Non-sports fans always ask what draws us sports fans to a big event. What is interesting about the Olympics, Big Championship games, horse races etc?
Along with the expected entertainment, drama, thrill and excitement are what brings us in to big events. But there is one thing that is key that bridges the disconnect between sports fans and non-sports fans, and that is the spectacle. When two top teams finally meet, in a showdown for all of the marbles, the world tunes in because the hype surrounding it is that you are going to witness a display of excellence between evenly matched opponents, that results in striking performances across the board. In the end, there’s always a winner and a loser, but as fans we want to be the biggest winners of it all.
In boxing, there have been times when the result of these big events has left us fans the losers in the end, however, the majority of time through history, our taste is satisfied. This weekend, sports fans and non-sports fans will connect again for a spectacle in boxing – are we the fans going to be the winners or will we be the losers?
The spectacle comparison to Mayweather vs Pacquiao is the most recent boxing example where sports fans and non-sports fans came together. The fight had been hyped for 5 years between the two top fighters of the era, the offensive juggernaut in Pacquiao and the defensive specialist in Mayweather. While the hype for the fight generated a huge financial success resulting in the biggest live gate, PPV sales and revenue in sports history, the action in the ring didn’t live up to it.
Floyd Mayweather has promised because of the backlash, that he owes the fans, and will do his part in making this fight with McGregor different. The Nevada Athletic Commission approved the use of 8 ounce gloves for this fight as opposed to 10 ounce gloves which is the normal glove size for junior middleweights. Connor has promised that with 8 ounce gloves he will KO Mayweather in two rounds, he’s promised that he will be aggressive and take the fight to Floyd.
Now I believe Connor and Floyd are both doing their part in hyping the fight, I do wonder exactly how the action will go. After all, Mayweather isn’t a knockout puncher – with his last being in 2007 (excuse the legal but cheap shot to Victor Ortiz in 2011), and of course McGregor will be making his pro boxing debut. I along with virtually everyone watching the fight is expecting an easy Mayweather win, so the big question is, why is this even a spectacle?
It’s a spectacle because many aren’t expecting a dram filled, and competitive fight, but are enjoying the hype, and entertainment leading up to the fight. The press conferences, the daily trash talk, sparring rumours and social media attention has us all wondering how will this go, and in that entertainment sense we the fans are the winners. Millions will be a part of parties, events, and pay $100 bucks to tune in and witness the number one UFC fighter make his boxing debut against one of the greatest boxers but, when the parties are over, when the spectacle ends and reality sets in, we will be the losers.