ANOTHER day, another Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder update (which will ultimately have no bearing on whether the fight gets made or not).
This time it’s Showtime president of sports and event programming, Stephen Espinoza, getting us all moist and excited via the rather appropriate channel of TMZ Sports.
“There’s a lot of positioning,” Espinoza told the showbiz vultures. “I think anytime you see guys talking to the press about a negotiation, generally that means there’s very little actual negotiating going on. But the ball is rolling. Things are moving. Discussions are happening. I think that once we get past a certain hump it will happen very quickly. So I’m still optimistic we’ll get it this year.”
At this point, all you see are lips opening and closing and tongues jutting in and out. Which is to say, it’s hard to hear the words, let alone decipher anything from what’s being said. Frankly, it’s all noise.
Six months is a realistic time-frame in which to expect the fight to happen, but whether it will or not is anyone’s guess. The hunch, however, is that there are easier fights for both – both at the negotiating table and in the ring – and that these Plan B options, despite the chicanery going on behind the scenes, will ultimately take priority over the fight we all want to see.
For now at least. Until we beg. Until hands are forced and time runs out.
I didn’t believe it was possible to stumble upon a worse idea than Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor in a boxing ring, but, unfortunately, today I’ve realised otherwise.
This harebrained idea, like Mayweather vs. McGregor, again centres on a boxer and a mixed martial artist meeting in a boxing ring, only this time it’s a lot less interesting – even in a let’s rubberneck the car crash kind of way – and involves a mixed martial artist for whom giving and receiving punches has never exactly been a forte.
I am, of course, talking about Georges St-Pierre, the brilliant former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion, whose coach, Firas Zahabi yesterday revealed his interest in a fight between ‘GSP’ and Floyd Mayweather.
“I want Georges to fight Mayweather,” Zahabi told Joe Rogan on the JRE MMA Show. “I keep bothering Georges, ‘You fight Mayweather. You fight him.’ He’s like, ‘It’s crazy.’ I know it’s crazy.”
From a business standpoint, it’s far from crazy. In fact, for the very same reason McGregor pursued the Mayweather fight, St-Pierre would be encouraged to suck it up, take his beating and receive a life-changing payday. (Mayweather vs. McGregor did 4.3 million pay-per-view buys in North America alone, second only to Mayweather’s 2015 fight against Manny Pacquiao.)
However, from a sporting standpoint, it’s not so much crazy as utterly pointless. Been there, done it, we’ve all now seen what happens when a mixed martial artist turns professional as a boxer and tries to figure out how to box while in the company of arguably one of the finest pure boxers of the modern era. It’s not pretty. It’s not clever. It wasn’t even all that interesting.