We are hosting a viewing party for this fight at the Pencilstorm offices (thanks for the FREE cable, Mr. Biggie) and we thought it would be fun to get thoughts of everybody attending before the big "fight." Below are the responses. - Colin G.
Ben Galli (Pencilstorm NBA Beat Writer) - MMA or UFC was never something I was really into. I remember starting to see crowds gather for live events at the old BW3's on campus in the early 2000's. I noticed the increase in acquaintances that were going somewhere to "watch the fight" even though there wasn't any boxing on and more dudes on the street wearing Affliction shirts. I understood the draw (not to the shirts) but I'd rather just watch Bloodsport again. However, recently, I have made a point to see any fight Conor McGregor is in. Maybe it's the braggadocio that he backs up or the underdog's confidence that you can't help but root for, but he's brought me slightly into UFC. And I will watch this fight and I will root for McGregor (especially due to Mayweather's past behavior) because even though I think Money is one of the best boxers of all time and should easily win the match, you're saying there's a chance!
Big $ (North Coast Posse / Browns Beat) - I was a casual "boxing guy" until I saw my first Conon McGregor interview. From that time I've been a full-fledged unapologetic "UFC bro" (visor and Ballers on DVR sold separately). I'm head over heels for the sport and thus my perspective is a little MMA biased, but as someone who has watched every Conor fight here is why Mayweather domination is not a foregone conclusion:
- Conor's left is an absolute sledgehammer, he has serious one-punch power for a 155 pounder. In his loss to Diaz, Nate mitigated that power by inside kicks to Conor's front leg. Eventually Conor couldn't push off and Nate got him to the ground. Obviously Floyd won't have that option. It will be interesting to see how aggressive Conor will be when he does not have to defend against or worry about kicks.
- Although the UFC rules aren't in play, Conor will still be able to employ some of his Martial Arts discipline. If Floyd is deeking and dunking in an arm's reach (which Floyd is known to do) or wrapping up the muy Thai, MMA style prepares fighters to strike in tight spaces. Conor is also very adept at shrinking the octagon, if this translates to getting Floyd cornered, I don't know how many combos Floyd will be able to with stand.
- Lastly, Conor's jaw is made of steel. If Floyd goes on the offensive, Conor will be able to withstand every strike and will need only small window to sling a widow-making haymaker.
So that's my take, from a decided green, orange and white tinted-glasses perspective. All I'm saying is don't be so quick to write of the notorious Conor, and enjoy the spectacle.
Brian Phillips (CD1025 Morning Show) - Both of these guys seem like assholes.
Ryan Haye (Boxing Aficionado/ bass player in Ghost Shirt) - Just as Patrick is a die-hard MMA fan, I feel it's important to note that I have been watching boxing since before I could spell boxing or spell box, for that matter. Having said that, I would love nothing more than to watch the guy who's never fought a single round in a professional boxing match beat the guy who, despite being an asshole of heroic proportions, is considered one of best boxers of all-time.
The reality is that Conor doesn't stand a chance in hell. None. Zilch. Zero. I would be willing to bet that the Irishman doesn't even land a punch, and I will take all bets that the poor Mick doesn't win a round. I could break down the fight by pointing out that nobody has ever really hurt Mayweather, and that includes De La Hoya, Canelo Alvarez, Miguel Cotto, and Manny Pacquiao. For those that don't know, I just named some of the best boxers of all time, and none of these could hurt, let alone find, Mayweather in the ring. But, I won't break down the fight, because it doesn't matter, it's a done deal. Prediction: Mayweather in...whatever round he decides to end the fight.
Can we talk about GGG vs. Alvarez?
Ricki C. (Medicare patient / NFL fan) - As a child in the late-1950's/early 1960's I would watch the Friday Night Fights on our piece-of-furniture Zenith TV with my sainted Italian father and my big brother. That's right, boys & girls of the "Pay Per View" 21st Century, back in the Dark Ages boxing was shown on network TV. (And there only THREE networks and THREE channels back then. The only "pay-per-view" aspect was that your dad might have to buy some Barbasol shaving cream the next day at Big Bear.) Jeeez, two men beating each other bloody on a Friday night was considered healthy prime-time entertainment. (Actually, on the West Side - where I grew up - we could just glance out our front window and get that same "entertainment.") Anyway, in honor of my dad and my brother Al, I'm goin' Mayweather all the way.
James Baumann (Buckeye Hoops Expert and Overall Renaissance Man) - I don't know squat about this fight (or any other one, for that matter) other than it seems like they are both horrible human beings and the best possible outcome would be that they both knock each other into something resembling a coma, but more painful than that.
Colin Gawel (Bowler, Cheap Trick Fan) - For the first time, I'll be rooting for Mayweather. Like Ryan, I'm a fan of the sweet science. To me, UFC fights have all the poetry of watching skate crash compilations on youtube. AS IN, not much. And I agree that GGG vs Alverez (and even Rungvisia vs Chocolatito) will be much more competitive fights than this one.
However, there is no denying the pure spectacle this match-up provides. Floyd was shrewd to make his heel turn from "Pretty Boy Floyd" to "Money Mayweather". And the fact that he is truly a dick makes the "Money" character that much more irritating. (Click here for excellent story about that on 538) But Conor is not one to be "out-dicked" so when he told Floyd to "dance for me boy," it rubbed me the wrong way. I know Conor was just saying it for shock value and the whole purpose of the publicity tour was to get suckers like me worked up into buying the fight, but I fell for it anyway. There are too many real dudes floating around thinking the same thing for me to take that as just harmless trash talk. I'm pulling for Floyd to get some payback.
And yes, I'm aware that I've basically turned into a grumpy old man who prefers boxing to that new-fangled UFC the kids love and I'm offended by McGregor's trash talk. What a drag it is getting old. Having said that, I like Money to get Conor off my lawn by the 7th round.
David Martin - Mayweather's boxing skills are off the charts. I think he will win. I also think it's possible he takes a dive or holds back in order to generate interest in a lucrative rematch.
Patrick Buzzard - March 31st, 1985. For me, that was the first time worlds collided. It was the first Wrestlemania. The Main Event was Hulk Hogan and Mr. T vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorf. Worlds Collided. A professional actor wrestled with three of the biggest professional wrestlers of the day at the biggest event conceivable! What could possibly be next? After that, as teenagers we would guzzle Jolt Cola and argue if the United States would send Bo Jackson, and ONLY Bo Jackson, to the Olympics??
It really hasn't really happened since. Not to that level, at least. It takes more than being outrageous. It's takes the perfect storm. It takes the perfect players. Enter Conor McGregor.
An outlandish, boastful carnival barker packaged in a lethal MMA fighter. Throwing stones at the "establishment" and campaigning for the fight of the century against the old guard, Floyd Mayweather, the champion of a by-gone era. It's great entertainment. It's something that won't happen again at this level. So enjoy the circus. I know I will!
I'll be watching live. My prediction is Mayweather is no fool. He will not get into a toe-to-toe punch out scenario. He is smart and knows how to win and is going to jab McGregor to death. It goes the distance and neither get embarrassed, but the win to Floyd.
Joe Oestreich (Author, Bass Player, Hurricane Survivor)- I'm not watching, but I have a prediction: The MMA dude beats the boxer in a shocking upset, which means that a rematch is set and they both get the huge payday a second time.
Scott Pleasant (CEO Pleztone Studios, Author, AC/DC Fan ) I'd say Joe's about right with that. What are the rules? If they have to go by straight boxing rules, I say advantage boxer. If the boxing rules are modified to allow some MMA, I say advantage MMA guy. It all sort of reminds me of when Rocky fought Thunder Lips with Mr. T. in the audience. (Watch it here)
Wal Ozello (Author, Singer) The fact of the matter is I haven’t watched a fight since Tyson v Holyfield. That’s when boxing was AWESOME. I mean Tyson is a beast. If you can’t knock someone out in the first round then what are you doing boxing? Nobody fights like Tyson. On Saturday night, I’ll be combing through youtube watching reruns of Tyson fights. Check out when he knocks out Michael Spinks. (Watch all 1:26 minutes here)