Mayweather vs. McGregor: The Lowdown on the Smackdown
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Conor McGregor are set to go head to head on the 26th of August at the T-Mobile Arena on the glamourous Las Vegas Strip. Dubbed “The Money Fight”, the battle of the undefeated, 11-time Fifth Division professional boxer and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) former featherweight and current lightweight champion is expected to be quite spectacular.
A lot of boxing insiders consider McGregor to be the underdog; he excels in Mixed Martial Arts but has never fought a professional boxer before, and Mayweather is among the best and most technically proficient that the world has ever seen. The unorthodox collision of worlds has already sparked massive interest, and punters are keeping a close eye as they try to work out whom they want to bet on in this much-hyped fight.
Putting Their Money Where Their Mouths Are
McGregor had entertained a general interest in boxing, and a specific interest is going head to head with Mayweather, for some time. Rumours of a fight circulated for some time, with fans very excited by the idea but with nobody really being sure of anything. UFC President Dana White dismissed the notion in 2016, but it was announced that an “exploratory phase” for the fight had been entered into in January 2017.
Fanning the flames of mystery and excitement even more, in March 2017 Mayweather publicly told McGregor to “sign the paper” and “make it happen” – to have less talk and more action, in other words. He went on to say that only a fight with McGregor would make him come out of his (wildly lavish) retirement. Finally, on 18 March 2017, McGregor agreed to all of Mayweather’s updated terms and the paper was indeed signed. It is happening.
The boxing world is slightly bemused that this show, the likes of which have never been seen before, has come to fruition and developed such a life of its own. The build-up to this fight is massive, and the generated revenue even more so.
Taking Trash Talking to the Extreme
Boxing is an emotional sport, full of raw energy, and trash talking has always been a big part of that. In 2017, it’s only logical that a lot of it would be mounted on Twitter campaigns. There have been comments made at events and in interviews too, but this really is a battle between 2 celebrity fighters in the modern age. Consequently, a lot of their trash talk has been on social media.
As Mayweather and McGregor trade insults and brags, they also post training videos to hype up fans and psyche each other out. Mayweather’s videos focus on his speed and reaction time, while McGregor’s focus on the UFC champ’s power. One of Mayweather’s biggest Twitter taunts may have been when he named Tyrone Woodley as the best UFC fighter, while for McGregor it may have been a sarcastic compliment where he praised “Mayweather, Sr” for still being able to get out and train at his age.
Their press conferences have also been filled with fast talking jibes, with both parties insulting each other in every way, bringing up the IRS, race, retirement, records, dress sense and anything else that courts controversy. At the first press conference in LA on July 11th McGregor not only talked trash, he also let his clothes do the talking, donning a suit that from afar looked like pin stripes, but up close revealed tiny letters spelling out F**K YOU!
In 2015, Mayweather went up against Manny Pacquiano in what was dubbed “the fight of the century” at the time. That fight generated some major cash, but the battle on the 26th of August is expected to make even more.
Sponsorship, advertising time, tickets and pay-per-view are all adding up to a very pretty penny for both fighters, and the boxer and MMA fighters are expected to take home at least US$100 million and US$75 million respectively. With all the hype surrounding this fight, including the Twitter campaigns and the debates and discussions on who will win, it is going to be a major money-spinner.
So, Who is Likely to Win?
At this point, it could be either contender who takes the title. Boxing insiders like Oscar De La Hoya and Pacquiano himself have called the fight an “embarrassing mismatch”, strongly believing that Mayweather will win and that McGregor, in the words of Mike Tyson, “is going to get killed”.
The odds on the fight outcome are sitting at around 1/8, 9/2 and 33/1 for a Mayweather win, a McGregor win and a draw respectively. A Mayweather win by KO, TKO or DQ is around 8/11, and a McGregor win by the same means around 6/1. The odds for a win by technical decision or decision are 13/8 for Mayweather and 33/1 for McGregor.
Traditional boxing rules will apply, so McGregor will not be able to rely on the MMA kicks and grappling techniques that he usually does. Having said that, he is 12 years younger than Mayweather, extremely strong and extremely fast. Keep watching for new developments as you decide which titan to back in this clash!