Opinion: Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor world tour
As I talked about at length on episode 127 of The FightBox Podcast, it really wasn’t all that long ago that women not only started to gain a foothold in combat sports, but were even allowed to participate at all. Personally, I find female fighting a lot more entertaining than male fighting. I think they come off as more passionate, more gritty and at times show a lot more courage and heart, but from what I witnessed during the four day train wreck that was the Floyd Mayweather – Conor McGregor world tour, it’s obvious that not everyone “gets it” when it comes to respecting females in the fight business.
“Do what you’re told, b***h,” Conor McGregor
If all you watched was a two minute highlight of any of the “press conferences” on the tour, I guarantee you heard the word “b***h” more than an acceptable amount of times. As the tour went on, the excitement of the events started to wear off and I began to cringe every time I heard the word uttered. Of all the words they could use to insult, embarrass and belittle their opponents, why was the most common word used “b***h”?
If my logic is correct, it’s because when a man refers to another man as a “b***h”, what he’s really saying is that that man is “less than a man”, i.e., a woman. This belittles women and adds to the unspoken stereotype that many men hold that women are somehow not as good as men. Therefore if you refer to a man as being a women (especially as a belittling name for a woman, such as “b***h”) it makes him feel “less than a man”, or as a woman. Not the best thing to be doing, especially as women in MMA and boxing are just now starting to become accepted and respected. At one point, Conor is quoted as saying to Mayweather “Good girl, good b***h”.
“Stripper b***hes on the payroll,” Conor McGregor
Another theme that continued throughout the whole tour was that of prostitutes and strippers. As “The Notorious” McGregor pointed out, Mayweather has “stripper b***hes on the payroll”, and indeed Floyd Mayweather does in fact own a strip club in Las Vegas, called “Girl Collection”. I wonder if he would want his daughter to strip there.
“I would never disrespect his [McGregor’s] child or his wife. There’s certain limits and boundaries that we don’t cross.”
Evidently employing women as sex objects is not crossing that boundary. “Money” Mayweather was quick to defend his club in an online interview, clearing up the fact that it is not actually a “strip club”, but it’s actually a “gentleman’s club”, the difference being that at a gentleman’s club, it’s only topless, not completely nude. Another reason Floyd may not want to insult Conor’s wife or children is because he knows Conor would be quick to quip back at him for his domestic violence conviction in 2011 for which he served 90 days in prison.
Mayweather pushed this topic to the edge during the Brooklyn press conference by throwing money at Conor McGregor, actually showering him in one dollar bills. When McGregor exclaimed “They’re all ones” Floyd countered by saying “That’s all you’re worth, b***h”.
If there’s anything that both of these guys are great at, it’s mental warfare. A lot of fighters claim that fighting is as much as 90% mental and 10% physical. If you can get inside your opponent’s head, you’ve already won. Just look at what McGregor was able to do against Jose Aldo.
What makes the Mayweather – McGregor fight so intriguing is the fact that you’ve got the two best trash talkers from boxing and MMA trash talking each other. With the one-upmanship constantly rising, I guess one would have to expect that things would turn ugly sooner rather than later.
Who knows what these guys are really like behind closed doors? Maybe they’re not really sexist or misogynistic. Maybe it’s all just for show, just to get inside the other’s head and psyche him out. Or maybe it’s just for entertainment, to get the biggest pop from the crowd, to embarrass your opponent.
I know Conor took a long break from fighting to be with his girlfriend Dee while they were expecting their first child. The UFC Lightweight Champion once told MMAFighting “My girlfriend has been there since the start. She has helped me throughout this career. If it wasn’t for her, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today”.
Mayweather has also had some complimentary things to say about his former partner. “She’s the mother of my daughter, she’s a beautiful lady, she’s a great mom, she’s a great person”.
So why is it when these two are on stage they suddenly start pacing around with their chests out like dominant male monkeys, sporting gold chains and diamond studded Rolex watches. Why do they suddenly start hurling insults at each other that demean women? Why do we have two millionaires saying that they’re not in it for the fight, they’re in it for the money? And why do people seem to like this sort of thing better than “may the best man win”?
When it finally came out that Mayweather – McGregor fight was a lock, I was ecstatic that boxing’s biggest “what if” fight was finally happening. But after watching the MayMac world tour, I kind of get the feeling that it may be a case of “you have to be careful what you wish for”.
Sure, this fight will most definitely be the biggest in combat sports history, but is it really worth it? Will it really help the world of combat sports or will it leave most people with a sour aftertaste in their mouth?
These little back and forth jabs that they use, calling each other “b***h” and “ho” and throwing money at each other like you would at strippers, it all just reinforces the fact that combat sports is a man’s world. Women don’t belong here and they are not as good as men. Was this a good tactic to use in order to sell the fight or was it another bump in the road in the acceptance of women’s fighting?