Final Thoughts On the Floyd Mayweather Conor McGregor Press Tour
With the circus that was the Mayweather vs McGregor press tour finally reaching its crescendo, we get a chance to step back and take it all in as a whole. The tour seemingly took on an identity of it's own from the beginning with pundits scoring each event as if it were actually a fight itself. I should admit, I am a long time MMA fan. I can remember watching the very first events back in the 90s as a kid on pay-per-view, I was hooked from the time I witnessed Gerard Gordeau side step the sumo rush of Teila Tuli and roundhouse kick a tooth from his head as he cowered against the cage.
But before I became a fan of MMA I was an avid fan of boxing. The number 1 thing that converted me over to the UFC was the increased action. Boxing has been notoriously plagued with criticism politics and boring fights, and none of this was present in the UFC, as a kid drawn to the fight game I was convinced.
I state that to say I can objectively speak of the two from both the perspective of a long time fan and person who has trained both for years. With that being said, it has been a few years since I have watched a boxing press tour, so coming over from MMA I was like many others a bit thrown by the format differences. McGregor was visibly taken aback aswell in the Los Angeles presser, as he was first sent out to meander about the stage for what seemed like an eternity to us and atleast two to him I would imagine. He rambled a bit as he understandably seemed a little unsure as to how things were laid out.
Things continued down hill for the Notorious one as once Floyd took the mic and began hurling insults his way, he found himself unable to offer his customary witty comeback. Not because he drew blank, but because the guys in the Showtime tech trucks cut his mic. When LA was all said and done even Brendan Schaub, a self admitted Conor McGregor nutt hugger called it 10-8 Floyd. In the post show presser McGregor found himself a bit more in his element as Floyd Mayweather Sr. made his way down to join the action.
The following days show in Toronto was no doubt the most successful of them all, as thousands of fans braved the rain to stand outside (the event was held in an outside venue) and take in the festivities. The two fighters seemed to be more into this one as either they had warmed up or the insane crowed had inspired them to a different level of trash talk. McGregor came with his own mic in tow so as to avoid a repeat of the previous days debacle. His quips were sharper and he seemed more comfortable. Mayweather even held his own by first bringing out a luxury backpack with a stack inside, and then the Irish flag which seemingly infuriated Conor to the point he snatched up the bag, removed the money and treated to throw it in the crown if Mayweather did anything disrespectful to the flag. As Toronto wrapped many thought that Conor had bounced back and scored a 10-9 in the verbal battle.
Yesterday when the Brooklyn show rolled around, I have to say that I myself had began to get a pro wrestling WWE type feel. I mean Toronto was a great show, but it began to seem like just that , a show. The spectacles had been ratcheted up to the very near point of inauthenticy and Conor's shirtless Gucci outfit and mink Gucci coat (in the middle of July I might add) made more resemble Shawn Michaels strutting down the entrance ramp. Not to mention a bit of controversy had been sparked by a statement made by McGregor in where he exclaimed to Mayweather "Dance Boy" as he shadow boxed in the show the day before. Though I didn't find this particular comment problematic, when considering the context, I was a bit offended by the crude "joke" McGregor decided to fling at this edition.
It was clear by now that both fighters had run low on ammo, Mayweather repeated old jokes from the day before and McGregor's jokes were at times so offensively unfunny that he manage to get a crowd that was so pro McGregor that it was insane, to actually boo them. To add to the drama, it was reported that the audio in the Barclay Arena was jacked and the crowd couldn't hear most of what was being said at large points. All in all Brooklyn seemed the worst of the 3 from top to bottom, starting with both fighters showing up hours late forcing poor Doug E Fresh to attempt to appease the antsy mob itching to see the real show start, to the aforementioned poor audio issues.
By the time the London show rolled around, I honestly debated not even tuning in. What else could be said? What more could be done? The two combatants had grown visibly weary of what I have personally become convinced is a show played up simply to sell the fight. To the credit of Showtime, they atleast changed the format to more of a MMA style. The table and media question segment was a welcomed addition all be it a bit too little too late. Had they used this format from the start, it probably would have made for a better overall affair.
Now for my personal take, as I said before I think this whole press tour has been clever business move, cooked up by both Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor for the purpose of selling fights. I remember thinking after the Toronto show, man these guys are probably laughing it up back stage over a drink as they talk about all the money they will get from us all. Not that I have anything against that. It's actually smart.
However I will say, I expected more out of the press tour as a whole, I didn't think it would be so "Played Up" until it felt like you were watching Monday night Raw, rather than a press tour for an actual fight. As for the actual fight, I will say that I've walked away feeling like McGregor has more of a chance than I did before. Because although I am more of a MMA fan than boxing these days, I do realize the challenges posed to McGregor if he should win.
The big question is will the fight live up to all the hype it has garnered. If what we know about Floyd Mayweather holds true then it will be a super boring fight in where we walk away thinking "Son of a bitch" he conned us again. On the other hand, if what we know about Conor McGregor holds true we could see the unthinkable happen come fight night as The Notorious one KOs Floyd and skyrockets to pop culture legend status. It's because of this that I will be watching the fight, there will be a huge surprise or a huge let down all depending on which perspective you are viewing the event from.