We are only three weeks away from witnessing history, as current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight champion Conor McGregor will step into the boxing ring to face the best boxer of this generation in Floyd Mayweather on Aug. 26, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Still, the bout hasn’t been received with open arms by everyone. And the man who approved the fight, Bob Bennett — who is the Nevada State athletic Commission (NSAC) — didn’t have an easy task when deciding whether to regulate the bout or not. And he knows why some people are upset.
“I understand completely,” Bennett told the Nevada Appeal. “(Boxing and MMA) are two completely different disciplines. But as a regulator this ended up on my desk and I had to find a way to approve or not approve it. In this day and age you have to change with the times.”
For Bennett, it was all about making a fight between two talented warriors for the world to enjoy
“This is a fight between two warriors,” he said. “It’s an approvable boxing match. I see no reason not to approve it. McGregor has not one amateur fight (as a boxer). I understand your position. But first off, McGregor is the taller, larger, longer, stronger, younger fighter.”
The fact that Conor holds some physical advantages over “Money” makes up for his lack of boxing experience, says Bennett. Also, since Mayweather is up in age, it sort of evens out the playing field.
“No one is the same at 40 or 35,” Bennett said. “There are enough reasons that Conor is an approvable, worthy opponent. He’s primarily known in the MMA as a striker. He’s arguably the best MMA fighter out there.”
Still, Bennett assures that this fight is just a one-off, and doesn’t expect it to be the norm moving forward, at least not in Las Vegas. Furthermore, Bob says he takes full responsibility for the fight and is accountable for it.
And though many are upset at him for seemingly giving Floyd a layup to break Rocky Marciano’s unbeaten record, as they are tied with 49 wins and no losses, Bennett stands by his decision.
“I’m not going to win any popularity contests,” Bennett said. “But I try to do the right thing and hold myself accountable,” he concluded.
And judging by this report, it seems not a lot of fans are in a hurry to shell out the bi bucks to see it in person.