Well, I finally gave in and watched the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight this evening. Showtime showed it at the same time as the evening news was being aired on our local channels; I opted to watch the fight.
I’ve been a fan of boxing since watching it on our black and white TV in the 50s and 60s with my mother and father. They were both fans of the sport and would watch it together on nights my dad wasn’t working.
“The Gillette Friday Night Fights are on the air,” or something like that announced an evening of family bonding over jabs, hooks and broken faces. I didn’t realize until much later, over close-up color pictures in Sports Illustrated and boxing magazines just how bloody a sport boxing actually was. Of course, by then I was a fan.
Both of my parents died before we got these gigantic, flat screen color TVs, and I occasionally wonder if they would have allowed me, at five or six years of age, to watch some of the fights I watched with them on these TVs.
I’m too cheap to pay to watch these PPV events, so I watch them as re-runs; that is, assuming the reviews are sufficiently positive. Usually, I just read about them in the newspaper and ignore the re-run.
I was skeptical that Mayweather — McGregor would be worth watching.
On one hand we have an older, champion boxer who is past his prime and essentially retired. And, on the other hand, we have a younger, and slightly larger, street brawler.
I thought the outcome was a foregone conclusion — Mayweather would not be seriously challenged and would put up with McGregor only so long.
Well, the fight — the commentators and I saw two different fights.
Showtime’s announcer and commentators oohed and ahhed over McGregor’s many punches early in the fight and Mayweather’s lack of response. They gave the early rounds to McGregor while describing the action as “compelling” (I’m not convinced they know the definition of the word.); the same as I read in the newspaper and saw on the web during the actual fight.
No, no, no — what did I see? I saw Mayweather sizing up his opponent and figuring out very quickly that McGregor’s punches were no threat; he could safely ignore them.
Mayweather then allowed his opponent to wear himself out while throwing enough punches to keep the commentators and paid spectators satisfied that they were getting their money’s worth.
For the last three rounds it looked as though McGregor was out on his feet and that one or two flurries from Mayweather would put him out of our misery.
If McGregor had kept his mouth quiet, his tongue behind his teeth and just boxed, Mayweather might have carried the fight to the twelfth round. But, McGregor didn’t. Mayweather ended the fight in the tenth, although I think he could have ended it in any round he chose.
It was a boxing match; Mayweather was a boxer and McGregor wasn’t. You don’t play the other man’s game and by his rules; you’ll lose every time.
It was not a fight for the ages.