LONDON - The future of boxing loomed in all shapes and sizes in deepest east London on Saturday night.
Floyd Mayweather turned up dressed as Michael Jackson and promised to ‘give the fans what they want’ by making his $100 million comeback in that two-ring circus of a mega-fight against UFC star Conor McGregor.
Whether or not it will go down on record as a Thriller, it is as good as a done deal now.
Gervonta Davis, the 5ft 6in package of explosive power who Mayweather is touting as ‘the next superstar’ of prize-fighting, began delivering on that prediction by blasting Liam Walsh to smithereens inside three rounds of the first defence of his IBF junior-lightweight world title.
At just 22 he has now flattened 17 of his first 18 victims.
Mr Money’s assessment of the certainty that he will get it on with The Notorious McGregor varied between 90 per cent and 100 per cent. Let’s say 99 per cent.
‘When we have something to say it will be big,’ he declared. ‘I will be sharp and do what I have to do to be world No 1 again.’
Of the cynical view that a boxing match against mixed martial arts man McGregor would be a one-sided charade in his favour, Mayweather said: ‘We are both stand-up fighters who kick a** and anything can happen in the ring.’
The last snag appears to be finding a Las Vegas date this year as Mayweather would like to fight in September around Mexico Independence day but that date has been taken.
They will find a day. McGregor has signed the contract already. Call it 99.9 per cent.
Mayweather has sparred with Davis and said: ‘He had a real go at me though it was mostly to help him.’
It certainly did no harm. Davis shook Walsh with a shuddering left hook in the first round. He then gave him an ear-bashing at the start of the third - telling him, ‘Sorry, but you’re too slow’ - before unleashing the rapid-fire barrage which floored Walsh and rendered him semi-comatose as he lurched gamely to his feet.
Speed kills in boxing and the future is fast approaching.