We are now less than a week away until the event many anticipate to be the most watched sports spectacle ever - Mayweather vs McGregor. The event is scheduled to go live at 9pm ET on Saturday, August 26 and Win Column Sports is here to provide everything you need to know about the super-fight.
The Negotiation Saga
While southpaw UFC megastar Conor McGregor has been very successful in his fighting career, McGregor’s biggest coup may just turn out to be signing Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather to the fight of the century. This fight has been in the works since the fateful night ‘Mystic Mac’ appeared on Conan O’Brien in July 2015. The late-night host joshed with McGregor asking him if he would ever consider switching sports.
“If you’re asking would I like to fight Floyd Mayweather, I mean, who would not like to dance around the ring for $180 Million?” McGregor replied. “I would certainly box him if the opportunity arose,” he smiled. “Most certainly.”
McGregor didn’t push the envelope, with regards to the super-fight. McGregor was completely focused on the possible opportunity to conquer José Aldo in a UFC Featherweight unification bout. After witnessing the Irishman knock out Aldo in just 13 seconds, Mayweather’s jealousy overcame him, commenting in an interview with FightHype magazine that the color of Mayweather’s skin is the reason he could never receive as much acclaim as McGregor.
“They say he talk a lot of trash and people praise him for it, but when I did it, they say I’m cocky and arrogant,” Mayweather observed. “So biased! Like I said before, all I’m saying is this, I ain’t racist at all, but I’m telling you racism still exists.”
McGregor responded via Instagram the very next day:
“Don’t ever bring my race into my success again.” McGregor added, “I am an Irishman. My people have been oppressed our entire existence. And still very much are. I understand the feeling of prejudice. It is a feeling that is deep in my blood … If you want we can organise a fight no problem. I will give you a fair 80/20 split purse in my favour seen as your last fight bombed at every area of revenue.”
Various media sources regularly claimed that a Mayweather-McGregor super-fight was imminent. Dana White added to the controversy, stating that the fight would be virtually impossible as McGregor was contracted to the UFC and that McGregor would be in breach of contract if he attempted to organize the fight himself, away from the Octagon. Mayweather also flip-flopped on the idea of the fight as he initially argued that the super-fight was “definitely possible” before indicating that the match wouldn’t happen because he was retired. “He’s getting old now,” McGregor decreed in an interview. “I have the size, I have the reach, I have the height, I have the youth. He needs me. I don’t need him.”
Rumors escalated even further as McGregor claimed Mayweather was “running around the Showtime offices begging for those executives to come up with $100 million cash for me, to fight me.” After McGregor defeated Nate Diaz in the August 2016 rematch, McGregor obtained a Californian boxing license, all in the space of a few days. But in December 2016, Mayweather’s promotions head, Leonard Ellerbe, denied rumors of the potential, insisting obtaining the boxing license was “a calculated effort to gain more fans.”
After previously denying the possibility of a fight himself, UFC President Dana White reignited the rumors. making a public offer to Mayweather: $25 Million for each man plus a cut of the PPV. Mayweather scoffed at the offer, but the offer had successfully reopened negotiations.
Before you ask for $25M, be worth more than $25M. You have the “2” and the “5” right but you meant to say $2.5M not $25M. pic.twitter.com/07vaWF0hen
— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) January 19, 2021
The process heated up in March 2017 when, during his ‘Undefeated’ tour, Mayweather announced that he was “coming out of retirement to face Conor McGregor”. White then assured Conan O’Brien that a deal was imminent. The Nevada Athletic Commission simultaneously paved the way for McGregor to obtain a boxing license with them. McGregor reaffirmed, in May, that he had signed his half of the agreement. Both fighters announced the fight on June 14 via their individual social-media accounts. The date for the fight had been set for August 26 at the T-mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
THE FIGHT IS ON. pic.twitter.com/KhW0u3jRft
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) June 14, 2020
Promotional World Tour
Once the contract was signed Mayweather Promotions quickly sprang into action, scheduling a four-city world tour that included stops in Los Angeles, Toronto, Brooklyn and London from July 11-14.
The tour was filled with epic stare downs and trash talk that made fans wonder whether they were watching a boxing presser or a trailer for the next WWE pay-per-view. ‘The Notorious’ McGregor and ‘Money’ Mayweather may be the best fighters in each of their combat sports, but the entire promotional tour was so entertaining, it leaves fans wonder what these two may have left for fight week. Here is a sample of five of the most memorable moments these fighters caught on stage.
- “Why do you have a school bag? You can’t even read.” – McGregor
Warning: The following video is NSFW due to explicit language.
Only took two press conferences for McGregor to tell Mayweather he can’t read 👀 pic.twitter.com/pTMzHlgySk
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) July 12, 2020
When Mayweather showed up to Toronto with a backpack, the legendary boxer opened up the floodgates for an easy burn for McGregor. A few years back, Mayweather’s close friend, 50 Cent, revealed that “Money” struggles with reading. McGregor clearly hadn’t forgotten about that anecdote, and unleashed arguably the funniest roast of the tour.
- “God don’t make mistakes and God only made one thing perfect and that’s my boxing record.” – Mayweather
Everyone knows that Mayweather is one of the more boastful athletes in sports history, but he has good reason to be. When he steps into the ring at T-Mobile Arena later this summer, he’ll defend his perfect 49-0 boxing record. McGregor has had considerable success in UFC, but he’ll have his work cut out for him on Mayweather’s turf
- “How’s this suit look? … If you zoom in on the pinstripe it says ‘f–k you.” – McGregor
Warning: The following photo is NSFW due to explicit language.
— VERSUS (@vsrsus) July 11, 2020
McGregor dressed to impress throughout the four-day tour, but his most memorable threads came on Day 1. It’s no secret the Irish fighter isn’t very fond of Mayweather, and McGregor made that abundantly clear with his custom-made suit, which featured a colorful and direct message.
- “Form Voltron” – Mayweather
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) July 14, 2020
McGregor and Mayweather provide endless entertainment with their vocal action, but fans wanted to see some physicality. Well, they got just that at the tail end of the tour’s stop in Brooklyn. As he closed his rant, Mayweather summoned his body guards by shouting “Form Voltron,” and his crew happily obliged.
- “Pay Your Taxes!” – Barclays Center crowd
Entire crowd at Mayweather-McGregor in Brooklyn chanting to Floyd: “Pay Your Taxes!” pic.twitter.com/O6PzCzipfz
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) July 14, 2020
When Mayweather grabbed the microphone in Brooklyn, he was rudely greeted by a raucous chant advising him to handle his current financial predicament. Prior to the start of the tour, news broke that Mayweather has asked the IRS for tax reprieve until after the fight with McGregor. It’s safe to say fans at Barclays Center caught wind of this report.
With less than a week left until the fight, the bulk of the training is complete and the media frenzy will begin once the gladiators arrive in Las Vegas on Tuesday. Here is a run-down of the anticipated fight week schedule (all times ET):
- Tuesday: 4pm - Conor McGregor arrival
— UFC (@ufc) August 22, 2020
‘Mystic Mac’ arrives for a celebration full of pomp and circumstance outside T-Mobile arena with flocks of his Irish supporters.
- 5pm - Floyd Mayweather arrival
Mayweather makes his official entrance. This is sure to be the final time ‘Money Man’ lavishes in the acclaim of the crowds.
- Wednesday: 3pm - Final press conference
These two fighters travelled the globe to promote this fight, creating memorable moments in each of their stops. With the attention of the world now on this unprecedented fight, what antics will these two engage in to explode the twitter world? This event is sure to be filled with one-liners and stare-downs the likes of which have never been seen before. One has to wonder which of the two loudest mouthpieces will win the battle of the mic?
- Thursday: 2pm - Undercard press conference
With the super-fight already hyped, the supporting fights get their time in the limelight.
Nathan Cleverly takes on Badou Jack and Gervonta Davies faces Francisco Fonseca in the two most attractive fights on the undercard. This is a huge opportunity for these two to cash in on the hype and boost their profiles like they’ve never seen before.
- Friday: 3pm: Mayweather and McGregor pre-weigh in performances
— MayweatherPromotions (@MayweatherPromo) August 22, 2020
This is set to be the most-hyped weigh-in off all time in the T-Mobile Arena and sure to be a sellout itself. Fans will be entertained with over three hours of performances leading up to the weigh-in of the century.
- 6pm - Fighters on the scales
Mayweather and McGregor will finally take to the scales. Watch for some crazy antics from the ‘Notorious’ one as he tries one last time to psych out the ‘Money Man.’
- Saturday: 5pm - Doors open and first fight begins
- 7pm - Preliminary bouts take place and will last for two hours before the major television coverage starts
- 9pm - The main card of action begins, televised by major broadcasters with rights to the fight.
- 12am - Mayweather and McGregor are expected to make their ring walks, pending the length of the fights on the undercard
Pay-per-view subscribers will get to see two fights prior to the Mayweather-McGregor superfight:
- Nathan Cleverly vs Badou Jack; and
- Gervonta Davis vs Francisco Fonseca
The headline event of the undercard will be Gervonta Davis against Francisco Fonseca. Davis, 22, is considered to be Mayweather’s protégé and has an unbeaten professional record of 18-0, with all but one of his victories coming via knockout. Davis defends his IBF junior lightweight title against 23-year-old Costa-Rica, Francisco Fonseca, who drew his professional boxing debut, but has won all of his subsequent 19 contests. Davis is the prohibitive favorite here. You will need to bet $3,300 on Davis to win $100.
Damn. What a punch by Gervonta Davis. 🦍 #Tank
— A*BoxingNews (@AstarBoxing) August 22, 2020
The Davis vs Fonseca fight will be preceded by Nathan Cleverly’s light heavyweight bout against Badou Jack. Cleverly will be defending his WBA light-heavyweight title for the first time, after claiming it from Juergen Braehmer in a title fight last year. This should be the more entertaining fight of the undercard. Jack is the favorite to claim the title. You will need to bet $400 to win $100.
— Sky Sports Boxing 🥊 (@SkySportsBoxing) August 22, 2020
Other fights on the undercard include:
- Andrew Tabiti vs Steve Cunningham
- Shawn Porter vs Thomas Dulorme
- Juan Heraldez vs Jose Miguel Borrego
- Kevin Newman vs Mark Anthony Hernandez
- Savannah Marshall vs Amy Coleman
— MMA News (@BestMMAnews) August 22, 2020
The Main Event
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) July 21, 2020
— SuperSport (@SuperSportTV) August 22, 2020
Demi Lovato will kick off the main event with her rendition of the National Anthem.
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) August 22, 2020
When the two gladiators finally meet in the squared ring, here is the tale of the tape:
A look at the Tale of the Tape for Mayweather-McGregor pic.twitter.com/WsUCFXO6wn
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 14, 2020
There are many possible outcomes for this super fight, but I believe two are most probable:
- Either Mayweather backs up, covers up, lies on the rope and allows McGregor to wear himself out. In this case, Mayweather just weathers the storm and takes this bout the full 12 rounds to the judge’s score cards where he wins by virtue of his Vegas reputation.
- Mayweather attempts to be an aggressor, but is clearly uncomfortable in this style. McGregor isn’t, though, as the ‘Notorious’ one has won 18 of his 21 victories by virtue of a knockout. In this instance, McGregor has his arms raised in victory by the sixth round.
— Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) August 22, 2020
Unfortunately, I believe that many fight enthusiasts will be very disappointed in this match as Mayweather is most likely to duck and cover, to take the win by decision - making this a very unsatisfying result.
The Final Word
Appreciate this event for the entertainment value it is. Regardless of the outcome, everyone comes out the winner in this one. ‘Money’ Mayweather will claim his throne as the richest boxer in history, the legend of ‘Mystic Mac’ will live forever, along with the $160 Million he is anticipated to earn. Fight fans will get to witness the greatest spectacle ever to be seen in the sporting world. Just don’t expect a rematch, because that’s just as unlikely as George R.R. Martin ever writing another volume of the Game of Thrones.
Who you got?
— Sean Diddy Combs (@diddy) August 22, 2020