Mayweather vs Khabib: Another high profile farceWritten by Leroy Cleveland
Perhaps not enough people learned from Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor, especially considering the former admitted he carried the MMA star in order to give the fans a good show.
A lot of people paid good money to see that fight so if Floyd had starched him in less than a round, rest-assured people would have vociferously complained.
Anyone accustomed to watching Floyd over the years saw a vastly different fighter in the ring with Conor McGregor on August 26, 2017.
Floyd entertained the fans by making it look more competitive than it was but do we really need to see it again with Khabib Nurmagomedov, who recently defeated McGregor in a UFC title bout?
After Mayweather vs McGregor, HBO's Jim Lampley told TMZ:"
He [Floyd] allowed Conor to quote 'win' 3 rounds so that the whole global MMA wish community could have something to latch on to. I think there's a decent chance there's enough suckers out there. Floyd could maybe make another $150 million, why not?"
"Why should he retire?" Lampley added. "He created a marvelous scam with this whole thing."
A year later, Lampley is looking like a soothsayer as we're hearing rumblings about the possibility of Mayweather vs Khabib. There's even talk of it taking place in Moscow in front of 100,000 people.
If the average fan knew how ridiculous these match-ups were, they would feel conned beyond measure.
It takes years of boxing training to compete with a top boxer, if you have natural tools to begin with. In fact, many pro fighters have trained seriously for 10 or more years yet failed to reach a level high enough to compete with an elite pugilist.
Elite-level boxers earn more money than professionals in other sports so if a natural athlete - even a physical specimen - truly could compete with an elite boxer after just 6 months of training, it would be a common occurrence.
Again, it takes years to master the Sweet Science.
Canelo and Golovkin
Gennady Golovkin, for example, had over 350 amateur fights prior to turning pro. During his years as an amateur, he obtained basic fundamentals that can only be acquired fighting a myriad of opponents with different styles, skill sets, strengths and weaknesses.
Canelo Alvarez, on the other hand, learned on the job. He faced 32 professionals over a 5 year period and obtained a record of 31-0-1 before facing his first opponent of consequence (Jose Miguel Cotto). And it would be another 3 years and 11 fights before Alvarez would step in the ring with fight legend Floyd Mayweather.
Boxing is not a sport one masters in 6 months, a year or even two years of heavy, consistent training.
Can someone with no prior jiu jitsu experience compete with experts in that martial art after 6 months of training?
Khabib wants to face Floyd because he knows he'll earn a mammoth payday, far more money than UFC could pay him. He also knows there would be no shame to losing to Floyd so his stock, like McGregor's previously, would remain high even after a KO loss.
And Mayweather, of course, Mr. 'Money' himself, is salivating over another easy pay day.
Spence, Crawford, Canelo, Garcia, Pacquiao and Lomachenko
Wouldn't you accept $150 Million for easy work?
Furthermore , approaching 42 and not having defeated a top opponent since May 2015, why should Floyd Mayweather even be considered a part of boxing's gold standard these days?
At this moment, I'd make the following boxers solid favorites against Mayweather in hypothetical showdowns: Errol Spence, Jr., Terence Crawford, Canelo Alvarez (rematch at jr middleweight), Mikey Garcia and, yes, even Manny Pacquiao.
In fact, if lightweight champion Vasily Lomachenko moved up to welterweight, I could see him defeating Mayweather if Floyd faced him prior to having at least one quality tune-up.
Why not have Khabib face Canelo Alvarez, an active 28 year old world champion and top 10 pound-for-pound boxer? That would be closer to a peer-to-peer, boxing vs MMA match-up.
We've had our fun with Mayweather vs McGregor. Let's stop making a mockery of the sport by pitting an aging boxing legend against mixed martial artists with limited boxing pedigrees (when compared to top professional boxers).
And no disrespect to the MMA stars. They are great fighters in their own right and boxing’s fighters and hardcore fans have tremendous respect for what they do.