By: Sean Crose
Credit Floyd Mayweather sidekick Leonard Ellberbe for having the honesty to admit the upcoming fight between his friend/employer and mma star Conor McGregor isn’t ultimately much about competition. “At the end of the day,” he’s said, “this is entertainment, and we’re giving the fans exactly what they want to see.” No doubt. The Mayweather-McGregor fight, which goes down this Saturday in Vegas, is virtually guaranteed to do massive pay per view business – even though most people, aside from McGregor, his team and his enormous, cult-like following, appear to believe the Irishman doesn’t stand much of a chance of winning.
For his own part, McGregor has been pushing the promotion along, giving quotes, showing bad ass pics of himself on Twitter and otherwise doing yeoman’s work keeping the fight in the public consciousness (as if it needed any help). Mayweather, however, doesn’t seem to have had much to say. That in and of itself isn’t unusual for the Mayweather or recent years. Make no mistake about it, at some point Mayweather’s name alone on a fight card started making financial sense. And it clearly still does. As big as Conor is, even he couldn’t generate this much heat without Floyd.
Still, it’s not like Mayweather hasn’t been doing anything at all to push the Pop Culture Event Of The Summer. Indeed, the man has once again outsmarted those who call him stupid. How? Why, by saying things like he’s missed a step, or that McGregor stands a chance, or that – on paper at least – the scale should be tipping in the UFC star’s favor. Not that Floyd believes McGregor has a great chance of beating him. Floyd just knows if he wants to maximize his earnings this time around, he’s got to look at least somewhat vulnerable in the eyes of the public.
Perhaps that’s why Mayweather has announced he’ll be at his strip club in Vegas every night in the lead up to Saturday and beyond to talk to fans (strip clubs are such wholesome places for meet and greets!). Perhaps that’s also why he’s been spotted eating – wait for it – Burger King! Clearly the guy can’t be taking this fight all that seriously, right? No one can be properly prepared for the likes of the great McGregor hanging out in strip bars and eating fast food, right? RIGHT?????
Those, one can assume, are the questions Floyd is hoping people are asking at this moment. There’s just one catch – anyone who has covered Mayweather at all knows he takes every fight seriously, and that it’s doubtful he’s going to start slacking now. That sort of thing just isn’t his style. A burger and fries won’t ruin the guy, nor will a few hours an evening out in public – especially when one takes into consideration Mayweather tends to be nocturnal and to train at odd hours.
It’s good to keep in mind that, although he’s no longer as loud as he used to be, the fighter called Money is always finding new ways of bringing more money in.