It’s finally here.

Now, it can finally go away.

After years of speculation followed by months of promotion and buildup, the so-called “fight of the century” has arrived.

Boxing’s living legend Floyd Mayweather and mixed martial arts superstar Conor McGregor are set to clash in a 12-round junior middleweight boxing match Saturday evening in Las Vegas.

Some consider it a mile-stone moment in the history of professional fighting, but after having it shoved down my throat by every media outlet for months on end, I simply see it as an end to the suffering.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as interested as anybody to see how this thing plays out. Now, I’m not invested enough to shell out $99 to watch it live on pay-per- view, but I still care.

I want to find out if McGregor’s skills transition from an octagon to a squared circle, and I’m eager to see if Mayweather’s masters degree in the sweet science trumps a pair of educated hands from Ireland’s school of hard knocks.

I can’t wait to know if either fighter breaks from their tradition style or if McGregor can shock the world by catching Mayweather with a knockout punch.

Trust me, I want to watch this fight, and I want to see if it lives up the hype, but more than anything, I want to escape the hype.

For what seems like an eternity, Mayweather and McGregor have been suffocating me. From opening segments on SportsCenter to magazine covers to talk radio interviews to late-night television shows, there has been no end to the promotion.

And who could forget the never-ending series of pre-fight news conferences with each one typically becoming more outlandish than the last.

It’s overwhelming, and it’s unnecessary.

I get what is going on here. Mayweather and McGregor are doing everything in their power, especially when it comes to verbal sparring, to promote this fight, because after all, interest generates income, and this could potentially be the biggest payday the sport has every seen.

So, I don’t blame them for trying to arouse as much curiosity as possible, but this fight already sold itself.

This is a dream come true for fans of combat sports. It didn’t need publicity stunts or over-the- top hoopla.

My attention was completely captured when the date of the fight was announced, and it hasn’t dwindled. It’s only been drowned out.

I intend to find a way to watch this fight — for free, of course — because I believe it will be an interesting clash of styles between two of the generation’s premier athletes.

I also want to watch because it has transformed into an unrivaled spectacle, but I’ll be ecstatic when it ends, regardless of who wins.

Then, it can finally go away.

Contact Clay Whittington at clayw@kdhnews.com

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