You may have a view on boxing. It may not be positive. It may even follow some politically correct, whatever I’m told to think narrative that sweetly sails into a sleepily secure mindset.
The man I’m about to introduce you to needs no introduction. He is divisive. Depending on your view; obnoxious, cocky, belligerent or downright despicable. He doesn’t care. The more energy you spend hating him, the more you tell people you hate him, the more his “notoriety”spreads, the more tickets he sells and the more money he makes.
He is the dictionary definition of Rudyard kipling’s “IF”
For 100 million dollars, are you willing to be punched in the face by one of the best boxers alive? Well, would you?
Can you change the dress and fashion sense of a country in less than a year?
Could you put a video on Instagram and have 2 million people watch it?
Could you bring mixed martial arts to Madison Square Garden?
Does Ronaldo come to watch you workout?
McGregor is many things, but of all those things, his quality is quality – he is nobody’s fool.
His primary ability is to meet challenge and stand square in the face of adversity. He may be mocked and derided in equal measure, squawked at, spit upon and scorned by folks with little of his wit and none of his charm. Yet those who hate him cannot deny that he stood tallest in outright defeat.
His gift is wit and precision, both verbally and pugilistically. A left paw and a jackdaw’s caw. He is wise beyond his 29 years. He is fleet footed fighter, father, friend and foe. He was a champion before he ever set foot in the ring – but that sells him short. He crafted, grafted, chiseled and scraped, moulding a missing cultural archetype of sculptured masculinity.
He didn’t come from the barrio or the favela. His choice was his own.
He exchanged plumbing for rolling around on the ground with fat sweaty men. He followed his dream. Yet, he is all business. Not many can call the shots with the mighty UFC …the little leprechaun did. He may yet bring them an even bigger pot of gold.
Whatever happens this week, McGregor has made millions because people will pay money to watch a mouthy man (or woman) be punched in the face. Kings and princes will attend. Blood will be spilled. Money men will bet on both sides. Journalists will have two copies of the same story ready, just in case. But McGregor wins by simply walking in. He is The Show.
McGregor. An Icon.