Tristar Gym head coach Firas Zahabi made headlines Tuesday when, during an appearance on the “JRE MMA Show,” he said he’s been actively encouraging Georges St-Pierre to pursue a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.
“I want Georges to fight Mayweather,” Zahabi, who’s trained St-Pierre out of Montreal for many years, told Joe Rogan. “I keep bothering Georges, ‘You fight Mayweather. You fight him.’ He’s like, ‘It’s crazy.’ I know it’s crazy.”
But is it really that crazy?
To be fair, this is just Zahabi talking and not St-Pierre. The former UFC two-division champion hasn’t mentioned a desire to venture into boxing, let alone challenge the greatest boxer of his generation. All we know right now is that St-Pierre believes he will fight again, despite UFC President Dana White’s claim earlier this month that he is retired and “not interested in fighting anybody.”
Whether he has an interest in Mayweather (50-0 boxing) is anybody’s guess. But if St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) did want that fight, here are three reasons why it’d be an absurd idea that makes no sense and three reasons why it actually would make some sense.
Why it’s an absurd idea that makes no sense
1. He has no chance of winning.
And I mean zero. None. St-Pierre has (cue Vince McMahon’s voice) no chance in hell of beating Mayweather in boxing, not even with a natural size advantage (What weight would this fight take place at?). St-Pierre’s boxing ability is great by MMA standards, but it might as well be George Costanza in the ring with Mayweather. There’s a reason MMA oddsmaker Joey Oddessa said Mayweather “could easily be” a -10,000 (100-to-1) favorite. There’s just no comparison.
2. His legacy means too much to him.
If you agree with what I just said above, then St-Pierre would take a huge risk of being embarrassed by a smaller fighter, which is the kind of thing that could ruin his legacy. Consider St-Pierre’s explanation for why a previously rumored fight against Nate Diaz was full of downside.
“The (critics) will say, ‘He’s a bully. He fought a smaller guy that competes at a smaller (division),” St-Pierre said. “A lot of (lightweight) guys are bigger than me right now. He’s about the same size as me, but because I compete at 170 for most of my career, it will make me look bad. It will make me look like a bully. And this is if I win decisively.
“If I win, and it’s a war back and forth, people will say, ‘Ah, he sucks.’ If I get beat? Oh my God, forget it. For my legacy it’s the end of the work I put in. It’s finished. And I could have a bad day.”
All of that logic seemingly would apply to a matchup with an even smaller Mayweather.
3. There are big-time MMA fights waiting for him.
St-Pierre, who hasn’t fought since winning the middleweight title from Michael Bisping last November, can come back to the UFC and jump right into whatever high-profile fight he wants basically.
He’s been called out by lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. And there’s the possibility of a super fight with fellow former two-division champ Conor McGregor. White was all about St-Pierre vs. Diaz happening, so he’d probably also be on board with any of those matchups, too.
When you consider those three options and what wins over either of them would mean for his legacy, there’s just no reason to chase after a Mayweather boxing match.
Why it’s not a bad idea and actually makes some sense
1. He has nothing left to prove in MMA.
The thing about the legacy argument is that it can work both ways. St-Pierre, in my opinion and the opinions of many others, is the greatest UFC fighter of all time. He ruled the welterweight division for six years and beat all challengers for his title, then returned after four years away to claim the middleweight title in his comeback fight. At age 37, there is literally nothing left for him to prove his greatness in our sport.
So, when you look at it that way, a new challenge boxing Mayweather could be of interest.
2. McGregor did it and lasted 10 rounds.
McGregor didn’t beat Mayweather in their blockbuster bout last summer, didn’t even come close. But he lasted until the 10th round before he was TKO’d, a performance that has been viewed by many as something of a triumph, considering McGregor had zero boxing experience.
It’s possible St-Pierre looks at that and goes, “I could do better. I could beat Mayweather.” I mean, Mayweather is 41 and not getting any younger.
But as I’ve mentioned above, St-Pierre would be wrong to think that. Then again, you don’t become a legend in combat sports by shying away from a challenge.
3. He’ll get paid big money.
I believe St-Pierre when he says “money isn’t the only thing that drives me.” But the payday St-Pierre would earn from a Mayweather fight would be more than he’s ever made for a single bout by a wide margin. Even if Mayweather vs. St-Pierre did half the pay-per-view buys of Mayweather vs. McGregor, he’d still be looking at tens of millions. Money might not be the only thing that drives him, but money talks.
| Title: Floyd Mayweather should be -10,000 favorite over Georges St-Pierre
| Author: MMAjunkie
| Date: June 202018