If it does, the matchup could energize both sports – or turn into another spectacle high on glitz and low on action, like Mayweather’s much-hyped but mostly boring win over Manny Pacquiao two years ago.
On paper, the bout in a sense represents a return to the roots of MMA, where one of the great appeals (aside from the obvious: potentially seeing people beating each other up) was comparing divergent fighting styles live and in color.
For better or for worse, MMA’s move into the mainstream over the past decade has coincided with the sport evolving into one in which most fighters have similar styles if varying talents.
Everyone can has some wrestling skills, can box at least a little and has at least basic knowledge of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Meanwhile, boxing’s problems over the last couple of decades are well-documented.
Although it remains a multi-billion dollar industry able to stage lucrative pay-per-views, the Sweet Science’s hold on popular culture is nothing compared to what it was when champions such as Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis and Mike Tyson were considered the baddest men on the planet.
McGregor and Mayweather are both adept self-promotors and both stand above their sports to a certain degree, so the proposed mega fight could lead to all kinds of interesting subplots.
If it happens.