Theater of the Bizarre: Glorious Fights That Never Could Have Happened, Pt. III
Forget, if you can, that sad and limited group of considerations that say two fighters from different sports, eras and weight classes can never meet in anger. Disregard the idea that says, “It would never happen because…”
This kind of thinking has no place in the Theater of the Bizarre.
Instead, once again, let your imagination run riot through the streets of unfounded assumption, pulling you toward a gathering of like minds, converging at the intersection of Counter Ave. and Factual Blvd. This is a stage where fights unfold due to the virtue of violence. Two authors come together to do their worst to each other, just to see who is best.
Of course, there is always at least one caveat per fight; perhaps it is the size of the gloves or the duration of the rounds. Perhaps it is the number of rounds, the venue or even the application of rules that reign in contrast to the combatants.
At least one circumstance always prevails amid the chaos.
And the bout in question this evening? The outspoken, brash and brilliant Floyd Mayweather Jr. faces the calm, collected and violent Jose Aldo. The action is called in typical play-by-play style.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Jose Aldo
Caveats: 1935, Madison Square Garden, four-oz. MMA gloves, Thai boxing rules allowed, no submissions or takedowns, 15 five-minute rounds.
Advantages for Mayweather: experience, elite conditioning, brilliant defensive abilities, speed, footwork, flawless boxing skills.
Advantages for Aldo: explosiveness, speed, KO power, brutal leg kicks, knees, elbows, control of the distance, conditioning.
It’s hot here in Madison Square Garden, and the bowtie-and-suit crowd is elbow-to-elbow with the blue collars as Floyd Mayweather Jr.—one of the greatest boxers of his generation—and Jose Aldo—equally great in his own right—stand in their corners under the hot lights, waiting for the microphone to be lowered into the hands of the ring announcer.
The size of their gloves is the first thing people are noticing, but in truth they aren’t that much smaller than the normal gloves of the era.
No one is sure how this old-time crowd is going to react, but they know what they bought tickets for: a fight. Some people are saying that Mayweather should be replaced with Fritzie Zivic, perhaps one of the roughest and dirties fighters of all time.
“Fritzie would show ‘em a thing or two if they started that sissy kicking!”
It’s a line that gets a lot of laughs, but I doubt Zivic could get close enough to Aldo to maul him with his artistic brand of fouling. This is going to be a shock for a lot of these fans, and for the first time in a long time, Mayweather may get to wear the white hat as a boxer standing tall against the unfamiliar.
The microphone is lowered, and ring announcer Joseph Humphreys announces the fighters to the murmuring crowd of more than 10,000. No one knows these fighters, and perhaps that is for the best; in a fight like this—where the conventional is turned on its head—neither fighter should rely upon hype or reputation to do his work for him.
The referee calls them both to the center of the ring to go over the rules (and we hope he understands them as well if he’s going to be enforcing them). Mayweather glares at Aldo, who in turn simply looks down at his feet, listing side to side.
Both men are dismissed to their corners, and a surprising swell in volume comes from the crowd. Perhaps the prospect of seeing a violent spectacle of unknown origin is drawing their attention. Whatever it is, no one is making jokes anymore.
The bell is about to ring...
Both men come out tight and ready. Mayweather is moving about the ring, loose as can be, eyes open and ready as Aldo turns to face him, standing about six feet away, looking very eager for a man holding his hands so shockingly low.
Mayweather begins to inch closer, trying to draw Aldo in by feinting while keeping his chin exposed. Aldo answers by lofting his fists above his head in the classic Muay Thai pose, almost as if to offer his midsection for attack. Both men continue to circle, and the crowd is shockingly quiet and even patient, as if they are holding their breath.
Mayweather glides just a hair closer and throws another feint, trying to goad Aldo into some offensive action that he can counter—and instead Aldo blasts Mayweather’s left thigh with a brutal leg kick.
The sound of shin against meat rings out over the first 10 rows, and many a man winces, unsure of what to make of what just happened, aside from that it clearly hurt—which is evidenced by Mayweather jumping back, with his eyes wide in shock for a split second.
Mayweather goes back to circling, suddenly unsure of the range that is normally his to command. Aldo begins to slowly step in, cutting off the ring bit by bit. Mayweather doesn’t like what he is seeing. He feints right and then slides left and circles out of range.
But how long can Mayweather run? Aldo simply reacquires his target and begins to move inward, bouncing on his feet. It’s an unusually patient Aldo, but thus far he’s clearly not intimidated.
Suddenly, Aldo lunges forward, and Mayweather leans back against the ropes in his typical defensive stance, and then his whole body is turned by half as Aldo lands another savage kick to his right leg.
Mayweather is on his bike, circling around Aldo and trying to stay out of range. If this keeps up, we may not have much of a fight on our hands. Given this crowd, it’s a shame that not all of the chairs are bolted down.
Mayweather decides to fight for some real estate, lunging in with a feint. Aldo opens up his hips and looks like he’s going to kick again, and instantly Mayweather jumps back. Now, Aldo has him in the corner.
Aldo feints, and Mayweather lifts his right foot off the canvas, expecting another kick to the thigh but instead feeling a brutal head kick crash off his guard. Mayweather stumbles out of the corner, unhurt to the head by maybe not to the arms.
Aldo quietly follows him, now looking more intent on attacking. He is beginning to get inside that six-foot range, bouncing in and out, mirroring Mayweather wherever he goes, and suddenly Mayweather lunges forward behind a swarm of punches. Aldo covers up and begins to retreat, but Mayweather is staying close, and Aldo is against the ropes.
Mayweather unleashes a blistering four-punch combination that turns Aldo’s head right to left, knocking his mouthpiece to the floor. In response, the crowd roars and cheers. Aldo ties Mayweather up and turns him into the corner.
Mayweather seems to be mistakenly waiting for the referee to break them up, then realizes it’s not going to happen. Aldo locks up the Thai clinch and unloads a series of brutal knees to the body. Mayweather is struggling to push Aldo away, and Aldo spins him and releases the clinch. As Mayweather jumps back, Aldo slams another biting kick to the boxer's right leg.
The first round ends, and the crowd falls silent, watching Mayweather hobble back to his corner. Aldo never even threw a single punch.
Aldo comes out strong, walking Mayweather right into his own corner. "Money" attempts to spring forward with another combination and runs headlong into a push kick to the chest that lands like a missile and knocks him back into his corner.
Aldo feints a lunge and fires off another high kick that crashes across the gloves of Mayweather and knocks the sweat off the top of his head. And then Aldo is in close, acquiring the Thai clinch once again!
Mayweather throws punches to the body in desperation and absorbs two hard knees to the body and then another three before Aldo whips a short elbow across the top.
Mayweather is pushing Aldo’s head back, and the MMA fighter uses the space to pull his opponent's head down into a rising knee. Mayweather’s head snaps back, and he recoils into the corner as Aldo blasts his right leg with another kick.
Mayweather is down!
Aldo moves to the neutral corner, while the referee begins the count. The scene is clear now: Mayweather, a brilliant counter-puncher and defensive wizard, has nothing to counter and doesn’t know how to defend his legs or his body and head in the Thai clinch. He’s been in danger everywhere the fight goes.
Mayweather is up at the count of eight, and the referee waves the fight on.
Aldo is moving in slowly as Mayweather hobbles to the left and right. Aldo feints, Mayweather recoils, and another high kick slams against his guard. And then another.
Mayweather tries to move out of the corner. Aldo feints, Mayweather brings his guard high to deflect another kick at his head, and instead he is dropped by another hard shin across his thigh.
Mayweather topples again, and his corner throws in the towel.
The crowd is silent as Aldo helps Mayweather to his stool. Aldo raises Mayweather’s hand and then turns and slips through the ropes, walking away from the ring in silence.
Jose Aldo def. Floyd Mayweather Jr. via TKO (leg kicks) in Round 2, 2:39
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