The Way It Is And Not Much Else
By Rich Davidson
May’s Topic: Sean Sherk vs. Floyd Mayweather
Saturday night marks the return to the ring of Oscar de la Hoya as he defends his 154lb. title against super arrogant yet super-talented Floyd Mayweather Jr. in one of boxing’s only “mega fights” in recent memory. The luster of the mega fight was and is a big draw for the sport of boxing for decades but has been on the decline lately due to oversized pay outs and an undersized marketable talent pool.
MMA on the other hand is doing huge business with this strategy as a mega fight takes place almost once a month. Enter Sean Sherk. More importantly, enter Dana White. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s old news that Floyd Mayweather, true to his form, has bad-mouthed MMA in numerous media, essentially calling it second rate to boxing. And that’s a very nice way of putting it.
In this fight, you have all the ingredients for possibly the highest drawing pay-per-view in history, in any form of sport or sports entertainment for that matter. You have Floyd Mayweather, who people love to hate, trash talking the fastest growing sport in the world. You have MMA fan favorite Sean Sherk, an all-American wrestler chiseled out of stone with the UFC’s lightweight title on one shoulder and a chip on the other. His boxing skills aren’t bad either by the way. The blasting cap in the equation is debatable genius Dana White, who is seeing dollar signs and not much of a downside to such a fight taking place.
For anyone who follows the sport to any degree, this is the reality of the situation.
For this fight to take place, Mayweather’s pay check would be ridiculous to that of any previous pay out ever issued in MMA. However, his fee would undoubtebly be a tiny percentage of what this pay per view would actually gross in sales worldwide. His pay would dwarf that of Sean Sherk’s in this fight. But what Sherk will lack in pay, he’ll make up for in the way of basically crushing boxing on an international platform. Because that’s what would happen. An educated fan can’t really argue other wise. Decent boxing, great wrestling, unstoppable takedowns, and vicious ground and pound would be too much for Mayweather to handle.
In order for “pretty boy Floyd” to weather the storm, he would have to seriously learn the fundamentals of MMA in the UFC. Staying off the cage, takedown defense, and escapes from the bottom position are just a start.
The Way It Is: Remember that boxer in UFC 1 wearing one boxing glove thrown out of his element and into the deep end and immediately humbled by a game Royce Gracie? Same thing, except it’s not Gracie in the water with Mayweather, it’s the Muscle Shark. Mayweather is probably too arrogant to take this fight seriously or even learn the basics of mixed martial arts, and as a result the already teetering sport of boxing would take a serious blow that it doesn’t want or need. As much as you want this fight to happen, do you really think the brains behind boxing would want all of North America to watch one of their only remaining genuine stars be eaten alive by a real fighter while paying Zuffa $40 a shot to see it?
The answer is a resounding no. If the stars align and it does happen, it won’t be pretty. Boxing is a great sport with a rich history, but it just doesn’t stack up against mixed martial arts. It’s like an NFL team playing a European soccer team in a game of American football. This fight will prove it.