Exactly two years have passed since the worlds of both boxing and mixed martial arts collided for an event that was unlike anything that we’ll ever see again in our lifetimes.
“That Mayweather/McGregor fight next Saturday, it’s an absolute disgrace, makes no sense. F**k the two of them they’re just conning us for the money.”
“So you won’t watch it then?”
Try as we might to deny it, Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor grabbed our attention from the get-go and then held and sustained that attention over a period of weeks and months to the point that it caused a media frenzy unlike anything we had ever seen before.
Those who criticised it from the start and those who claimed to be indifferent in every single relevant comment section, they were all dying to tune in on August 26 whether they’ll admit it or not.
Criticising the show because it left a sour taste in your mouth is one thing but disregarding the impact of its very existence entirely is just a cop-out.
I think enough time has passed that we can now appreciate the event for what it was.
It was indeed a farcical matchup, a circus, a disgrace, a sham, a joke, whatever you want to call it, but while it lasted it was one helluva ride.
I feel as though there’s almost pressure there to slate the entire thing out of some sense of integrity and write it off as a shameless attempt to make money for the two biggest stars in combat sports. But I also think time will be kind to Mayweather/McGregor – despite the empty feeling it left us with initially.
And sure, the world tour was cheap, it was trashy, and at times it was downright inexcusable – but lest we forget, ‘The Money Fight’ will forever stand as a pivotal moment for both the modern-day super-fight model as well as the relationship between the world’s two biggest combat sports.
Getting two athletes to perform something akin to stand-up comedy four nights in a row was always going to be a disaster but in fairness, could you have picked two more suitable candidates?
The Brooklyn leg of the tour was definitely a low-point, though.
If there was a line of any description that was there to ensure that this didn’t disintegrate into a shamelessly offensive spectacle, it was crossed on several occasions that night.
But even still, it all lingers in the memory, good or bad.
You’ll remember everything about Mayweather/McGregor twenty years from now.
It has burned itself into the public’s collective memory to such a degree that whether you like it or not, it will be immortalised in a similar fashion to a ‘Thrilla in Manila’ or a ‘Rumble in the Jungle’.
I know there are those within that consistently-pissed-off and angsty bracket of combat sports fans who will deny this and in truth, ‘The Money Fight’ as an actual fight doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as either of those two.
But it’s not about the fight. It never was.
When we’re looking back at those memorable sporting moments a few decades from now, are there still going to be some who are as instantly outraged at its very existence?
If the showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor left a deep cut on the modern combat sporting world, then that wound is still very fresh. Its ripple-effect is still being felt and will continue to be felt for a long, long time.
The blueprint has been laid. The groundwork has been done.
As much as the world knew that McGregor stood no chance at handing the legendary Mayweather his first professional loss, we all followed along every step of the way.
‘The Money Fight’ was a unique thing that we’ll probably never see the equal of and I feel as though it’s important to take a step back and marvel at exactly how significant it was because like it or not, it was more important than most are willing to give it credit for.
It was equal parts surreal and absurd and looking back, it’s almost hilarious watching esteemed figures from both sides getting so riled up over something so incredibly fun and fascinating.
If you’ve been focussing only on the ten rounds of boxing that took place inside the T-Mobile Arena that night, you’ve missed the point entirely.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena