Colorful boxing trainer and fight commentator Teddy Atlas recently offered a prediction for a boxing match between UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor and the greatest boxer of his generation Floyd Mayweather.
“If McGregor really can’t win the fight standing up, under [boxing] rules — and those would be the rules — then why would he take it?” asked Atlas, as transcribed by Anton Tabuena for BE. “Because he would break the rules.”
“He would come in there, he would break the rules, he would pin pin him, and then he would proclaim himself as the ‘king of the ring.’ Even though he might lose the purse money, his brand would go through the roof.
“He’s a promotional genius, just like Floyd is, just like Muhammad Ali was. Nobody is thinking of that part of it. Floyd, before he puts his John Hancock on any contract, he better think that part of it.”
Atlas’s analysis is wise.
If you are Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather is outclassing you horribly, why not shoot a double, slam Money to the canvas so hard there is a KO, and then take the DQ? The photo that goes out to the world is Mayweather curled up in a ball having learned what being hit by the planet Earth feels like, with McGregor standing, triumphant, with his arms upraised.
If McGregor is going to lose, why not take the DQ? He’d probably get suspended, but the suspension might not carry over to MMA anyway.
“instincts kicked in,” McGregor would say. “I’m really sorry. Let’s have a rematch. This time I won’t slam him. I promise.”
In this case, cheating would be the smart thing to do. And Conor McGregor is smart.