Sports

Mayweather-McGregor? Saturday’s sucker-punch fest a far more interesting boxing story

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Few can argue against the fact that boxing is lacking punch these days.

In fact, the sport’s most intriguing story line is whether the long-rumored match between boxing great Floyd Mayweather Jr. and UFC star Conor McGregor will actually come to fruition.

That was until Saturday night, when a bout between Andre Dirrell and Jose Uzcategui stole the spotlight. It’s not that these two are household names (heck, I think beforehand I had heard Dirrell’s name, but certainly not Uzcategui), but instead because of what transpired during – and after – their match.

It became a sucker-punch fest and one that continued after the final bell rang.

In what essentially became the sidebar story, Dirrell wound up winning via disqualification after Uzcategui dropped him with a punch that came after the bell.

Despite the unfortunate end to the bout – intentionally or not – the boxers embraced afterward.

Enter Leon Lawson, Dirrell’s uncle who was in his corner for the fight.

Lawson went over to Uzcategui’s corner and unexpectedly landed a left hook to the boxer’s chin and followed with another sucker punch that just missed, grazing Uzcategui’s chest and neck.

“That’s assault, you guys,” one of the Showtime announcers said following Lawson’s actions.

Now, Lawson is nowhere to be found and wanted by police.

Was it proper payback for what the announcers referred to as “another late shot” by Uzcategui that led to his disqualification?

Perhaps in some way. But was it worth being charged criminally, which likely will happen to Lawson? I’m going to go with “no” on that one.

Unlike Lawson, I had no dog in this fight.

However, it’s the most interesting boxing story I’ve come across in a long, long time.

The last time the sport piqued my interest was when the “Fight of the Century” between Mayweather and Pacquiao took place a little over two years ago.

That, my friends, was no “Fight of the Century.” In my mind, it was a dud.

Mayweather essentially ran around most of the bout, dodging Pacquiao’s attacks while sneaking in a few punches here and there en route to a 12-round win via unanimous decision.

No knockout, few worthy exchanges – boring.

And while Mayweather-McGregor – which increasingly looks like it will happen – has great name recognition that will draw fans, I doubt that it will be any more exciting than Mayweather-Pacquiao.

Instead, it will likely serve as another dud in which the fighters – and others involved – make a ton of money off pay-per-viewers who wind up disappointed.

Who knows, though? Perhaps that won’t ultimately be the case.

The McGregor side is done. I’m starting to work on the Mayweather side now.

UFC President Dana White while talking to TNT’s ‘Inside the NBA’ crew Wednesday

Maybe it will be a great fight that helps improve boxing’s image.

Either way, the sport should be ecstatic to be back in the news – regardless of the reason.

On tap

The top-seeded Coastal Carolina baseball team begins play in the Sun Belt tournament against the lowest remaining seed at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Should the Chanticleers continue to advance, the championship game is slated for 1 p.m. Sunday. … Several CCU track and field athletes will compete in the NCAA East Preliminary Round from Thursday through Saturday. … The South Carolina baseball team opens the SEC tournament as the No. 11 seed taking on No. 6 Vanderbilt at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. Should the Gamecocks make the championship game, they will play at 2 p.m. Sunday. … The Clemson baseball team will begin the ACC tournament as the No. 5 seed against No. 9 Duke at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Should the Tigers make the championship game, they will play at noon Sunday. … The Myrtle Beach Pelicans conclude at four-game series at Salem with an 11:05 a.m. game Monday before starting a three-game home series with Winston-Salem from Tuesday through Thursday (all 7:05 p.m.). Myrtle Beach then again hits the road for a four-game set at Carolina on Friday (7 p.m.), Saturday (5 p.m.), Sunday (6 p.m.) and Monday, May 29 (2 p.m.). … The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series remains at Charlotte for the Coca-Cola 600 at 6 p.m. Sunday (Fox). … IndyCar revs up for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at noon Sunday (ABC). … The NBA conference finals continue this week. … The NHL conference finals continue this week. … The PGA Tour heads to Fort Worth, Texas, for the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational from Thursday through Sunday. … In tennis, the men continue play in the ATP Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon and begin the ATP Geneva Open on Monday. The women begin play in the WTA Internationaux de Strasbourg and WTA NURNBERGER VERSICHERUNGSCUP on Monday.

David Wetzel: 843-626-0295, @MYBSports

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