly defensive boxing that will probably be a bit boring if anything but that’s on us.

Not McGregor. Not Mayweather.

It’s going to be great, mind.