Let’s not forget, it took 7 long years for the biggest fight in boxing history to come into fruition. Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Manny Pacquiao was easily the most prolonged fight saga fans ever went through. It’s been well over a year since speculation began about the greatest match up in fighting history. Although it has not been anywhere close to being long enough as the Mayweather-Pacquiao saga, the McGregor-Mayweather saga has been equally gruelling.
One can understand that when there are hundreds of millions of dollars involved negotiations and conclusions do take time. Everybody from UFC to Mayweather promotions obviously wants their share of the pie. As time goes on and negotiations keep stalling one cannot help but think; what exactly are they fighting for, money or establishing a legacy?
For a man who has puts the word ‘Money’ between his name you would think the answer is simple, he simply wants some extra truckloads of cash so he can enjoy his retirement drowned in all the riches the world has to offer. But is that really so? Is it worth risking a career spanning 21 years? Is it worth risking his undefeated record in the ring and ending it with a 49-1? Are a hundred million dollars worth risking the possibility of being touted as one of the best ever to put on a pair of boxing gloves?
It surely can’t be so simple. Mayweather is not only a great fighter but also a shrewd businessman. He can always earn money even after he has hung up his gloves. He has various businesses he has invested in and his own promotion company which will ensure his wealth keeps growing exponentially.
Money vs Legacy
So what exactly is his motivation? Does Mayweather still feel like he is still not sealed his legacy? It can be argued that Mayweather still doesn’t receive a mention alongside the greats of the sport like Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson or Sugar ray Leonard. Be it his defensive style of fighting or his inability to get fans excited about wanting to watch him, Mayweather still hasn’t etched his name into the top tiers of boxing folklore. Maybe this is his way to ensure this fact. Maybe he wants people to remember him not only for the money he earned but how great a fighter he truly was.
And then there is the notorious Conor McGregor. McGregor is not only the face of a company but arguably the face of an entire sport. His earnings and his fan following both are far greater than any MMA fighter anywhere in the world. He is the first fighter in the UFC to simultaneously hold championship belts of two weight divisions and his performances are equally dominating and exciting. His amazingly accurate fight predictions have created an impression that this man can bend reality according to his will. The Irishman has the world at his feet and it’s upto him how high he wants to go further.
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) May 10, 2017
So what does he do? He goes and challenges one of the greatest fighters of modern times in a sport which is not even his own. McGregor clearly treading on the fine line between of ambition and foolishness. Although his rise has been meteoric, he is still in the early days of his career and is still a very young fighter. Is an enormous payday worth risking all that he has achieved so far? He would have to carry the expectations of an entire sport and let’s face it, if he loses no matter what he achieves in the remainder of his career it will still be defined by this mega fight.
No risk, no gain. True. But great men are great because they take ‘calculated’ risks. There is surely some logic behind the decisions these fighters and their teams make.
Sure there are humongous risks for both the fighters and their careers but these fights are fights that define a generation. These are the fights that you tell your children about and we can assume that is what these two men are fighting for. Immortality.