The NBA and NHL just wrapped up their seasons and the focus will be on Major League Baseball until both of those sports open training camp next Thursday.
I’m joking. That was an exaggeration. Professional basketball and hockey won’t open training camp for at least two more weeks.
Professional football is about a month or so away from opening training camp — unless you’re in Canada and that case, the season is getting ready to open. Go Stampeders! High school football will be on us before you know it so while the focus should be on baseball, much of the national spotlight is on the upcoming Floyd Mayweather, Jr.-Connor McGregor fight.
I’ll admit it is an intriguing matchup.
Mayweather, who boasts a record of 49-0-0 (26 by knockout or technical knockout) with world championships in five weight classes (from super featherweight to super welterweight) will face McGregor, the MMA Lightweight Champion who has a professional record of 21-3 with 18 knockouts/TKOs.
To say Mayweather is a veteran is to overstate the obvious. He is 40 years old. In boxing years, he is downright ancient.
McGregor is a southpaw from Ireland and has a well-earned reputation for being tough as nails. At age 28, he’s scaled the heights of success in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He is also a former UFC Feartherweight Champion and the first fighter in UFC history to hold world titles in two weight classes simultaneously.
With an age and reach advantage of 77-inches to 72 inches, one would think McGregor might be a favorite or at least even-money to win. The truth is Mayweather is a heavy favorite and rightfully so.
The bout will not be fought under MMA rules, where chokeholds, kicks, and grappling are allowed. No, this bout will be a sanctioned boxing match.
It’s not a real bout, it’s a money grab.
No matter how much of a striker (upright fighter) the Irishman is, he is out of his league fighting a champion of Mayweather’s caliber. McGregor might knock over a lesser opponent but even an ancient Mayweather is more than he can handle.
It’s because they participate in very different sports.
Mayweather is a boxer and he will be participating in a boxing match.
McGregor is an MMA fighter who will be participating in a boxing match.
He is stepping into another sport.
This is not Bruce Lee facing various disciplines of martial arts. This is the best pound for pound boxer boxing against the best pound for pound MMA fighter.
Think of it this way: Lebron James is arguably the best basketball player on the planet. No one questions his skills on the court.
Put him in a home run contest with Mike Trout, put him in a passing competition with Tom Brady, or put him on a golf course with Rory McElroy — being the best in one sport does not translate to another.