Over the course of the last two days both Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Conor “The Notorious One” McGregor held their respective media days. With the world wanting to know if Mayweather still has his signature cat-like reflexes and if McGregor looks professional boxing ready, anticipation was high.
The comments section on YouTube, where the broadcast was housed, was appalling to say it mildly. Every race troll in the world converged for an all out offensive that drew a clear line in the sand on fanfare that required racial allegiance for validation.
It was despicable to say the least and can only be reminicpscent of what a Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries pre-fight workout would have looked like on an internet stream.
Mayweather held court first in the now hallowed Mayweather Boxing Club also known as “the doghouse”, a rugged fighters only gym that lacks in perks what it makes up for in reality TV notoriety. It’s the place seen steadily on shows like HBO’s 24/7 and more recently Showtime’s All Access.
Mayweather Promotions stable fighters like Andrew Tabiti and IBF junior lightweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis worked out first.
Floyd Mayweather opens his gym for an exclusive workout in preparation of his megafight against Conor McGregor – Saturday, August 26th on SHOWTIME PPV.
Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe oozed annoyance at the media and the boxing industry lampooning the fight and that ticket sales where coming from unconventional places like Costco. Still, he exerted his dominance as the lead promoter, always dressed sharply with the business confidence that matches Mayweather’s pugilistic salvo.
Mayweather’s natural gifts have been honed with time, 21 years to be exact. He still has fun showing out, enjoys being the director of his own training movie replete with a soundtrack of Stevie Wonder, James Brown and ’90s West Coast Hip Hop that belies his vintage thinking. He gave a ferocious workout that left no doubt about his ability to be effective as a 40 year old that still looks and performs boxing drills like a man 20 years his junior.
Conor McGregor hosts a media workout at the UFC Performance Institute in preparation of his megafight against Floyd Mayweather – Saturday, August 26th on SHOWTIME PPV.
There were considerably less media at the UFC Training Center, where McGregor has been holding his last weeks of camp. Donning a custom-made Versace robe he claims he received from Donatello Versace herself, the showman went to work.
What strikes you first when watching McGregor warm up and hit the bags are his unconventional stances, which are a mix between traditional martial arts and something totally his own. His footwork seems disjointed but it’s part of a game plan intends to throw off his orthodox opponent even further than being a southpaw innately supplies.
McGregor didn’t display power and his punches weren’t as dogged and crisp as Mayweather’s, but his confidence and unique approach make you overlook his potential lack of traditional training etiquette. When it was all said and done, McGregor took impromptu questions before heading to the shower for over an hour and a half.
When he reemerged, he never detached from the script that Mayweather picked the wrong fight, is too small for him and that he is impossible to prepare for.
McGregor confirmed that he would definitely stay a two sport athlete for the remainder of his career and that he intended to defend “both his belts” in the UFC’s lightweight and featherweight divisions. He dismissed Paulie Malignaggi as a broken fighter who couldn’t hang with his tough training camp and praised him at the same time for coming to test him.
He showed that he is a boxing aficionado, naming Roy Jones Jr., Muhammad Ali and others as his favorite boxers, and critiquing Vasyl Lomachenko for not accepting a fight with Guillermo Rigondeaux and dismissing his tweet to assist in camp. McGregor’s confidence and charisma lead you to believe he knows what he’s doing, and you can’t help but enjoy his brand of polarization.
These two know what level this is and that the fight is entering unchartered territory. With Mayweather in an intensely assured veteran’s space and McGregor eager to prove his ability, it is still unclear whose outlook is accurate.
The fans at large however have made it crystal clear that this is a race war in their minds to the highest degree and what May Mac has proven is not that this is a battle of boxing vs MMA, but of black versus white.
A sad and disgusting trivial pursuit indeed. This is the world in 2017 where everything still remains a simpleton’s black and white.