Ever since the Floyd Mayweather v Conor McGregor fight was floated, the guy at the desk next to me has been an insufferable buzzkill. “Never gonna happen,” he sighs, irritably, every time we even so much as attempt to bring up the first fight in years that us normies in the rest of the office can take an interest in.
“If you knew anything about boxing,” he seethes, in between rattling off all the ‘ESPN documentaries’ he’s watched and retelling the anecdote of the time he once interviewed David Haye in which he paints them as actual friends, “then you’d know that if it were to happen, which it isn’t, then Mayweather, the best technical boxer in history, will beat McGregor, a failed boxer, at boxing in seconds. But it’s not going to happen though, it’s just a big PR stunt, so this is a pointless debate.”
Needless to say, every step closer it’s crept to Actually Happening, the more incredulous he’s become, and the more delighted that’s made me. In fact, I’m increasingly convinced it might be going ahead specifically to spite him, a man who has spent an inordinate amount of his life devouring every single Google search result for ‘boxing long-reads’. It’s a truly stupid match-up, the product of know-nothing idiots like me willing it into existence simply to annoy the boxing purists who regard the noble pursuit of ‘smashing another person about the head until they collapse and suffer long-lasting internal rupture’ as though it’s a dignified artform – a kind of violent ballet – which ought to be respected, and not reduced to the base spectacle of ‘just watching someone get battered out of extreme hubris’. It’s a fight predicated on someone going, “I reckon I could have the best boxer ever because he’s old”, and experts going “don’t do this” and him going “well I’m gonna”, and I love it.
But why draw the line there? If our collective bloodlust is enough to force a fight between two humans of incompatible disciplines, what if we introduced a machine? What if we introduced the greatest fighting machine of all time*? What if we introduced Hypno-Disc?
*It’s Hypno-Disc. I’m not backing down on this. Hypno-Disc is the greatest fighting machine of all time. I don’t care about your smartarse “Um, don’t you mean [Fictional Robot From Movies]?” timewasting whataboutery crap. I don’t care if it regularly broke down at the most crucial moments. I don’t care if it had a rudimentary weakness in that flipping it over rendered it essentially useless. I don’t care if it didn’t ever ‘win’ Robot Wars while others (always the fucking flipping ones) triumphed. Robot Wars was judged on ‘control, style, damage and aggression’ and – in the field of machine fighting – Hypno-Disc pioneered all four. And it did it with a certain flair, an electrifying Muhammad Ali-esque arrogance, an exhilarating Muhammad Ali-esque panache, a tenacious Muhammad Ali-esque** desire. Plus the spinning disk weapon was so sick. Chaos 2 sucks. Fuck off Chaos 2.
**My frame of reference for boxing largely begins and ends with ‘Muhammad Ali’.
Given that all that being a ‘promoter’ seems to entail these days is floating the dumbest idea you can think of, and then having it actually happen, assume that my merely suggesting this triple threat means it’s definitely going ahead, so it’s basically already time to get into the business of making informed predictions.
Now, a more constrained imagination than mine (i.e. the lads who have have put this Mayweather v McGregor event together) might only be able to conceive of one match, but I’m suggesting three. See, it seems to me that Conor McGregor has missed a fairly obvious trick in not simply challenging Floyd Mayweather to fight him MMA style, which McGregor – the reigning UFC Lightweight and Featherweight champion – would almost certainly win. Without giving each fighter the opportunity to compete on their own turf, we surrender the opportunity to find out who is the best among them.
As such, I envisage there being three separate pay-per-view events, in three different equally-respected disciplines: Boxing, UFC and Robot Wars.
Floyd Mayweather v Conor McGregor v Hypno-Disc
Right, this is an immediately tricky one, as it’s quite hard to work out what would constitute Hypno-Disc’s ‘fists’.
I guess it would have to be the two blades at either end of its flywheel, so you’d have to put a glove on each. It’s hard to say how much of a nullifying effect blunting its primary weapon would have, but the disc itself can spin at up to 750rpm. That means it could ‘punch’ you 25 times a second (each ‘fist’ managing 12.5), which would be pretty bruising if it got in behind its human opponents’ gloves and started thwacking them about the face.
However, this seems quite unlikely given that Hypno-Disc only clears 0.47 metres – in contrast to the respective 1.73m and 1.75m of Mayweather and McGregor – and has little means by which to propel itself off the ground. This would certainly make ‘punching’ either opponent above the belt extremely difficult, and it’d have to exercise a lot of caution not to be almost immediately disqualified hacking the two flesh-and-blood fighters’ legs to pieces here.
That doesn’t necessarily discount it from the fight. If the robot went defensive, retreating to the edges of the ring instead of piling in and throwing punches, it would force the other two onto the offensive. How do you score points against Hypno-Disc? What counts as its ‘belt’? Presumably everything below the disc, which means you’ve got to land punches on the disc, and it’s certainly wouldn’t be illegal to for Hypno-Disc to retaliate fist-for-fist in such an exchange.
McGregor is certainly the more cavalier of the two, and the Irishman’s propensity to steam in wildly with the jab would probably see his hands ripped clean off. This would certainly compound McGregor’s starting boxing-disadvantage, and it’s hard to see him being able to parry Mayweather’s calculated assaults with flailing stumps. Maybe he’d be able to aim some of the blood spurting from the ends of his wrists in Mayweather’s eyes, but I reckon the American could dispatch him with an accurate uppercut to the kisser, particularly as the debilitating blood loss would make McGregor decidedly groggy and liable to go down.
So, down to two, could Hypno-Disc beat the best defensive boxer ever at boxing? No. I’ve looked at the data and crunched the numbers, and according to the Robot Wars Wiki, Hypno-Disc’s top speed is 10mph. Mayweather may be getting on a bit, but 10mph is actually not that fast at all. Usain Bolt runs nearly three times faster. If you could run the 100 metres in under 30 seconds, which professional athlete Floyd Mayweather probably can, you’re basically faster than Hypno-Disc. Given that the robot is already committed to lying in waiting, it’s either going to have to go in all-guns-blazing and get itself disqualified, or have Mayweather dance around behind and haymaker it right in the disc.
Winner: Floyd Mayweather
Everyone I know who’s ‘into UFC’ always tries to get me into it by recommending ‘fights’ where it’s completely indecipherable what’s going on. To describe it would be to detail an incredibly tedious couple of minutes where two fighters, as far as I can tell, hold each other tightly until one is adjudged to have held the other tight enough to have won.
Anyway, it’s fought in octagonal cage, which is pretty cool, and it’s no-holds-barred - with only eye-gouging and biting ‘not allowed’, which is also cool.
Hypno-Disc isn’t likely to fall foul to either of these, and so the other two are now trapped in a steel cage with a mechanised Beyblade. How are you going to put Hypno-Disc in an ‘armbar’ Mr McGregor, you cocksure oaf? It’ll tear you to shreds like a tenner in a washing machine. And how you’re going to protect that 49-0 undefeated streak when your opponents don’t have to obey arbitrary rules like ‘nothing below the waist’, and ‘only fists allowed’, and ‘your opponent can’t be a powersaw mounted atop a steel box on wheels’, Mr Mayweather, you coward.
Again, Mayweather probably has the guile to last a bit longer, but both humans are getting sliced into molecules of salami.
“Um, this is stupid. Obviously, Hypno-Disc will win Robot Wars. I’m not even going to read this section.” You sound like that clown I sit next to. Think for a goddamn second, you blinkered fool.
Did Hypno-Disc ever win Robot Wars? No, it didn’t. Because it couldn’t help itself. It slashed the other, lesser, robots to ribbons, and then got cocky. Instead of finishing the job, it would start showboating, goading the House Robots and activating the pit. Then it would promptly malfunction and get punted into the pit by another robot that had just about been able to keep its motor running, despite consisting of of two bits of fiberglass covered in fur and held together by a staple. Hypno-Disc is the proverbial hare of Robot Wars, and its opponents the tortoise.***
***An ironic dichotomy, given Hypno-Disc’s tortoise-like inability to right itself when turned onto its back
After disemboweling Mayweather and McGregor a fair bit, I’d imagine Hypno-Disc would turn attentions to psyching out Matilda, at which point it would stall, allowing one of the two humans to simply pick it up and chuck it into the pit, punctuated by a shrill yelp from Jonathan Pearce on comms duties. A shock, perhaps, but only if you’re not a scholar of the Robot Wars.
With their titanium foe dispatched, the two humans would turn their attentions to one another. Here it’s important to note that a Robot Wars battle only lasts three minutes, which doesn’t give you long to achieve a knockout. It’s also important to note that McGregor once knocked out an opponent in four seconds, and Mayweather managed the same in a more legitimate sport in 72. However, it’s important to note that under Robot Wars rules, a competitor can only be ruled ‘immobilised’ if they are completely inactive for 10 seconds. This would mean one of the two men would have to kill the other, for 10 seconds at least, in order to score a knockout. Frankly, as someone who has watched their fair share of Robot Wars in between Neighbours and The Simpsons, and so knows what they’re talking about. I can’t see it happening.
This means it would go down to the judges’ decision, which is scored – as we know – on style, control, damageand aggression.
Style: If my much-maligned colleague is correct, Floyd Mayweather’s technical ability in the boxing ring is unrivalled, which probably means his fighting style is one which would get the judges purring. Yet, can you see him running up to the House Robots and then performing a crowd-pleasing Irish jig in front of Sergeant Bash as it desperately tries to set his feet alight? I’m sorry, but if you can, you need to stop tooting the green horn and get talking to Frank, you addled mess. Winner: Conor McGregor
Control: Who is the more likely to unnecessarily lash out at RefBot and boot his little countdown timer screen in? McGregor. Winner: Floyd Mayweather.
Damage: Tough. Ultimately, you’re asking “Would the greatest boxer of all time dent Matilda’s chassis with his fists alone more than someone who knows how to fight using their entire body?” It’s a fair question, but one which I think you’ve already answered. “Could an MMA-fighter who excels at a ‘sport’ that seems mostly to do with being held tightly fare better against Dead Metal’s vice-like pincers better than a guy who only knows that ‘clinching’ means the ref will break up the fight?” Again, you know the answer. Winner: Conor McGregor
Aggression: Floyd Mayweather’s defensive prowess won’t help him here. ‘Blocking’ on onslaught from Sir Killalot’s lance is – and I’m not afraid to say this – loser behaviour, and not in the spirit of things. Meanwhile, say what you like about Conor McGregor – chiefly “he’s not a boxer” if you’re this godforsaken pedant I sit next to – but he at least has the fearlessness to attempt to out-box the greatest boxer of all time, just to prove a point that literally no one asked him to. As such, you know he wouldn’t think twice about leaping on Killalot’s back, riding it like a bucking bronco and wooping “yipee-ki-yay motherfucker!” as he indiscriminately yanked at the electrical cabling inside. Now that’s a clear act of aggression in anyone’s book – be they boxer, MMA-fighter, human or robot – and one that Noel Sharkey would absolutely sagely nod his head in approval of. Winner: Conor McGregor
Winner by judges’ decision: Conor McGregor