If you happened to be following along with Reddit or other social media outlets yesterday during the Los Angeles Press Conference for the Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor fight on August 26th, you would have noticed a general wail coming from the fans of the UFC champion.
Complaints varied from accusations of dull and boring to conspiracy theories of a plot by Showtime to sabotage McGregor’s microphone so he couldn’t respond to Mayweather’s taunts. Now, I’m more prone to believe that production crews tend to isolate microphones to prevent feedback in hastily arranged confines but maybe I’m just part of the cover-up?
Or maybe it was just the shattering of the illusion of the fanfic they had been creating on forums prior to the press conference? There was much excitement over what McGregor would say that would humiliate Floyd. “He’s going to say Floyd can’t read!”, “He’s going to call him a wife beater!” and so it went. A fervent wish that McGregor would at least win the war of words if he could not win the boxing match. Because hey, we all know boxing isn’t “real” fighting anyway. Conor would make everyone laugh at Floyd and then after he went through the pantomime of boxing he would return a hero to “real” fighting in the UFC.
What really unsettled the McGregor fanbase was seeing that Conor wasn’t the star. And even more, he was sharing the stage with the man who laid out the blueprint for McGregor’s persona. Conor loves to talk money, how he’s the biggest star and how he’s changing the “bum life” of his opponents by giving them their biggest paydays.
Yet now Conor’s the “bum” who was celebrating “red panty night” when this fight was made. Floyd is the one who in one night will get McGregor more money than he could in ten fights in the UFC.
I give all the credit to Conor for being able to threaten the UFC with a lawsuit and make them capitulate to get this fight with Mayweather, but his old taunting tactics won’t work as Floyd isn’t some MMA fighter who will bristle at a light-hearted jab at his self-worth. Floyd has been leveraging his opponent’s desire to “humble” his big mouth before Conor was even born. Floyd has had harsher fights with his father than any of the press conference antics Conor was and will be able to stir up in the UFC. There’s nothing Conor can say that’s going to throw Floyd off his game.
In the end, you can’t beat the master with his own tricks.