Friday, August 25, 2017

Floyd Mayweather Jr. versus Conor McGregor

T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV, Aug. 26
TV: Showtime PPV
By Peter Lim

Let's face it; anyone who thinks this is a real fight that might even be remotely competitive is borderline delusional. Imagine the fastest wide receiver in the NFL challenging Usain Bolt to a 100-meter race; that's how much of a mismatch this amounts to.

Explosive sprinting is a major component of the wide receiver's job description but he also has to catch the ball, sidestep, break tackles and make tackles. Bolt on the other hand, has only had to run in a straight line for a fixed distance as fast as he can for his entire career.

Likewise, boxing is a major component of McGregor's sport, but he also has had to kick, wrestle, grapple, apply choke holds and defend himself against all those maneuvers. Since he was a preteen, Mayweather has specialized in boxing, and boxing only, winning an Olympic bronze in the amateurs and going undefeated in 49 pro fights.

From a pugilistic standpoint, the ball will be in Mayweather's court for the entirety of the fight. Even at age 40 and coming off a two-year layoff, he will be able to end the fight as and when he pleases, including in the opening round. But Mayweather duped the public, and perhaps even McGregor, into believing that this is a legitimate competition so he will keep up that illusion and carry McGregor into the middle rounds.

He might even allow McGregor to unleash a flurry or two along the way while avoiding any direct hits with his signature shoulder roll. He begins to exert his superiority in the fifth round and hurts McGregor with a few well-placed shots to the body. In the sixth round, McGregor's inexperience in the ring becomes painfully obvious as leaves himself wide open for a body-head combination that sends him to the canvass for the full count.

Both Mayweather and McGregor will walk away with millions from their ultimate con job, but it will mark one of the darkest days of combat sports. Hopefully, fans will learn from this travesty and will never again be fooled again by a hype-over-substance ruse of this magnitude.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Terence Crawford vs. Julius Indongo

Pinnacle Bank Arena, Omaha, NE, Aug. 19
By Peter Lim

At this juncture of his career, Terence Crawford (31-0, 22 KOs) is a class or two above everyone in the 140-pound division. But from a style standpoint, no one stands a better chance of pulling off an upset against him as the tall, rangy and awkward Julius Indongo (22-0, 11 KOs).

Indongo, 34, came out of nowhere (Namibia is as close to nowhere as you can get) over the last eight months to capture two of the four junior welterweight belts. (Crawford owns the other two). A southpaw, he fights at fights at a frenetic pace, bouncing around on springy legs while firing long, whippersnapper punches from crazy angles. It will give Crawford fits in the early rounds.

By the fifth round, though, Crawford would have figured out his style, kills his rhythm by smothering him in clinches and begins delivering strategic punches upstairs and down. Crawford's accurate shots to Indongo's beanpole torso gradually takes its toll as he systematically breaks the African down with a combination of finesse and fury.

Indongo's legs begin to betray him in the late rounds rendering him more or less a stationary target for the sharpshooting Crawford who clinically dissects and stops him in the tenth round.