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CLICKBAIT OR FATE? Mayweather vs McGregor

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CLICKBAIT OR FATE? Mayweather vs McGregor

When Floyd Mayweather came to Brooklyn last week, before meeting with the Trump crew, he took queries from the local boxing press at Barclays Center, and he seemed liked he expected like he’d mostly be getting questions about his role as co-promoter to the Jan. 14 tango between his guy Badou Jack and James DeGale.

That’s a 168 pound title consolidation, to unfold at Barclays, and on Showtime.

But, no surprise to me, most of the asks from the scribes and videographers pertained to Floyd’s status as an active fighter.

Guys, I’m 40, he said, C’mon.

I’m happy being retired and quit asking me about coming back.

 

Maybe he’d miss it when in five or ten years, they don’t anymore…

 

But he did seem genuinely, slightly perturbed.

It’s hard to know, he’s canny with his handling of the press, and he knows what buttons to push and when and how and how hard, to stay relevant. Since he waved adios to the ring, after a September 2015 scrap with Andre Berto, which left his record at 49-0, a good deal of conjecture has centered on him taking off the retiree/promoter hat, and putting the active fighter cap back on.

It is actually a compliment, an acknowledgement that he’s still the top draw in the industry. I’ve said it before and now again, the sport feels smaller when he’s not gloving up. Yeah, some folks have edged up the ladder, but nobody’s mix of skills and personality has leapt out of the ring and hooked us with a mix of in-ring arsenal and charisma. Love him or loathe him, Mayweather had and has a way of keeping you interested. Part of that is his way of keeping questioners and fans off balance. No, it’s not like his musings and his stated philosophies are particularly novel or exceedingly sagacious. But he way he zigs on Tuesday and then zags on Thursday makes things more than mildly interesting. Like with his on again/off again flirtation with the Irish combatant Conor McGregor, who has taken more than a measure of his public persona cues from “Money.” Hello, see that social media post of him snuggling with stacks? And whereas Floyd has entertained the idea of getting in a ring with UFCer McGregor before, of late he’s stated a disdain for the concept.

That’s insulting, for you all to mention him, with his midcard level pugilism skills in the same breath as mine, Floyd has said.

Some fans will put this column on the do not read list, seeing the whole subject as mere click bait fare. I don’t see it that way, because, last time I checked, this business is mostly about money, making it. And that event would make money. How it would be constructed and who’d promote it and how funds would be split up is a whole nother issue…but a #MayGregor match would make money.

The subject won’t go away, much as some of you might like it to. I chatted with Freddie Roach on Wednesday, and he told me, yeah, Manny would like another crack at Floyd, show doubters that he could press the issue even more with a healed right arm.

So, I asked Freddie, has Floyd visited Wild Card recently, maybe giving a hint that he’s wanting to go for that 50th win?

“His last visit was maybe four months ago,” Roach said. “And he told me I should maybe train that MMA guy, McGregor, because he thought he’d be fighting him.”

So…I don't know, I think at the least we should comprehend we're going to be hearing more about this. Might be claptrap, mostly done to stir the pot, an exercise in pot-stirring only…I admit, I don't know.  I do know that subject hangs around, stubbornly, like Kardashians, and it's grounded in a reality, that it would be an spectacle intriguing spectacle…and you know intriguing spectacles are marketable.

Editor/publisher Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the thought to be impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live since 2017. He now does work for PROBOX TV, the first truly global boxing network.