MIAMI — What’s the biggest fight of the summer? If you answered Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor then you are … wrong.
Sure, the will-they-or-won’t-they act that preceded the official booking of Mayweather vs. McGregor did a tremendous job of marketing the fight. McGregor’s huge personality and Mayweather’s impeccable record help build the intrigue.
But in the end, let’s be real about what that is: A guy who has never lost a pro boxing match in 49 career attempts going against a guy who has never competed in a pro boxing match. How do you REALLY think that’s going to end up?
The real fight of the summer? It’s happening Monday night at Marlins Park here in Miami. It’s one 6-foot-7 slugging phenom against another 6-foot-6 master of the dinger. It’s the MLB Home Run Derby. It’s Aaron Judge vs. Giancarlo Stanton. It’s the hot young stud home run hitter against the record-setting defending champion. It’s the homer-bashing fest everyone wants to see, perfectly set up for Judge and Stanton to meet in the finals.
In this week’s installment of Open Mike, live from Miami, I’m here to break down why the Home Run Derby is the most hyped its been in years. And why — sorry, Floyd; sorry, Conor — that Aug. 26 boxing match just can’t compete. Do you wanna see a pure spectacle? Then watch the boxing match.
Do you wanna see the two guys who are the very best at hitting homers the last two seasons? Then watch the derby.
Consider the following:
• Stanton set a record last season with 61 homers en route to winning the derby. That’s 20 more than the previous record. The greatest show the derby has ever seen.
• Judge has 30 homers at the All-Star break. Thirty! That’s the most of anyone in baseball this season. And he’s a rookie.
• These are two of the must-see BP guys in baseball. And now they’re taking BP in a bracketed-style competition? With the other guy waiting on the opposite side of the bracket? Sign us up.
• This might be most important: You don’t need to drop a bunch of loot on pay-per-view to watch it. The Home Run Derby is live on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET. It’s easily accessible, not just to baseball fans, but the average sports fan who only tunes into baseball when something otherworldly is happening.
Well, it’s happening Monday night. And it’s a heavyweight bout that even Mayweather and McGregor can’t match.
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