Semi-retired superstar Floyd Mayweather Junior is back in the gym, sparring ahead of his still to be signed (by him) but fully expected September “Super-Fight” with MMA great Conor McGregor. As per The Mirror, the 40-year-old with the 49-0 pro record yesterday sparred six rounds with unbeaten 18-year-old hot lightweight prospect Devin Haney.
The two posed for pictures after the spar, and it must be said, Mayweather, his shaven head aside, in no way looks 22 years older than the 15-0 Haney. Mayweather is of course always in great shape, whether he has a fight coming up or not, and McGregor better forget all about catching an out of shape Mayweather at the right time, if that’s what the Irish warrior is thinking.
The hype for Mayweather-McGregor is, has been, and will be huge; but is it even a “real” fight. When the two go at it, will the bout be recognised as a genuine boxing match, or will it be classed as an exhibition? Even if the fight, slated for Las Vegas, is officially classed as a genuine boxing match – Floyd’s 50th and McGregor’s first – will the majority of boxing fans look at it as an exhibition anyway?
Another good question is, if (when) Floyd wins, will he really have reached 50-0 as a professional boxer? Will a Mayweather victory over a man who has never boxed before REALLY mean “Money” has beaten the beloved Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 ledger?
First of all, Mayeather is not a heavyweight, so old timers and a good deal of other people will not feel in their heart of hearts that Mayweather has really broken Rocky’s record if he reaches 50-0. And it seems likely practically everyone will refuse to recognise that Floyd has broken Marciano’s record with a win over McGregor.
Imagine if, back in the late 1950s, Marciano launched a “comeback” similar to that of Mayweather and fought an MMA fighter (of course there was no such thing back then), would “The Rock” be listed at 50-0 today had he won? No way.
No, even if he beats McGregor, Mayweather will not truly have beaten Marciano’s record; even when we take on board how much the sport has changed over the years. It can be billed as anything the promoters want, but Mayweather-McGregor is a high-level exhibition bout and nothing more. And in no way should winning one of those entitle even as great a fighter as Mayweather to break the record belonging to an all-time great, untouchable boxing immortal.