Thursday 14 December 2017

Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor: Why the super fight is almost an impossibility

Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr
Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr

James Edwards

Last week the internet went into meltdown when a report in an English tabloid suggested that voices in Floyd Mayweather’s camp were in the process of putting a bout together between their undefeated boxing king and the UFC's featherweight champion Conor McGregor.

While some fans and some not so knowledgeable members of the press got giddy at the idea of the pound-for-pound best boxer in the world and the UFC's biggest star clashing, those with any idea whatsoever watched from the sidelines as the rest got swept away with the media frenzy.

Now the initial hype seems to have died down a little, it's probably worth explaining why the fight will never happen and there's no better place to start than contractual law.

The exclusivity cause contained in every UFC fighter's contract

As pointed out by leading mixed martial arts journalist Luke Thomas shortly after the frenzy kicked off, McGregor is currently under contract with the UFC.

“In every UFC fighter's contract, it clearly states the UFC is the athlete's sole promoter of essentially any combat sport activity and even professional wrestling, too. The only way McGregor could fight is if a) the UFC decides to waive this or b) if McGregor had this clause removed. The likelihood of either scenario is infinitesimally small."

Thomas then went on to use the example of why Anderson Silva could not fight Roy Jones Jnr in a boxing match - the UFC simply did not want it to happen and thus it did not because of this very clause.

Speaking on Wednesday, White made the situation very clear when he told the Dan Patrick Show.

"Conor McGregor is under contract with the UFC," he said. "Listen, if Floyd wants to fight Conor, call me Floyd."

Evidently, if a fight was to happen between the two of them it would have to go through UFC and then find a way to co-promote with Mayweather Promotions, which also has exclusive partnership rights with Showtime.

If contract law isn't enough for you, how about the fact that any sort of fight between the two of them would be a total utter mismatch?

If it's a boxing match, Mayweather demolishes him. If it's an MMA fight, McGregor beats Mayweather handily. Let's not forget, we've seen a boxer step into the world of MMA before with James Toney and it was a one-sided beatdown dished out by Randy Cotoure.

Of course, the question will be asked - why, if it's impossible did Team Mayweather say it 'could' or 'might' happen? That's a very simple question to answer but a wider perspective of events is required to understand why.

Last weekend, Saul Alvarez took on Amir Khan in Las Vegas, the fight capital of the world, in what was undoubtedly one of the biggest boxing fights of the year so far. The fight was being promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, run by boxing legend Oscar de la Hoya – previously one of Mayweather's biggest rivals in the ring and now, one of his biggest in the world of promotion.

The leaking of these comments from the Mayweather camp came at a time when the Alvarez vs Khan promotion should've been at fever pitch, but of course, it was Mayweather vs McGregor that was actually making the headlines. Convenient? Just a little, don't you think?

The genius of the situation was that Mayweather himself knew that McGregor would happily get involved with the games given his current status with the UFC.

McGregor has been left off the UFC 200 card over a dispute over promotional obligations and is yet to really patch things up with the company’s president Dana White.

While the two look to be getting back on the right track and will meet for dinner next week, McGregor and the UFC were still very much not seeing eye-to-eye. The timing of the talk coming out from the Mayweather camp couldn't have been better in that sense.

There are another million reasons why this fight could not happen but the above should be enough to convince anyone it will not. You should never say things are impossible, but a fight between McGregor and Mayweather is about as close as it gets.

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