Saturday, November 19, 2016

An idea for which there's no good time

So, remember that classic old hypothetical of  hypotheticals? What would happen if Batman fought Superman?

Well, we've got the answer to that now. They made a movie about it. It was dark and plodding and largely forgettable -- which is to say, even though it hasn't been that long since I saw it, I can't remember who won.

At any rate, we now have a real-world version of that hypothetical, and if we're all extremely lucky, it will remain a hypothetical. MMA icon/blowhard Conor McGregor says, hell, yes, he'd go a few rounds with boxing icon Floyd Mayweather, and just to be sporting he wouldn't tackle him and slap a chokehold on him or bend his limbs in ways contrary to nature.

In other words, the fight would be a straight-up boxing match.

McGregor says he'd take $100 million to do it, but given the interest in such an exhibition, I'm thinking he's shortchanging himself. I'm thinking this is the sort of thing that you could throw money at forever and it still wouldn't be enough.

I also think this is the sort of thing that absolutely, positively can't happen. Especially if you're Mayweather.

McGregor, you see, has nothing to lose here. Neither does MMA. It long since eclipsed boxing as the world's favorite form of pugilism, and if McGregor loses on Mayweather's turf, nothing's going to change that. It is, after all, Mayweather's turf.

And so, yes, it's highly likely Mayweather would win. On the other hand, McGregor can throw a little leather, too. And he is, let's face it, a few diamonds and hearts shy of a full deck. So you could definitely see him being completely willing to wade through as many Mayweather bombs as he needed to in order to get in one knockout punch.

And if that happens?

Boxing's completely done, instead of only partly done. If an unschooled ruffian like McGregor could take out one of the sport's all-time greats, what would that say about the relative merits of the two sports? MMA would become the combat sport to an even greater extent than it already is, and boxing would become just that thing people do who aren't skilled or tough enough for MMA.

The ironic thing is, in the Blob's estimation, boxing is actually the sport that requires much more technical expertise. I know MMA advocates will point out that it incorporates several disciplines as opposed to just one, but hard as I try all I see when I watch an MMA fight are two men (or women) trading a few punches and then rolling around the octagon until someone gets a submission hold. It  holds about as much fascination for me as watching two bored siblings pound on each other on the living room floor on a Saturday afternoon.

Yet it's clearly what the people want. And it's why Mayweather, for boxing's sake, should stay as far away from this idea as possible. 

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