Floyd, The 100 Million Dollar Man, vs. McGregor, Thurman or Garcia in 2017. Who?
Editorial By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
Brooklyn, NY (January 10th, 2016)– At 49-0, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is toady the promoter of Mayweather Promotions. This weekend, thanks to Floyd, boxing will return to New York State in January 2017 after nearly half a year dormant in a spectacular USA Showtime show at Barclays Center.
Given, Floyd is coming to New York, it begs the question of whether a Floyd comeback should take place in New York City at Madison Square Garden or Barclays Center or in Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood. The sites are newly obvious for one reason: Mixed Martial Arts has been showcased in these venues.
On March 4, 2017, 33-0 Danny Garcia of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and 27-0 Keith Thurman of Clearwater, Florida, will engage in a showdown for the unified World Boxing Association Super and World Boxing Council World Welterweight championships.
At 21-0, Errol Spence Jr., a rising 26 year old southpaw out of DeSoto, Florida, is waiting in the wings to fight for a share of the world welterweight title. 25-0 Antonio Orozco of San Diego, California, 25-0 Jose Benevidez of Phoenix, Arizona, 31-0 Konstantin Pomarev of Miass, Russia, 21-0 Frankie Gomez of East Los Angeles, California, 21-0 Carlos Ocampo of Ensenada, Mexico, and 36-0 PABA champion Tewa Kiram of Thailand, are six other rising names with an outside chance of sparking a Floyd comeback, given their unbeaten records.
Big mouth 32-2 former world champion Adrien Broner of Cincinnati, Ohio, if he wins his upcoming bout with Adrian Granados of Cicero, Illinois, at the Cinta Center in Cincinnati, on February 18, 2017, could also be a possibility for Floyd, if a world title of some kind was at stake. Granados would be in the hunt for Floyd if he wins. 33-2-1 WBO International champion and former world champion Timothy Bradley Jr. of Palms Springs, California, is also a quality possibility for Floyd. These are the famous names at 147 pounds available for Floyd to fight at the moment.
At 24-3 with 18 knockouts, Conor McGregor of Dublin, Ireland, is the most prominent professional MMA World champion who is also licensed as a professional boxer, and has a 66% (two out of three opponents go) knockout ration. As UFC World Lightweight champion, he has matched Floyd as a multiple division champion, and one of the few to have held more than one division world championship simultaneously.
The theoretical possibility of Floyd returning to the ring for his fiftieth bout has bubbled down to the question of who would motivate Floyd to return, and how much it would be worth. Garcia, Thurman, McGregor and Spence are the marquee names presenting Floyd with the biggest draw. Floyd gives away ring in the inactivity of ring rust and youth.
Floyd will turn 40 years old on February 24, 2017. The factors affecting a comeback is will people pay, which opponent would be best, and whether any of the marquee names justify a Floyd comeback and represent sufficient motivation and opportunity for Floyd to return to the gym. Floyd has been inactive since September 2015 when he decisioned Andre Berto.
MMA is competing with boxing for network ratings as MMA rising in popularity. The UFC and the World Series of Fighting presented wonderful shows in the days before the New Year, representing a whole new era of quality sports entertainment.
The clash between boxing and MMA would give both sports the boost in popularity they for 2017 to mark its mark on boxing history. Any opponent would have to represent a significant challenge. There seems to be some static electricity between McGregor and Floyd. On the other hand, Broner has a big mouth and would be guaranteed to sell tickets in a more believable way than a Floyd rematch with Manny Pacquiao would be.
In terms of the dramatic publicity stunt, Conor McGregor is the best emotional and financial angle for Floyd, because McGregor represents the ultimate draw from both universes of boxing and MMA. The best venue, and the only venue for Floyd, of course, is in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand.
The only issue between Floyd and McGregor is whether or not the bout would be under boxing rules, MMA rules, or a modified set of different individual rules for an exhibition such as the modified rules Muhammad Ali fought Antonio Inoki under in their 15 round exhibition at the Nippo Budokan Arena in Tokyo, Japan, on June 26, 1976. This might be the best compromise for Floyd versus Conor, because everybody just wants to see the spectacle. Nobody really cares who wins, given the odd oddity of mixing the two sports.
“Tell Floyd and Showtime I’m coming! Tell them to go to them Showtime offices. I want 100 million dollars cash to fight Floyd under boxing rules, because Floyd’s afraid of a real fight!” McGregor has stated. The answer lies in both parties agreeing to a modified format.