– Conor McGregor, MMA champion has gold statue made of him
– If McGregor was cast in investment grade gold bullion he would be worth …
– If Mayweather were cast in gold he would be worth $2.7m
– Ali once fought equivalent of MMA fighter and nearly lost use of his legs
– Gold continues to be seen as the ultimate prize in sport
– Gold a great prize but true value is as a safe haven
At the moment there are some heated debates going on about statues that some believe should no longer stand.
Many of the figures previously cast in bronze, gold or stone are no longer seen as heroes. Time has changed some people’s perspective on what were once seen as heroic endeavours and achievements.
Today we have different measures of success and while statues of now divisive historical figures are being pulled down, statues of modern millennial heroes are being raised. Last week a statue was created of the ‘Notorious’, world champion Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, Dublin-born Conor McGregor.
In one of the most hyped fights of all time last week, McGregor was defeated by the 50-times unbeaten boxing champion Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas.
McGregor’s achievement of stepping out of his comfort zone and his actual sport and taking on the legend that is Floyd Mayweather was applauded by most and it is something that has not gone unnoticed by Irishman Eamon Heneghan.
Last week Heneghan unveiled a life-size gold statue of Conor McGregor, ‘I’m such a big fan and find him so inspirational.’ the amateur sculptor told the Irish Independent.
Heneghan is currently out of work. He saw that McGregor has a keen interest and penchant for gold and gold statues and decided that he would make one for him.
His hopes are that the MMA champion will notice it. We hope he does as statues are getting bad rep at the moment and this one was only made out of admiration for someone who has made history.
The gold-sprayed chicken wire and papier-mâché statue has been called a mixture of things but it was definitely one headline that declared the statue ‘belongs in the pantheon of horrible sports sculptures’ that grabbed my attention.
Whatever you think of the statue you have to admire the effort that went into it. We thought we would look at some other headline-grabbing sports statues and look at what may have happened if they had been cast in gold.
A lot of sports stars have been confronted with statues that perhaps aren’t the most…flattering.
One of the most famous is Ronaldo.
The bust was cast out of bronze, but we suspect if Ronaldo had ben cast in gold he might feel a little happier about it.
Is Ronaldo worth his weight in gold? Ronaldo was bought by Real Madrid for €94 million in 2009. At the time his weight in gold was worth €1.76m, today he is worth over €2.8m in gold. This is nothing to do with Ronaldo’s performance, instead the simple climb in price of gold.
How does that compare to the other competitor for world’s best footballer, Lionel Messi. The Barcelona Forward €250m. Weighing in at 72kg, Messi’s weight in gold today is worth €2.25m.
In 2011, Andy Murray was ‘honoured’ with a Terracotta Army statue in Shanghai.
The Chinese are obviously known for their love of gold. Had they decided to make Andy’s 84kg frame into a gold statue in 2011 then it would have fallen slightly from £2.856m to £2.688m.
Murray’s statue in Shanghai was in good company. Just the year before Roger Federer had been gifted with a statue in a similar style. In contrast to Murray’s 2011 statue, Federer’s 2010 statue has climbed in value from £2.295m to £2.72m. It shows what difference a year can make.
All about the gold
What’s most interesting about the coverage surrounding this new statue is that it wouldn’t have happened if Heneghan hadn’t decided to paint it in gold.
If he’d not painted it at all or just gone for a plain colour then no-one would be interested.
We have a fascination with gold that means it makes headlines. Most people have an interest in gold.
We reward people in gold. Last week the belt McG and Mayweather were fighting for was made of 1.5kg gold (plus 3,360 diamonds 600 sapphires and 160 emeralds).
The desire to reward and be rewarded in gold has been around since time immemorial. It is not a recent phenomenon of rising gold prices or flashy Instagram photos.
We know deep down inside that to be rewarded in gold is to be rewarded with something that will last long past the victories and should even secure your financial future.
Watch gold in the long-term
The last few examples of how gold can change in over time are merely short-term ones.
To bring it back to Mayweather we can take each of his fighting weights from his 50 fights and see how the equivalent weight in gold has climbed since.
The graph below shows the percentage gain in the gold price since Mayweather’s first fight in 1996 and in 2017. Since his 1996 fight against Roberto Apodaca the price of gold has climbed by over 226%.
Gold hasn’t demonstrated as big gains if you bought in recent years but the lesson here is that gold takes its time. A bit like property or indeed fine wine.
Conclusion: Gold’s the champion but it takes its time and doesn’t show off
The most famous boxer of all time is of course Muhammad Ali.
What’s interesting about Ali in light of the Mayweather vs McGregor fight is that the legendary boxer once took on a similar challenge.
In 1976 Ali fought Antonio Inoki, a Japanese professional wrestler. The fight was fought under special rules and is seen as a precursor to the MMA sport which McGregor is famous for today.
The result was a draw but Ali was arguably left worse off. He was left with two blood clots in his legs. These hindered him for the rest of his career with amputation even being discussed at one point. The fight is considered one of the most embarrassing of Ali’s career.
Ali was so convinced that he could show that he was ‘The Greatest’ that he stepped out of his comfort zone and into unfamiliar territory. As a result he nearly ruined his entire sporting future and his health.
An analogy can be drawn with Ali’s challenge with what we see today in the financial world and governments controlling the monetary system. They feel they are infallible. They are taking on riskier and riskier matches, with rules that are unfamiliar and the consequences known.
What has survived the test of time and all of the risk taking and speculative punts whether in sports or finance?
Gold has. Gold cannot be beaten to a pulp whether figuratively or literally. It has stood strong through financial crisis and crashes throughout history and will continue to protect people in the coming uncertain years.
Conor McGregor has done very well financially in recent years and is believed to have made €100 million from the Mayweather fight alone.
We sincerely hope that in order to protect his financial well being, he diversifies into physical gold bullion.
News and Commentary
Gold Prices (LBMA AM)
08 Sep: USD 1,350.90, GBP 1,026.82 & EUR 1,120.71 per ounce
07 Sep: USD 1,340.45, GBP 1,026.52 & EUR 1,119.54 per ounce
06 Sep: USD 1,340.15, GBP 1,028.03 & EUR 1,122.11 per ounce
05 Sep: USD 1,331.15, GBP 1,029.51 & EUR 1,120.43 per ounce
04 Sep: USD 1,334.60, GBP 1,030.98 & EUR 1,120.53 per ounce
01 Sep: USD 1,318.40, GBP 1,020.18 & EUR 1,107.98 per ounce
31 Aug: USD 1,305.80, GBP 1,013.17 & EUR 1,098.31 per ounce
Silver Prices (LBMA)
08 Sep: USD 18.21, GBP 13.80 & EUR 15.09 per ounce
07 Sep: USD 17.79, GBP 13.59 & EUR 14.85 per ounce
06 Sep: USD 17.77, GBP 13.62 & EUR 14.90 per ounce
05 Sep: USD 17.88, GBP 13.80 & EUR 15.03 per ounce
04 Sep: USD 17.80, GBP 13.75 & EUR 14.95 per ounce
01 Sep: USD 17.50, GBP 13.53 & EUR 14.69 per ounce
31 Aug: USD 17.34, GBP 13.47 & EUR 14.62 per ounce
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