Floyd Money Mayweather and Conor Notorious McGregor (no, that’s not a typo) are scheduled to fight Saturday, August 26, 2017 in Las Vegas, NV for boxing supremacy. Boxing purists have been up in arms scowling the fact Conor has never been in a professional boxing match and doesn’t stand even a chance to land a single punch, let alone make it past the first round on Michigan native’s self-described, The Best Ever (TBE). They laugh out loud at the ridiculous notion Conor can take punches from a real boxer, especially one who has been a champion for 20 years. They point to the fact in 2013, Floyd shutout an up and coming boxing star, Canelo Alvarez, whereas in 2013 Conor McGregor was training to become a plumber! In other words, too many leaks in his faucet to be taken seriously.
But are things literally as black and white as the fighters make it out to be? The first half of 2017 has turned out to be a peculiar year for sports. Usain Bolt, the fastest human who hadn’t lost for 9 straight years lost in 2017, by pulling a hamstring that propelled him face down onto the track in his very last race. Mo Farah, arguably the greatest distance runner having won 10 consecutive global finals, was edged out in 2017 in his last major run by an unknown runner who even dared to display Mo’s signature Mobot gesture at the finish line. Is the great Floyd Mayweather next in his “last fight”? Is it the year of the underdog? See Jeff Horn head butting his way to a gift victory over Manny Pacquiao. What sports surprises will the second half of the year pose? We don’t have too long to find out.
They say history repeats itself, so what lessons can we take away from history as a predictor of future events? Let’s start with the new kid on the block, Conor McGregor, who apparently comes from a long line of scrappy warriors. The McGregor lineage traces back to Scotland in the 1500s and the clan’s motto, ‘S Rioghal Mo Dhream, means “Royal is our race”, reflects the family’s claimed connection to Celtic royalty. The skinny is that the McGregor’s fought for and helped win Scottish independence. However, their property was redistributed to another family by the ruling class, thus beginning centuries-long skirmishes. In Ireland, the McGregors demonstrated resiliency as they survived the Irish Potato Famine which saw 1.5 million people starve to death or die of disease. Conor’s great-great grandfather, Albert McGregor, rose from the harsh streets and joined the military. All this points to a family gene that’s faced wars and extinction, thus Conor simply represents the most resilient and heroic member of the clan, which he alluded to in a tweet, “I am simply doing what my ancestors were doing long before me.” Surviving!