Mayweather, McGregor, Cotto and Kamegai: Saturday Night SeethingWritten by Marc Livitz
It's finally over.
The short awaited clash of combat cultures between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor is now a part of history, perhaps good, bad or somewhere in between.
How often does a professional boxing match come complete with red carpet treatment and celebrities galore at its doorstep? The pomp and pageantry looked more like the Academy Awards and of course, various sports networks were all too eager to display its mighty glare.
Some may have wondered where our sport went for the evening. If we didn't know any better, then we may be led to believe that many didn't care about the contest itself. They just wanted to be seen because they're nowhere to be found when less inflated bouts take place.
There's not much need to rehash what occurred in the catchweight bout for temporary supremacy. We know Floyd hit fifty wins without a loss and McGregor went out standing up, after which social media and sports radio minds were awash with opinions.
Somehow, going out standing up is less commendable than being laid out on the canvas. Not to worry, for these voices won't be around in less than three weeks when the middleweight division may get its best fight in quite some time. Hopefully, they'll fade as quickly as McGregor's jab did on Saturday evening in Las Vegas.
There is, however a point that must be made in regards to the contest itself and one which took place a few hundred miles away in Carson, California.
Many people scratched their collective noggins when Golden Boy Promotions announced that former four division champion Miguel Cotto would end his nearly two year hiatus to face Yoshihiro Kamegai on August 26.
Wait, August 26?
Isn't that the same night as 'The Biggest Fight in Combat Sports' was set to take place? Yes, but it went ahead as planned. The crowd at the StubHub Center in Carson was listed at 7,689, which just about matches the number of empty seats at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Monday should be interesting indeed. Sports jocks who rarely give boxing a second look will clamor for the attention they'll receive when it comes to the Mayweather/McGregor bonanza. The hype seemed unprecedented. There were post fight radio programs which stretched into Sunday afternoon. Did anyone call in to discuss Miguel Cotto winning his sixth world title?
He effectively pummeled Kamegai en route to a near landslide victory. Ringside scores were tallied at 119-109, 118-110 and 120-108.
Regardless of how much sports fans chose to call Floyd and Conor's clash a farce, a setup or the like, some attention should be thrown in the direction of Cotto's well scripted capture of the vacant WBO junior middleweight world title. Legions of boxing fans as well as scribes insisted that they wouldn't be spending the cash for the pay TV contest in Las Vegas. Rather, they'd sit at home and watch Cotto's contest on HBO.
Fair enough but let's look to even the playing field here, so to speak.
Floyd Mayweather came out of retirement (again) to face a man he knew he could beat and proceeded to put on a different kind of boxing clinic than had been the case so many times in the past. Many called it and most weren't far off. "Notorious" McGregor would go for the knockout if possible and look to befuddle "Money" from the opening bell. Some will say he did, yet he tired out.
Between rounds, he was being iced down as if he was auditioning for the next installment of 'Universal Soldier'. That's not usually a good sign. The Irish warrior was out of gas, perhaps due to the fact that he rehydrated himself from 153 all the way up to 170 pounds in a bit more than 24 hours. Marcos Maidana tried to do the same with Floyd Mayweather in 2014 and it didn't work, yet "Chino" Maidana was able to keep his hands up and defend himself. Conor McGregor was able to do no such thing.
What part of "protect yourself at all times" is being missed here? End game, no argument.
Lastly, what was so great about Cotto's win over Kamegai? Did he capture another world title? Yes, albeit a vacant one. Although all fighters across all disciplines deserve respect and admiration for their collective courage,
Kamegai was on no one's pound-for-pound list and examination of his boxing ledger would prove such an assertion. He'd lost two of his last six fights prior to Saturday, including clear unanimous decision defeats to Robert Guerrero and Alfonso Gomez, respectively. He needed two fights to get past Jesus Soto Karass. If we're being honest here, then perhaps the Japanese slugger was the prefect opponent for Cotto, who hadn't fought since being topped by Canelo Alvarez in November of 2015.
After back to back losses in 2012 (Floyd Mayweather and Austin Trout), Cotto's resume reads as such: a stoppage win over a decrepit and worn down Sergio Martinez sandwiched in between journeymen in Delvin Rodriguez and Daniel Geale. This was enough to earn him a showdown with Canelo in 2015 and the 'Mexico vs Puerto Rico' angle was expertly spun. That didn't go as planned, yet Saturday's clash for the vacant WBO strap was a proverbial ace in the hole. Consider this before placing it several classes above the 154 pound catchweight bout that went down in Sin City. Pick your poison, just know how to effectively mix it. In any case, congratulations to Cotto. He's a sure fire legend and certain Hall of Fame lock.
Regardless and as was mentioned previously, it's all over. Helpfully, the September 16 mega bout between Canelo and Gennady Golovkin will be one to remember. The undercard may need some work, but there's still time.
Until then, we'll just have to wait. That's normal.
Cotto vs Kamegai highlights