As much as I fight it, Floyd Mayweather’s sure to make this non-event a must-see
Who would win a fight between a snake and a mongoose? A lion and a tiger? A robot and a dinosaur? Rocky Balboa and Maximus from Gladiator?
And here’s a real snorter. What would happen if a retired boxer fought an active Mixed Martial Arts fighter in a Queensberry Rules bout with a levelling handicap on both men: the boxer being 40 years old and the MMA fighter being, well, an MMA fighter? It sounds like a difficult question, but the answer is simple: everyone gets rich.
Floyd Mayweather was in London on the weekend, supporting his exciting young protege, the 22-year old Baltimore super-featherweight Gervonta Davis, who stopped Liam Walsh in three rounds and thereby completed the first of what should be many defences of his IBF world title.
Davis looked superb: blending the defensive nous of a young Mayweather with huge punch power delivered from a bullocking upper body in a manner that brings to mind Mike Tyson at the same age.
He creamed Walsh — a good fighter and Commonwealth champion — with his first serious attack and the referee rightly stopped the match to spare the Mancunian serious injury.
Yet, Davis will need a good few years before he is the biggest beast in the Mayweather Promotions stable, because right now that remains the man himself; retired but one win short of a historic 50-0 record and looking for the easiest and most lucrative way to get there.
To that end, Mayweather was talking on Friday in near-certain terms about going through with his long-hyped cross-code bout against the MMA’s Conor McGregor.
The kindest thing we can say about a fight between Mayweather and McGregor is that it makes a spectacle of a thought experiment. The fight itself is a non-event. It is pantomime. An irresistible farce with one immoveable object: to cash in on the public appetite for a freak show.
There is nothing wrong with that, per se. The market has no morality and if people want to watch Mayweather argue with a chippy Irishman for two months before paying the guts of £20 to see a terrible fight, then that is fine.
But here we come to the rub. Following Davis’ victory over Walsh, Mayweather gave a short interview in which he suggested that if and when the McGregor show is arranged, Davis will be fighting on the undercard, along with a Mayweather Promotions veteran, the super-middleweight champion Badou Jack.
In other words, they get you every time. Do I want to see Floyd play peekaboo with McSilly-B****** from the Punching Twister league? No. Do I want to see Davis take another step on his way up the super-featherweight ladder? You bet your bottom PPV buy I do.
On which basis I can already feel myself giving in, clicking the button and lining Mayweather’s pockets one last time. Hypocrisy or simple human weakness? I don’t know but either way, I’m not entirely happy about it.
I’ve been putting the book together and these guys are too good to not share. It’s a collaborative project I’ve been doing with my 4 year old son. One day he was playing and he ran over to me and held out an abstract sculpture made out of LEGO and said, “this is Fire Tiger Robot’s spaceship. He lives in a cave and shoots aliens.”
I asked him to tell me more about Fire Tiger Robot and that’s when I found out about Freeze Tiger Robot, Rock Tiger Robot and Laser Tiger Robot. The descriptions were detailed and full of sound effects. He then said, “Hey dad, can you draw me a Fire Tiger Robot?”
Heck yes, son.
Over the next few days and weeks we would carve out a little time to sit together in my studio and draw Tiger Robots. He’d describe them as I drew. He’d point out that I drew something wrong so I’d have to fix it. A few things I would push back on and try to convince him it was cooler this way. Eventually we settled on these designs.
Oh, and his little sister wanted in on this, so he added Flower Tiger Robot just for her.
And if you haven’t checked it out yet, my Kickstarter for DRAWINGS is in it’s final week. Don’t miss out on my latest book!