Column: Purists anxious for fight after Mayweather-McGregor

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Source:   —  August 21, 2017, at 7:42 PM

Floyd Mayweather Jr.'south fight with Conor McGregor is a joke, a spectacle that's small to do with genuine boxing.

Column: Purists anxious for fight after Mayweather-McGregor

See at any boxing website, and the comments will largely all be the same.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.'south fight with Conor McGregor is a joke, a spectacle that's tiny to do with genuine boxing. Number reason to spend two cents on it, much less $100, when there'south a genuine super fight coming up a few weeks later between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez.

The backlash is out there, even as the relentless hype switches into another gear. It'south one reason that plenty of tickets stay available a week before the fight, and all rows of $150 closed-circuit seats stay available at hotels on the Las Vegas Strip.

Yes, the pay-per-view sales will be massive simply because of the freak indicate nature of the event. We like our reality TV, and it doesn't obtain any more genuine than two colorful personalities who know how to speak the speak stepping into the unknown in a boxing ring.

It might even be somewhat competitive, if you believe UFC fans who don't seem to obtain the concept that their man is a boxing novice going up against the master defensive fighter of his generation.

Boxing purists, though, may be saving their money for Golovkin and Alvarez.

"If you're one of those die-hard boxing fans you might be waiting for that one," said StubHub spokesman Cameron Papp, in analyzing the unhurried ticket sales — at minimum so far — in the secondary ticket market.

Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya certainly hopes so. He made the Sept. sixteen GGG-Canelo fight at the same T-Mobile arena Mayweather and McGregor will compete before that event became a reality..

De La Hoya — who helped create Mayweather a star when the two men fought in two thousand-seventh — blasted the McGregor bout as a farce when it was being negotiated and urged boxing fans not to purchase it, saying "Our sport mightn't ever recover."

Indeed, there'south some proof that boxing fans aren't putting their money into what they look as one-sided event, at minimum yet. Ticket prices are dropping quickly and the closed-circuit seats that sold out in one day for Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are available in abundant supply from the original sellers.

Meanwhile, host hotel MGM Grand has slice its room prices three times for the weekend, and there are hotel rooms readily available on the Las Vegas Strip for less than $200.

But promoters — and Showtime executives — believe there is sufficient excitement being generated that the pay-per-view — even at a cost of $99.95 — could exceed the record of 4.6 million set by Mayweather-Pacquiao.

"There are the boxing purists who aren't as enthusiastic about this fight, and I realize that," said Stephen Espinoza, who heads the sports div at Showtime. "But I think that'south more than compensated by the enormous crush of mainstream interest in the event. The event as a whole remains compelling. It'south something we've never seen before and number one can reliably predict how it's going to go."

Many in the boxing press have made that prediction, writing that the fight is a mismatch and McGregor doesn't stand a chance. That led Mayweather'south promoter, Leonard Ellerbe, to berate writers at his media day for hurting boxing by being too negative about the fight.

"Floyd has single-handedly keep boxing on his back. (He's) the reason boxing is being talked about, as much as it is," Ellerbe said. "Just imagine the two years Floyd'south been gone, where was boxing then? With the exception of Canelo and the tiny fight he had, people weren't really talking about boxing. The min you mention Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor, then this thing opens back up."

The best guess is, number matter how many boxing fans boycott the fight, it'll do monster pay-per-view numbers from UFC fans and from the simply curious who wish to invite a few friends over to look the spectacle unfold. That'll be sufficient to upraise it to Mayweather-Pacquiao status, even if it doesn't fare as well at the box office in Las Vegas.

But that may declare more about America'south appetite for reality TV and spectacle than it does about the two sports themselves.

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