Life is a blessing when you’re afforded the luxury of being paid for doing what you truly love for a living. In Sports, many of the greatest athletes were born with physical attributes that supersede their peers. At the same time, mental toughness and self-confidence is also a gift that can transform a good athlete into a great competitor. Conor McGregor is a testament to hard work and perseverance which makes him a great competitor. On August 26, 2017, McGregor became a legend in Professional Sports. I’ve personally never seen a rise to international fame happen in the manner in which I’ve seen with McGregor.
I’m sure some readers will question the notion of my previous statements. You are probably thinking to yourself “He lost to Floyd Mayweather by technical knockout in the 10th round last night.” Yes, Conor McGregor was defeated but he has garnered the utmost respect from me. Several years ago in Ireland McGregor was barely making it financially. In most cases he was considered poor. A lot of professional fighters regardless of the discipline (Boxing, MMA, Karate etc...) come from humble beginnings. I believe this provides these individuals with a hunger that the average athlete can’t understand. These competitors literally put their lives on the line each time they clock in.
As for the fight, this was a historic event matching the current Pound for Pound Boxing Champion against a current Champion in the UFC. Boxing purist already knew what the outcome would be but die hard McGregor fans actually thought he was going to defeat the most gifted boxer in the last 30 years and one of the Top 5-10 fighters in the history of the sport. I laughed at the comments on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube Videos leading up to the fight. The one thing I miscalculated was the heart and desire of Conor McGregor.
By signing this fight, McGregor’s life financially should never be the same. Conor could have simply showed up and collected his check. A true fighter and warrior has too much pride to fold over without effort. The pre-fight press conferences and circus was for entertainment purposes only so I didn’t get caught up in the shenanigans. As a contact sport enthusiast, I always wait for the combatants to talk with their fist, not a microphone. Conor came in the ring focused, confident and ready to engage. The first 3 rounds had me on the edge of my couch because his size and aggression was giving Floyd problems. I truly believe he won the first 3 rounds and maybe one additional round as well. This is actually quite amazing for a UFC Champion in his first professional boxing match.
At the end of the day, Floyd systematically took McGregor apart but the world saw legit competition. Conor is a tough guy. Conor is a fighter. Conor is not a chump and he didn’t rob his fans or the country of Ireland. Conor can go back to the UFC with his head held high and a bank account that affords him the riches of life. His personality and following allowed him to be chosen to fight a legendary fighter. Yes, he made a few comments during the promotional tour that generated some criticism to his character but this is pretty normal with a lot of big fights throughout history. I have no emotional connection with regard to athletes. I strictly deal with the numbers. After the referee stopped the fight in the 10th round last night, I don’t believe there were any losers. I also don’t believe the fans were cheated either. Conor McGregor gained my respect because the dude came to back up his words. I mean, all we have is our word.
Tony Hanes, Blogger