Stunning stuff, but boxing’s moments of incredible power can be lost in context. When Rafael Marquez’s battered and bloodied body lay on the canvas after sharing a 12-round round with Melendez, no one could deny the power that was clearly capable of putting the fighter to sleep. The sky would later hold a sparrow but the man inside. The significance of this moment for the sport comes in being an 80s throwback to Marquez’s famous “dungeon-busting” attack on Antonio Margarito in 2008, with itself being an example of how little people have always paid attention to boxing. The example it should be taken is from UFC which has only seen a handful of fights end with fighters locked up in impressive armlocks and being guided to the floor. “It’s boxing, it’s just like kicking people in the head,” says Mike Tyson. But that’s probably because they’re not paying attention. For a sport that refuses to see the irony that what it depicts is actually a much quicker technique than traditional boxing but with several crucial points lost, the fight game doesn’t care how they end. They’ll just see the action anyway.
The judges scored the fight 48-47 Melendez, 49-46 Melendez and 48-47 Melendez. One of the referees pointed out that Melendez had been winning when he was shoved to the canvas. That happened more often than Melendez was winning most of the fight. So he’s not that special. He’s great. But for a lightweight (135 pounds) featherweight (145), or a heavyweight (205 or over), as he is tonight, it was more than enough. Unlucky for Miguel Torres, who took a battering from dos Anjos in the co-main event and ended up being declared a UD. Torres has lost his last three fights, including two where he was knocked out.
Jose Aldo’s loss to Conor McGregor was even more shocking than Marquez’s on Saturday because there had been rumours that Aldo was headed out to the amateurs. He remains an incredibly proud and charismatic fighter, one of those fighters who claims to really love what he does. And while he is utterly vulnerable at times, which shows with his performance against McGregor, he has a fighting brain that is incredibly compact, capable of producing an extraordinary amount of damage. Mayweather has created a rivalry between the two fighters because of his reputation. Aldo started the rivalry between himself and McGregor by calling him out. McGregor’s response was to name the fight after him. UFC had decided to create a new division because of dud stock sales. Aldo, the lightweight champion, broke it up by creating a division of his own. And the second phase of the feud involved McGregor making Mayweather dance and fighting with Aldo, the former champion from Brazil.
“I want to know, you want me to kill you,” McGregor would say. Aldo would get back up by punching him in the face with his gloves. “I didn’t kill you; I made you dance. I made you dance. I’m Conor McGregor. I’m not just a fighter. I’m a complete fighter,” Aldo would reply. Aldo didn’t lose, but now they’re both on the brink of retirement. McGregor had a short super-fight with Andre Ward before the rematch with Aldo. He was never able to win it. Aldo lost it. The two might fight again in the future, but this is never going to happen. The dance this time is with Mayweather.