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The real Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather main event: While We’re Waiting

Welcome to the most wonderful time of the year. I’m kidding, it’s the dead zone. The all-star break is boring us in baseball. The NBA free agency wire has stopped glowing hot orange. We’re just trying to survive until baseball is back and Browns players start hitting themselves in hopes that they’ll be ready to emulate a real football team by the fall. So let’s talk about Conor McGregor.

The real main event is happening now in McGregor vs. Mayweather

It’s sports so you never really know what’s going to happen. It’s combat sports so that feels doubly true. Still, I can’t help shake the feeling that the most entertaining part of Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather is the public beefing that’s happening right now in the hype-filled lead-up. McGregor wore a suit where the pinstripes were tiny little letters that spelled “f*** you.”1 He and Mayweather continue to stand forehead to forehead doing that taunting trash talk thing where they repeat themselves seven times per second while occasionally tilting their heads back and forth. As far as fight lead-up it’s pretty awesome, but I’m pretty sure this is the main event.

The fact is that even though Conor McGregor is one of the best fighters in the MMA world, he’s about to compete in a different sport. Boxing and MMA are similar because you can throw punches in both sports kind of like football and rugby are similar sports because you run and hit in both of them. That’s probably not the best comparison, so how about this? Geoffrey Kirui won the Boston Marathon this year. He and Usain Bolt both compete as runners just like Mayweather and McGregor are both fighters. If Bolt were forced to compete in the marathon or Kirui in the 100 meters, would it be much of a competition? Who would you bet on to win either of those races?

And yet, I’m reading that bets are being placed on McGregor. I’m reading about his promise as an amateur boxer as if that will mean a whole heck of a lot in a boxing ring against one of the most successful in the history of the sport. Antonio Gates was a very good basketball player with promise and a professional athletic pedigree. He found his calling in the NFL as a tight end, but even with six months of practice and assuming he was still young, would you bet on him making a starting NBA lineup?

None of this is to say that I’m not enjoying the whole thing. I really am. I think it’s great and I find McGregor amazingly entertaining. I’ll watch this fight and I’ll be rooting for McGregor to shock the world. If he does, however, I’m just going to assume it was rigged. In the end, I think this is more of an exhibition and a formality for Mayweather. He’s been on top for a very long time and assuming everything’s on the up and up, at the end of August against Conor McGregor, there shouldn’t be anything that changes that reputation.

Now watch the real main event. Apologies for the NSFW language. Be careful before you hit “play.”

Ray Flanagan and the Authorities…

In honor of one of my podcast guests this week, I want to highlight what makes Ray Flanagan who he is. Here he is with his band.

Have a great weekend.

  1. minus the asterisks. []

  • RGB

    https://i.imgflip.com/1shn1t.jpg

    This is the safety I want Peppers to become.

  • jpftribe

    Didn’t realize he was a UOM guy. And Boroughs, 00. When’s the last time that number was worn?

  • RGB

    I believe Jim Otto is the only other 00.

  • Harv

    The safety of my early fandom, but Thom was hardly a perennial Pro Bowl candidate. If Peppers isn’t better – if he isn’t at least T.J. Ward – I’ll be ticked they didn’t take Hooker.

  • RGB

    All-Pro in 76, 78, 79. Browns interceptions leader. KO’d Pat McInally. I’ll take it.

  • Garry_Owen

    I’d put a “Leicester City” bet on McGregor, but he doesn’t have a chance. At the same time, while I’m not entertained as much as most by this spectacle, I [something less than “admire” but can’t think of a good word and don’t want to use “respect”] McGregor for doing this. While boxing is definitely very difficult, the combination of skills that he has had to (nearly) master still makes him the better fighter, if not athlete, and the braver man for doing this (though there’s no way you could ever ask a boxer to train for MMA just to enter one fight – which proves my point, if I could only figure out what my point is).

    Anyway, if McGregor makes it to the 4th round, he wins, regardless of how he loses.

  • Steve

    I’m not sure where in the respect/admire line I fall when it seems like nothing more than him taking something close to $100M to get knocked around by Mayweather. I’m not sure I see much of a difference between this and Tebow, other than someone could get seriously hurt, which doesn’t seem like something to help the respect/admire part anyway.

    I guess good for him to find another way to get paid for his stardom, as UFC’s plantation mentality makes the NFL look like rank amateurs.

  • RGB

    Mayweather is not a KO fighter. MacGregor is going to lose, but he’s not going to take a beating doing it.
    If he fought as his natural weight and was matched up against Gennady Golovkin, he’d be sleeping in 1 maybe 2 rounds.
    He’s basically collecting $100m to take a boxing lesson.

  • Harv

    Sports Dead Zone Friday book recommendation for those who read: “Without You There Is No Us: Undercover Among the Sons of the North Korean Elite,” by Suki Kim. Quite timely and engaging memoir of info not reported elsewhere – because the Kims ain’t letting outsiders see anything but a few staged and fraudulent scenes. The author volunteered to teach the smartest children of the chosen few at a special missionary school, and struggles to develop interpersonal relationships while being monitored 24/7, sometimes by the boys themselves.

    She spins a chilling narrative of how, even in this information age, a regime has managed to keep even the privileged few ignorant of the world and paranoid. And how the system quickly affects even westerners who know they will be able to leave soon. My political take-away: the fallout of the inevitable crumbling of North Korea could be as bad or worse than that of Syria. This is not a people who long for the west, or who have dreamed of a better life listening to Radio Free Europe. They think desolate Pyongyang is New York City. This is a people daily and consistently imbued with a theology revolving around the Kim dynasty and that their mission, on a personal; and national scale, is to destroy South Korea, America and the west. Reading this helps one understand why China will protect its border at all costs, why it views North Korea as “Too Evil to Fail.”

  • Harv

    Cannot argue with your facts. Will argue that not only was he not game-planned around by opponents, fans didn’t mention him as anything other than a decent player. Good nose for the ball, much like Felix Wright. Game changer? Nyet.

  • RGB

    And he sent Woody Hayes into one of the most epic sideline meltdowns of all time. Bonus. 😀

  • Garry_Owen

    Agree that Mayweather isn’t a KO fighter, but McGregor’s not a boxer. And now I’m just spitballing, but I think there’s something to being in that ring against a real boxer, with much heavier gloves than you are used to (disregarding training for the fight because I have to), and all of the other factors, that makes him perhaps susceptible to KO here.

    You know what? I’m just going to go back to talking about stuff that I know. Let’s see . . .

    . . .

    . . .

    . . .

  • Garry_Owen

    Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll look for this. I don’t like it, because of the sense of helplessness that it imparts, but I can’t get enough of reading about North Korea. I’ve stood on the north side of that table in Panmunjom, have heard the propaganda over the loudspeakers in the middle of the night, and grew to really love the people of the south. I often think that if there’s one war worth fighting, it’s the one to free those poor people in the north; but as you said, they don’t desire whatever liberty we might bring. Though I think all people have an internal desire and yearning for freedom, the chasm between what we know and what they have been brainwashed into thinking is terrifying, particularly considering those that would have to pick up the pieces afterward.

  • JNeids

    I’m admittedly MMA>boxing so I find McGregor so much more entertaining. The only thing Mayweather cares about and the only “taunt” he has is “$.” Ipso facto Mayweather is placing a ton of small bets on McGregor and throwing the fight.

  • Harv

    Seems odd but, because of the paucity of inside info about NK, this will be required reading for even professional pols. It is an easy read and not thoroughly depressing. The author was born in South Korea and knows her own relatives were trapped and lost in the North. She vacillates between connecting with these precious young people and fear that she is helping them become the next generation of oppressors.

  • nj0

    That’s my take. Kudos on your ability to promote this joke of a fight, Floyd and Conor. I don’t find anything commendable here in either of them.

  • nj0

    Beating doesn’t always mean knock-out. In his last fight, Mayweather made Andre “The Beast” Berto look like a the star of an alien autopsy video. I shudder to think what Mayweather might do to someone who isn’t a professional boxer.

    http://media.cleveland.com/startingblocks/photo/andre-berto-5f8b12f65f001bec.jpg

  • nj0

    I think you’re right. Punching power is part of knocking guys out, but so is opportunity. For a number of reasons, Mayweather should have plenty more opportunities than he usually has when fighting professional boxers.

  • CBiscuit

    Pass interference! So, in the train of thought of skunk badgers, I can’t help but think who’s at the end of this rainbow…numero uno…say it ain’t so! I’ll be scouring the webs and archives for non Michigan University Browns alum.

  • Garry_Owen
  • RGB

    Hey, I’ve posted SUoO alum in the countdown.

  • jpftribe

    “the chasm between what we know and what they have been brainwashed into thinking is terrifying”

    Having spent time in Phnom Penh some 30+ years post KR, you still see it everywhere. That city had the strangest vibe of any I’ve been in. Not quite unsafe, but on the brink being a constant state.

    Traveled a lot in Asia and If I haven’t been there, I know a lot of people that have. In four years I never met a single person that stepped foot in NK. There is no way in hell I would enter that country with a Chinese passport, let alone American.

    The stuff that gets uncovered there when that regime falls is unimaginable right now.

  • Garry_Owen

    I have technically stood in North Korea, but in uniform, under guard, on an authorized tour. As we have recently seen, it is the height of foolishness to travel there for any other reason. I do admire those that risk everything to smuggle freedom into the land.

  • mgbode

    Much like Tebow, I appreciate the willingness to try something that pretty much everyone expects you to fail at. McGregor felt the need to prove out his boxing chops, well this should convince him where he’s at there.

    I’m not one for the type of spectacle they are putting on, but it appears many are enjoying it. Good on them for it, then.

  • nj0

    I’ve read a lot about Korea in an attempt to understand how it came to be that Koreans in the north hate and fear the West. Yes, the authoritarianism/propaganda of the Kim regime is the main cause of that now, but I think it’s important to appreciate the part that American policy played in fostering it too. (This is where I say I’m not anti-American, pro-North Korean, nor advocating moral relativism. The Kim regime deserves to be held accountable for causing a decades long humanitarian crisis.)

    The understanding I’ve arrived at: After WWII, the West allied itself with Japan, the country that had been occupying Korea in brutal fashion for 35 years. In Korea, the U.S. kept the Japanese colonial government in place and utilized Japanese officers/unit to keep order. America and the West were at first disinterested in the country (no Lend-Lease for you) and our half-@ssed administration led to a chaotic, dysfunctional region. So while we view the Korean War as starting in 1950 and being about just America vs. Soviets, the reality is there was regular conflict throughout post War Korea between factions divided along many various lines.

    The Korean War itself seems, in my opinion, to have been every bit as savage, chaotic, and confusing as Vietnam; the American public just never really saw it. Plenty atrocities were committed on both sides. The US Air Force bombing of the north was savage, leveling just about every standing structure and later targeting irrigation dams which lead to famine. After the war, the United States suppressed democratic reform and propped up military dictators in the South, some of whom were rather brutal. It wasn’t until 1988 that South had something like real democracy.

    So… all that said… I think there’s legitimate reasons outside of propaganda that North Koreans embraced (and continue to embrace) the Kim government while hating America. And in spending most of the last 20 years isolating North Korea, the situation has only become worse and worse.

    I have high hopes with Moon Jae-in though. I just hope that our government realizes that dialogue and negotiation are the only path to opening up the north. Military action would be disastrous. (Assuming anyone read this whole thing, sorry for the length. It’s something I’ve tried to educate myself on and, in doing so, developed some strong opinions about.)

  • nj0

    I have a friend who went. She was unimpressed (in the sense that she gained nothing from the experience that she hadn’t already through reading the accounts of others who had gone).

  • nj0

    Can’t tell if this is sarcastic or not. I want to assume that it’s common knowledge that one of the greatest boxers of all time will have plenty of opportunities to let loose against a boxing newb, but then I think of how many are buying the McGregor hype and decide I may as well state the obvious.

  • Garry_Owen

    The gif totally represents me, in my utter ignorance, receiving the epiphany of confirmation from your actual knowledge. Sarcastic, yes, but only as it pertains to me, not you.

  • Saggy

    Nothing wrong with that!

    I have to wonder (preface: he isn’t winning) if somehow this fight is different for Money.

    He has been the favorite every time he has stepped into the ring. He’s never even really been worried about getting touched up; his defense is that good. But even though this is just a boxing-only match, this is the first time Floyd is going to fight a guy who could end him. And easily. I wonder if there is any fear there? You know, just in case CM snaps and decides to throw an elbow or two.

    And do you think he will be talking all that trash in the ring? I mean, Conor might not care about losing at that point and might just take him out. If I were ESPN. That would be my angle, anyways.

  • Saggy

    Oh McGregor didn’t feel any other need than the need of his wallet!! No other reason at all to take this fight. One punch can end your career.

  • Saggy

    For state-sponsored BS I can just watch FOX News. But thanks for the recommendation.

  • Saggy

    Wow. That’s really amazing!

    I’ve been saying for years that instead of dropping bombs we should be dropping charged, satellite-capable iPhones. The world would change overnight.

  • Saggy

    Military action is NOT an option. I’m so curious to see what happens.

  • Saggy

    You should get the true story:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9Hn9xAaKUbw

  • mgbode

    interesting angle. and, an elbow would be his least concern. McGregor snaps and he takes him to the mat where he has the advantage.

    I don’t think he will though. A whole bunch of bluster for what will likely be a boring, mechanical fight.

  • Petefranklin

    That was a cheap shot. Now if he had caught Stallworth or Swann with that forearm, it would have been clean. The Bengals were not dirty back then and McInally didn’t deserve it.

  • Petefranklin

    Not happening. He would lose his purse and get suspended by the NAC. I cant wait for the line to come down even more with all the MMA newbs bettihg Connor.

  • Garry_Owen

    It’s actually been going on for years. My hope is that the slow trickle of time and information erodes the wall of terror.

    https://www.wired.com/2015/03/north-korea/

  • Garry_Owen

    Good points. I have no problem with the NK people supporting the Kim regime in and around the time of the war, for the reasons you espouse; however, the support now is no more legitimate than the support my dog gives me as its owner. She has no other option or knowledge; neither do they. Legitimate power derives from the consent of the governed. The NK people don’t even own a concept of “consent,” because of the Kim family and “juche.”

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  • nj0

    Yes, completely agree. While the biggest nut to crack is the regime itself, winning the “hearts and minds” (ugh, hate that term) of the citizenry will be an issue if any regime change happens.

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