Saturday’s megafight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor is widely considered a one-sided mismatch, though it’ll likely be the biggest event in combat sports history.
However, a group of ringside doctors are worried it could be dangerous… for McGregor.
The Association of Ringside Physicians say that McGregor’s health could be in danger. “We were very surprised this bout was even sanctioned and was going to be permitted to carry on,” Larry Lovelace, president of the organization, told the New York Times. “The thing I really fear, truly fear, is that somebody’s going to get really hurt in this upcoming fight.”
Despite McGregor’s mixed martial arts expertise, he’s yet to compete with a professional boxer in a sanctioned fight. So, the question is: Is he really qualified?
The report points out a June fight involving 34-year-old former MMA fighter Tim Hague, who suffered fatal injuries against Adam Braidwood during a sanctioned boxing match in Edmonton, Alberta. It was his fourth boxing match, Hague was severely outclassed by Braidwood, who took a one-punch knockout victory in the second round.
After the fight, Hague was hospitalized and died two days later in an Edmonton hospital.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission, however, doesn’t have the same concerns, because it views McGregor’s physical attributes as a means to balance out the wide gap in boxing experience.
“If you look at him today versus Floyd Mayweather, Conor is the taller, longer, stronger, more powerful opponent,” said Bob Bennett, executive director of the commission. “He’s also a southpaw, which makes it a little more difficult for a conventional fighter. He’s 12 years younger than Floyd.”
In the NY Times article, the publication questioned whether the Nevada commission may have a financial interest in the fight, which may have been the reason it sanctioned the fight. The state receives 8 percent of the gross revenue from every ticket sold at a boxing event in Nevada, and the commission gets 25 percent of that amount.
“As a regulator, I take offense to the fact that we’re approving this fight for fiduciary reasons,” Bennett said. “That’s totally unfair, and it’s simply not true.”
Mayweather is guaranteed a $100 million purse in the fight, while McGregor is guaranteed $30 million.