When the Floyd Mayweather/Conor McGregor match takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Aug. 26, there are going to be millions of people from all around the world who will shell out their hard-earned money to watch the fight. Mayweather and McGregor have done such a good job of selling the fight over the course of the last six months or so that it’s going to be impossible for most people to turn away from it. It could very well end up going down as the biggest sporting event of 2017—and it could shatter all kinds of monetary records in the process with all of the big pay-per-view numbers that are expected. But could it also be the biggest disappointment in recent sports history?
Those who have followed the evolution of the fight—from the first time McGregor ever called Mayweather out right up through the announcement of the fight itself—are hoping it lives up to the hype. We are, too. It would be a real shame if the fight ended up being a total dud, as some people are predicting. But after seeing the training videos that Mayweather and McGregor both put up on Thursday, it’s hard to imagine the fight being much of a fight at all.
It all started early Thursday when a video that Mayweather posted on Instagram started making the rounds. It featured him going to town on a double-end bag as several of his trainers looked on. It was an impressive display, and in a caption that accompanied his IG post, Mayweather referred to himself as an "old legend":
"I know I’m not the same fighter I was 20 years ago," he wrote. "I’m not the same fighter I was 10 years ago…As a matter of fact, I’m not the same fighter I was 5 years ago, I’m just an old legend putting in work in 16 oz gloves."
The video got rave reviews from fans. Even those who don’t love Mayweather chimed in and complimented the 40-year-old on the skills he showed in the clip:
Never one to be outdone by a competitor, McGregor responded to Mayweather’s IG video a short time later with an IG video of his own that featured the caption, "you’ve never seen these moves #ghost." The video featured several clips that showed McGregor’s workout regimen. It also opened by showing off the mural that McGregor had painted in his gym of him punching Mayweather in the face while he yelled “I am boxing!” in the background:
There’s nothing new about McGregor posting photos and videos of him training in the gym. Since his fight with Mayweather was announced, he has posted a number of them on his various social media accounts. Mayweather has also opened up his workouts to the media to give everyone a better look at how he’s training for what will likely be the final fight of his storied career.
But what made this latest video different for McGregor was that it featured one scene that didn’t portray him in the best light, especially in light of what Mayweather posted earlier in the day. In the scene, McGregor looks like the 40-year-old fighter as he lumbers around in the gym hitting a heavy bag. He does show off some of his signature power in the scene, but most people don’t think power alone is going to get the job done against Mayweather. Mayweather has fought against guys with power before, and he’s relied on his speed and defensive techniques to successfully combat it. There is a reason, after all, why he’s 49-0.
The scene looks even worse when you put it side-by-side with the training video Mayweather released on Thursday. Black Sports Online spliced the clips together to show just how different the two fighters are:
And the clips seem to suggest what all those who are looking forward to an entertaining fight fear: that Mayweather will completely overmatch McGregor once the fight starts and beat him easily. So easily that it won’t even be a fight worth watching.
Of course, there were plenty of people saying that before these training videos came out. From professional boxers like Manny Pacquiao to wise-cracking know-it-alls who aren’t buying into the Mayweather/McGregor hype, there has been no shortage of people downplaying the fight. Even though we live in a country where it seems anything can happen these days, the idea of Mayweather losing to McGregor is just unfathomable for most people—with or without the latest training videos.
But it seems these videos have convinced even more people that the Mayweather/McGregor fight won’t be all that it’s been cracked up to be. They, too, now think that Mayweather is going to have absolutely no problem manhandling McGregor in one way or another when they get into the ring together. Even though Mayweather and McGregor were obviously using two different bags to train in their videos, people think they looked like they were in two completely different classes:
And at this point, it’s kind of hard to argue against them. Maybe McGregor has some tricks up his sleeve that he’s not showing on social media, which is why he went as far as to take a shot at Mayweather's training video after releasing his own:
Maybe he’s trying to bait Mayweather—and everyone else, for that matter—into believing that he’s not going to be able to compete on Aug. 26 so that he can gain an advantage by using the element of surprise.
Or maybe this is exactly what it looks like and McGregor is going to get pummeled by Mayweather—and then go collect a big, fat check for it.
Whatever the case, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea for McGregor to stop posting training videos. Because as of right now, they’re not doing him any favors and, if anything, they’re making us less excited about the fight. So fewer posts on Instagram and more training in the gym might be the best way for him to go.