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Capital Sins – Mayweather vs. McGregor Preview

The Floyd Mayweather – Connor McGregor fight has been a size six on the Richter scale. It has given a pretty stagnate year in both MMA and boxing a good stir. The correct amount of sensationalism, f-bombs, racial baiting, fanaticism, shock, and sprinkled with the suspense of a 0-0 boxer. We need these types of disruptions in the world of combat sports. We as fanatics get too carried away with rankings, No. 1 contenderships, interim champions and bad pay-per-view cards. At the end of the day this is entertainment. These fighters have obligations past fighting, training or sparring, something tangible. I don’t mean like when Mayweather said “All the Blacks Around the World,” yeah Floyd, thanks but no thanks. I’m talking about life altering funds, mullah.

This fight will earn Conor McGregor and Floyd just that, the fight is rumored to break records. They’ve done so leaving no rock unturned despite how shady it looked. The fight game has no shame, and this fight pits two similar but dissimilar fighter against each other. Quite similar to a presidential campaign every flaw will be uncovered and preyed upon. Everyone has their hand in the pie from promoters, or media, to fans. And here is why we all love this thing so much:

Greed

Not necessarily financial greed (we’ll touch on that later), but a greed of being the best and the most important. Connected to these two men’s ambitions is the lengths they’ll go to ensure their success. These are two outspoken rabble rousers. Their personalities grab headlines, twitter posts and put seats in arenas. Which leads us in to a conversation less about sports but more so our about perspectives. The World Tours turned into a shoddy Netflix specials you turned off twenty minutes in With both men pushing the boundaries of bigotry and ignorance, all for the sake of pay-per view buys. But if we take a look into McGregor’s past its not the first time hes been accused of making racially charged comments, and has been taken to task for it, by his countrymen abroad and media in the states.

Frances Mulraney of Irish Central writes of McGregor’s choice of “promotion” in the buildup of UFC194, against the then champion the Brazilian Jose Aldo:

“As a white Irish immigrant, Conor, I can tell you that when you start referring to people as “cockroaches” and claiming that you would “invade his favela on horseback and kill anyone that was not fit to work,” as you did with Brazilian fighter Jose Aldo, your race has everything to do with it.

“When you lord it over your opponents and their ethnicities as some warped Irish version of the Aryan race then your Irishness has absolutely everything to do with it.”

The skin crawling remarks were laughed off by the majority of the MMA Community. There was almost zero push back for these racially charged remarks; quite the opposite, fans ate it up like a group of children at Chuckie Cheese. To be filed in UFC video vaults checked in the resume of McGregor’s’ much-lauded “intelligent smack talking”.

New York Daily News journalist Shaun King writes of McGregor’s prejudice statements against Aldo:

“McGregor repeatedly resorted to disgustingly bigoted attacks. In reference to colonialism, McGregor said, “If this was a different time, I would invade his favela on horseback and kill anyone that was not fit to work.” McGregor later said, “What I really want to do is turn his favela into a Reebok sweatshop.” McGregor also said of Aldo, in an apparent joke targeting Latinos, “I think I’m going to have him come and clean up my airplane.”

“Any one of those comments should have been enough to have every mainstream company he works with drop his endorsements. Being a fighter is not a license for bigotry without consequence.”

Why didn’t it? Are boundaries in a fight? In this age of information and awareness, there should be some limits from profiting off race.

Pride

The peculiar issue in this event is the perpetual racial overtones that continue to surface, intentionally or non-intentionally. Fans and media label McGregor’s linguistic barbs more “intelligent” than Mayweathers. That’s an Interesting word choice on something totally subjective, that could easily be attributed to preference. Despite Mayweather being a pariah to most fans eyes, the numbers don’t lie, he’s a marketing genius. The irony is that McGregor is a student of ‘Money May’ on and off the mic. Which we can gleam him by stepping into the boxing ring and taking charge of his brand. So, either the MMA media and fans are ignorant as McGregor is about race or they must really think “fookin” is latin.

There’s many reasons to dislike the man formerly known as “Pretty Boy Floyd”, from his repugnant history of domestic violence, excessive flaunting of wealth, using homophobic slurs and repeated bigoted comments . The world tour included much of the same, and the aftermath took this exhibition on steroids into another realm, especially online. Where fans were and still are arguing about whose comments were more inflammatory? There’s no algorithm, no one is a hero in this made for pay-per view movie. One vile comment doesn’t cancel out the other. They both should be attributed blame for their recklessness, debauchery and denounced for it.

Envy

The longstanding feud between MMA and Boxing goes back to UFC 1. MMA has had to deal with critics from its inception, especially from Boxing circles. The entire boxing world denounced the UFC and refused to call it a sport. Prominent figures of the community such as announcers Larry Merchant and Jim Lampley, to boxers Floyd Mayweather ,Bernard Hopkins, Paulie Malignaggi as well as promoters like Don King and Bob Arum. The sport was termed “Barbaric”,and a form of “legal street fighting”, Don King called “Nothing new”. Merchant refereed once referred to MMA as, “Nothing more than human cock-fighting”, even after subsequent rules changes.

“UFC ain’t nothing new,” King said. “They started with ‘ultimate’ fighting, and then they civilized it and made it into boxing. All UFC is doing is taking 200 years of rules and throwing them out the window.” – Thomas Hauser quotes Don King in his 2007 article.

“At first I was telling Conor to stay in his lane and I was thinking you are going to embarrass yourself, but if you are really going to disrespect the sport of boxing like that then I would like to be the one to teach you that lesson.” – this quote by Paulie Malignaggi in December 2016.

McGregor seems still to hold a grudge over “Money May’s” past comments. Though the tension between Dana White and Mayweather never ceased bubbling. Nonetheless, when money is on the line, cooler heads prevail. Though McGregor has zero boxing experience, the 2 division UFC champion’s knockout power, exhibits just enough danger for fans to plunker down their cash. And he’s a good enough promoter to sway even the earnest of cynics. The last time Mayweather had comparable promoting partner was 2006, when he faced “Super” Zab Judah. Mayweather didn’t pick the ” Irishmen” because he thinks he’s a threat, He picked him knowing the two paired together would be a marketing jackpot.

Gluttony

“The Money Fight” as its billed it, is about nothing else but making these two fighters richer. I’m sure fans are tired of hearing Mayweather flaunt about making 100’s of millions in 36 minutes. But let’s stay here for a minute. I’m sure Conor McGregor has made good money so far in his UFC career but it isn’t a Mayweather payday. Most boxers nor athletes don’t make TMT’s CEO’s kind of money. He owes it to himself, his family and legacy to make this journey. We as fans of his, including myself here, get the honor of following him down the rabbit hole.

Mayweather has made a lot of money, he also is an abundant spender. That’s a lot of overhead for the once retired fighter with the crew the size of pre-season football team. Bernard Hopkins even alluded to this when he recently visited the ultra-popular radio show “Power 105.1 Breakfast Club, then shortly after news of Mayweather’s tax issues came to light. In the months after the story broke, there’s been no revelations since about the fighter tax situation. It makes you wonder where is his focus for this fight, does he believe Mcgregor is credible enough to hurt him, or is just fighting to pay his debt.

Wrath

The uncomfortable truth for MMA media and fans, is that the holes in “The God of Boxing” striking in MMA, can leave him beguiled and battered in the ring. The astute MMA fans/ media knows this and the rest seem happy to have a seat on the Mcgregor Acela. Media should be independent non bias. I haven’t seen one MMA writer challenge “GOB” on how he’s addressed the holes in his game or press him on why he didn’t get a boxing trainer. Ultimate Fighting Championship’s striking ,though it’s gotten better, does not have world-class boxing. I can say unequivocally there is no fighter in the MMA that has Floyd Mayweather’s level of boxing.

“The Notorious One’s” head is always up in combinations and out. Not to mention his ‘lack luster’ footwork, low punch output and pension to gas out. Also, one of his main tools to control distance is his legs, his jab like most MMA fighters is used infrequently. He does have good timing, power and a reliable pull straight left counter. But in almost 50 professional fights for Mayweather, I don’t see him fazed, he’s faced plenty of fighter’s with pop. From Robert Guerro, Canelo Alverez and most recently Marcos Maidana, all handle with relative ease.

Part of McGregor’s narrative and to my dismay some UFC Fighter’s/ MMA media is that this is a “limited fight” or “not a real fight.” Yes, he’ll be restricted compared to when he’s in the octagon, but boxing is just as much about your legs as your hands. Your legs bring you to your opponent, is the source of your power and takes you out of harm’s way. He has tools but just not enough to mask his deficiencies and or match Mayweather’s fight IQ. McGregor has to capitalize on the early rounds before Mayweather builds his rhythm, agreed. He has to be disruptive and unconventional. Push and hold, weigh down Money May in the clinch. The one danger is if the “Mystic Mac” cardio will betray him.

Sloth

At the end of the day, the reason this fight comes so anticipated and hyped is that fight fans want the easy sell. They know who both Mayweather and McGregor are, so why not package those two together on the same card? The sad part is, everybody knows it is a gimmick fight. People who were upset about the SuperFight between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are only setting themselves up for more disappointing. That’s is what happens when people don’t care about competition and only drama.

Less than a month after Mayweather and McGregor fight, two of the very best boxers in the world will step in the ring to fight. Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golokin are fighting for the World Middleweight Championship in a class that is simply being billed as “Supremacy.” It is about supremacy. Nobody can confidently say one fighter is better than the other. Both are great. Both are Champions. Both will be out to show they are the best in the world at the division. That fight has been pushed aside for the circus act on August 26.

UFC 215, featuring possibly the very best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, coming September 9, is a complete afterthought. Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson is just too “boring” for your average fan to get excited about. People don’t want to take the time to understand just why he is so dominant against every opponent; he’s too quiet.

Without the theatrics or lewdness or controversy that Mayweather or McGregor have, so it simply won’t reach the magnitude that Mayweather vs. McGregor is reaching.

Lust

But the reality is that everything about this fight is what people want to see. People want the yelling and screaming and the money being thrown around as press conferences. This fight has nothing to do with competition. Nothing about the actual competition is drawing people in. On the one hand you have a 40-year-old man coming out of retirement after not fighting for two years, yet his fans will always say that no matter what he has no chance of losing because he’s perhaps the best boxer in history. On the other hand, McGregor has never boxed before, has to have training video sped up 150x speed to have it look just decent, and his supporters will scream their support for him until they are blue in the face.

Fans love their guys and fans love the idea of two outspoken showmen yelling at each other in a press conference. The fact that there will be a fight at the end of it is gravy on the top, but we’ll eat it all up until it finally happens.

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Raised in brooklyn, NYC, music and sports were the muses of life. Hip-hop was the soundtrack to life, arguments about who's the best rapper or athlete was everyday. Writing, music and competition was therapy. Growing up in NYC meant you had to make decisions early, Giants or Jets, Mets or Yankees, Biggie, Nas or Jay-Z. Jaime chose the Giant’s and the Mets and in the 80’s it was fun times. Number 27, of big blue, Rodney Hampton was mashishing linebackers and the Met, Darryl Strawberry was hitting home runs, the 90’s were a different story. The 90’s rose also rose the arguably the best basketball team of its era,The Chicago Bulls and the great Michael Jordan. The knicks were a hapless organization and Jordan and the Bulls ensured that. So becoming a Bulls fan was an easy choice. Jaime as an adult found martial arts, first dabbling in Muay Thai then to Jiu-jitsu, Wrestling, Boxing and MMA. He has trained in Jiu-jitsu for the past five years, earning a blue belt. Jiu-jitsu is physical chess and being a practitioner you learn lessons that you take off the mat. The same can be said for Boxing, MMA, Wrestling or Muay Thai, through combat sports you learn humility or it smacks you in the face. He has competed in amateur boxing, wrestling, jiu-jitsu and mma. Now he’s filling out his dreams and doing what he loves love most; writing and being around competition. And if you’re wondering about Who's the best MCs, Biggie, Jay-Z, or Nas? Biggie Smalls is the illest.

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