The wait is almost over. On Saturday night, Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor will meet in a boxing ring at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It’s the biggest event of the year (and of several years), and wherever you stand on the spectrum - pro-Mayweather, pro-McGregor, for the fight, against the fight – odds are that you’ve been talking about it.
But why should you watch it? Here are five reasons…
1 – History
No matter what the result is at the end of the night, those watching Mayweather vs. McGregor will know that they just witnessed an historic event. Simply put, this type of matchup is the rarest of rarities – a mixed martial arts champion making the move from Octagon to ring to compete in a 12-round boxing match against the greatest boxer of this era. If Mayweather wins, he will leave the sport with an unblemished record of 50-0, a mythical mark that just adds to his Hall of Fame resume. If McGregor wins in his first professional boxing match, it will be a victory that will join the list of greatest upsets in sports history, and may end up being the greatest underdog story ever. Either way, we’ll be talking about this one for a long time.
2 – The artistry of an all-time great
Despite his world titles in five weight classes and 49-0 record compiled against the best of the best over the last two decades, Floyd Mayweather may not have received his true just due as the best boxer of his generation. Saturday night will be the last time to see the artist formerly known as “Pretty Boy Floyd” in action, and while he will be competing as a 40-year-old coming off a two-year layoff due to retirement, there are some things that are untouched by age. And as soon as you see his Fight IQ on display when the bell rings, you will be reminded that we won’t see one like Mayweather for a long time, if ever.
3 – Mystic Mac
On paper, Conor McGregor is going into some deep, deep waters this weekend that maybe he won’t be able to swim out of as he takes his first pro boxing match against future Hall of Famer Floyd Mayweather. In reality, McGregor has been smashing the odds and shocking the world for a long time now, and as he calls shot after shot, how can you not at least say, ‘Well, maybe?’” It’s been the beauty of watching the Irishman in action, and whether he wins or loses on fight night, you are well aware that he showed up to fight and to live up to all his boasts. He’s a real fighter, and when you’ve got that designation next to your name, you’re never out of a fight.
4 – The atmosphere
There is nothing like a big fight when it comes to atmosphere, and they don’t get bigger than Mayweather-McGregor these days. So expect to see a host of celebrities in the crowd at T-Mobile Arena, Irish fans screaming at the top of their lungs for their man, and a deafening roar during the walkouts, the introductions, and with every significant blow landed over the course of 12 rounds or less. This is one of those fights where you get the butterflies of anticipation before the opening bell and then get a nice comfy spot at the edge of your seat for the rest of the fight. There’s nothing like it in sports.
5 – It’s all about martial arts
As he faced off with Mayweather at the final press conference, McGregor broke out into a stance reminiscent of a martial arts icon and told his opponent, “This is Bruce Lee s**t.” And while we wouldn’t exactly put it that way, this fight is a prime example of what martial arts and combat sports is all about. How will McGregor adapt his style to the boxing ring, and will he even have to? Can a mixed martial artist compete with and win against a pure boxer within the rules of the sweet science. It may be the most compelling and fascinating reason to watch if you’re a fight fan, because if Mayweather wins, it will confirm what boxing fans have been saying all along, while a McGregor victory will shake things up and declare that everything we thought we knew about combat sports isn’t necessarily correct anymore.