Anthony Joshua has the Attention of UFC / Zuffa Boxing
By Bryanna Fissori
Heavyweight Champ Anthony Joshua has caught the attention of UFC President Dana White, who has been making waves in the boxing industry with announcement that the UFC will be entering the boxing ring under the name “Zuffa Boxing.”
Following his April 29, 2017 knockout of Wladimir Klirschko, White was quick to praise Joshua as the next big thing.
“Boxing had been DYING waiting for an exciting heavyweight champ,” White wrote on Instagram. “Now they have it in Anthony Joshua, CONGRATS champ.”
Looking to Make Boxing Stars
In a recent interview White announced that he would not be looking to cross over fighters on the UFC roster to fill boxing cards. Joshua is the one boxer that White showed interest in working with.
“In my opinion he’s the most marketable guy in boxing,” White told reporters.
With an arguably declining roster of “star power” heavyweights in the UFC it is no surprise that White has been scouring for new talent that he can build up.
One of the most prominent parts of the interview was the conversation about development of stars for Zuffa Boxing. The UFC has a positive reputation for building up their top fighters, making them marketable with interesting backstories, creative visuals and constant exposure. White looks to accomplish the same for Zuffa boxing.
Joshua Aspires to Increase Influence in Boxing
Anthony Joshua is the holder of heavyweight titles for the IBF, EBH and IBO. He is also a 2012 Olympic Boxing Gold Medalist.
Joshua aspires to achieve that kind of star rank. “Before I was happy just to be a part of boxing. I never hand a minute to reflect,” said Joshua. “But now I want to stamp my mark and my legacy and be among the like of Roger Federer. If I want to be like these guys I have to carry myself the right way. . . I want to be like the Ronaldos, Messies, Federers who compete with Nadal, Murry. That’s where I want to take boxing.”
Unifying the heavyweight title is the first goal for Joshua. To do so he is going to have to go through some heavy hitters. WBO titleholder Deontay Wilder and WBC titleholder Joseph Parker are on that list.
Dana White Plans to Create New Stars For Zuffa Boxing
By Bryanna Fissori
Earlier this week UFC President Dana White opened up about some of his plans for Zuffa Boxing.
It is no secret that White is planning on stepping into the world of boxing under the umbrella of UFC parent company WME-IMG, which is also home to the Zuffa brand. Speculation about the transition to boxing has been floating around since this summer when White first appeared in interviews wearing a “Zuffa Boxing” t-shirt, produced by Reebok.
White has confirmed that he will be promoting boxing and maintained an air of confidence as he spoke at the media luncheon hosted at the UFC Headquarters in Las Vegas.
UFC Fighters Crossing Over to Boxing
One of the questions that has been on the minds of fans and fighters is whether or not the UFC and Zuffa Boxing athlete roster will be interchangeable. There are a number of current UFC fighters who have boxing experience and have vocalized interest in putting on the big gloves.
When asked if he would be pulling from the UFC list of athletes, White replied, “No. I’m not thinking about that. I’m not saying it could never happen, but that’s not what I’m looking to do.” He also specified that UFC Champion Conor McGregor, who made his boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather Jr this summer, was included in that statement.
New Stars In Boxing
Making it clear that he would not be bringing over UFC fighters leaves the question on who will be appearing in the Zuffa Boxing ring.
White was questioned about the fact that when the UFC was purchased there were stars already in place. “Back then there weren’t big stars,” asserts White. “And in boxing right now who are the big stars? The huge stars? Most people don’t even know half these guys. Then you’ve got guys who are fighting for $10k for title fights and stuff like that. When people talk about, ‘oh boxing, and the money’ you’re talking about a handful of guys. And then there’s a whole roster full of guys who make nothing. None of them are stars.”
“You’ve got to start small and work your way up and build stars. I think we do a really good job at it and I think we can do it in boxing.”
Emphasis on Card Depth
White was asked if cards would be similar to the UFC format and he confirmed that they would and emphasized that having quality fights throughout the whole card is important.
Referring to the UFC 218 Card “There are fights all the way down on the UFC Fight Pass prelims (first few fights) that you want to see. You never get that in boxing.”
“Seats are empty until the main event starts,” asserts White, who also told reporters that he was guilty of that as well. The only fight he watched on the Mayweather v McGregor card was the main event.
What’s Next for Zuffa Boxing?
White asserts that he will be taking a whole month at the beginning of the year, to meet with various people in the boxing industry and figure out his plan. He also stated that he has a plan A and a plan B. He just has to figure out which to go with. 2018 may prove to be an interesting year for boxing.
The UFC is 100% Getting Into Boxing
By Bryanna Fissori
From the Reebok manufactured “Zuffa Boxing” T-shirt to “I could see that happening,” to “We are 100 percent getting into boxing.”
UFC President Dana White is has masterfully kept fans and fighters on the edge of their seats waiting to see what the next move will be for the UFC. Rumors of a boxing promotion have been floating around since White first appeared at an interview wearing a shirt baring the logo “Zuffa Boxing.” Zuffa is a subsidiary of the UFC conglomerate and the former parent company of the promotion prior to the acquisition by WME-IMG last year.
“I’m not leaving the UFC. I’m getting into boxing with [WME-IMG head] Ari [Emanuel] and the UFC will be doing boxing, too,” White told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s still early. We’re still working on it. I’ve got to get my s**t together, but I’m getting into boxing, man. It’s coming.”
The UFC Brand
“I just know how good we are at what we do, and I know we’re better than pretty much everybody else out there,” White said. “I think that the guys who are involved in boxing, the fighters, would enjoy being under this umbrella and fighting for us, and yeah, I do think would could do it better than everybody else does.”
White commented that there is no “brand” in boxing. Everyone is out to make money without investing in the sport or thinking of the future. According to White, from a financial standpoint,
“. . . There’s no brand. There’s a bunch of cowboys. Every time there’s a boxing fight, it’s a going-out-of-business sale: ‘Let us get as much money as we can from everybody and let’s get the hell out of here.’ Right? That’s how boxing has always done business.”
There is no question that they UFC has done an amazing job in branding the organization and fighters underneath the promotion’s banner. For the general non-fan, the UFC is still a familiar acronym while Premier Boxing Championship, Top Rank or the like are much less likely to be recognized by the masses.
It is safe to say that even in the boxing industry, most competitive boxers could tell you what the UFC is, while many MMA fighters would be hard-pressed to list boxing promotions.
Well-Rounded Fight Cards
Making an entire fight-card engaging from top to bottom is another area where the UFC excels. Last weekend’s UFC 217 was one of the most exciting cards in recent history starting all the way from the bottom of the card on the UFC Fight Pass early preliminary fights to the Pay-per-view main event (Georges Saint-Pierre v Michael Bisping) at Madison Square Garden.
Boxing is known to have their cards stacked top heavy with lower payouts for earlier fights, corresponding heavily with anticipated lack of attendance and viewers for those bouts. There are generally not promoted with any significance and it is a given that most fans will show up or tune in specifically for just the main event.
“My job is to make sure every time you turn your TV off, you feel like you got your money’s worth,” said White. “I can’t guarantee [a single fight] is going to be the best you’ve ever seen. That’s why you have to stack the card and [ensure] everyone on that card makes money. … We spread the money around.”
The minimum amount that a UFC fighter is guaranteed is $10k to show up and $10k to win. More on this in BoxingInsider.com’s previous breakdown of the difference in fight purses here.
Playing Well with Others
The UFC is the top of the industry in MMA. Serious competition is minimal. In boxing the playing field is a bit more even and promoters are decently outspoken against each other. As the voice box for the UFC, White has not been known to hold back his thoughts. From an outside/fan perspective, this could make things interesting. Just in the short time White has been active in the boxing world he has delivered the clear message that boxing needs help. That message has not consistently been well received, especially by established industry professionals such as Bob Arum of Top Rank Boxing.
“The history of boxing … we all know boxing is broken,” said White. “The question is, how do you fix boxing?”
The Unknowns in Zuffa /UFC Boxing
• The Name:
So, the shirt said “Zuffa Boxing.” Zuffa is the former parent company of the UFC, but is now owned as part of the UFC conglomerate by WME-IMG. It may not be such a bad idea to deviate from the “UFC” name when promoting boxing in order to avoid confusion. This means that the company’s promotion could be titled “Zuffa Boxing.”
The name Zuffa is well known to the majority of MMA fighters already. And it is very plausible that the company could build the boxing promotion under that title.
• The In-House Potential
There is a lot of potential in-house talent that have already vocalized a desire to make the cross over to boxing. Some of these current UFC fighters include Jose Aldo, Stipe Miocic, Jimi Manuwa and Cris Cyborg. There are countless other UFC fighters and other Mixed Martial Artists across various promotions who have competed as boxers at some point in their careers (Holly Holm, Joe Duffy, KJ Noons, Vitor Belfort to name a few), but found MMA more profitable at the lower levels. With an option to climb the ranks in both sports, this could open up a lot of potential crossover. How that crossover would look will take a bit of effort from the contractual standpoint of the UFC’s legal team.
• How Soon is it Coming?
The UFC was not built in a day. The company is known for taking chances and trying new things, but there are licensing and regulatory hoops to jump through before WME-IMG can enter the world of boxing. The Conor McGregor boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. earlier this year was a baby step for the company to get their feet wet. It should still take some time to set all of the legal and regulatory aspects of boxing in place, obtain licensing, competitors and to learn the ropes (rather than the cage). Given the UFC’s ability to put the right people in the right places, mid next year would be reasonable, though White has surprised us before . . .
Will Dana White and the UFC be the Next Big Players in (Zuffa) Boxing?
By Bryanna Fissori
“I could see bringing boxing under our umbrella and trying to see what we could do with that. I could see doing that.”-UFC President Dana White.
As written about by BoxingInsider.com following Floyd Mayweather Jr fight versus UFC Champion Conor McGregor, there may be something to the “Zuffa Boxing” t-shirt adorned by White during pre-fight interviews.
Zuffa, LLC. sold the UFC to WME-ING last year, though the Zuffa brand is still heavily associated with the promotion.
White was interviewed on the Wall Street Journal’s “Unnamed Videopodcast,” where he was questioned about the possibility of a UFC crossover to boxing. Though vague in his response, White alluded to the fact that it could happen. His answer seemed to have been worded to imply that he had not given serious thought to the concept, but would Reebok already be selling “Zuffa Boxing” shirts if something were not something in the works?
Dana White and Boxing
Leaving the world of MMA for boxing does not seem to be on White’s agenda. “What people don’t understand is first of all, I’m still an owner,” White said. “I still have an ownership position in the UFC. And yeah, I signed a contract, but no contract can keep you anywhere. I could leave tomorrow if I wanted to. I obviously couldn’t go work for somebody else, but I could leave when I want to leave. I don’t want to leave.”
No stranger to the boxing world, White spent a lot of his early combat sports industry career in that sector. White trained in boxing, taught boxing and had his own boxing brand. The Mayweather / McGregor fight grossed in the neighborhood of $600 million. That is certainly enough to grab the attention of new UFC parent company WME-IMG, whose fairly recent acquisition of the company could mean a lot of changes to the structure and operations of the business. Who is to say one of these changes couldn’t include the addition of boxing under the UFC conglomerate.
It is common knowledge that there is a discrepancy between what MMA fighter and boxers are paid. The top purse reported in MMA has Ronda Rousey (UFC 207) and Conor McGregor (UFC 202) tied at $3million with Brock Lesnar (UFC 200) a fairly close second at $2.5 million. These payouts do not include Pay-per-view percentages or any other bonuses.
In contrast, the top for boxing is Floyd Mayweather Jr who took home $100 million just for his purse alone, against Conor McGregor. Mayweather does tend to be the exception, taking home far more than most other top-tier boxers. It is hard to take Mayweather out the equation when talking about top-paid boxers. Of the top seven grossing matches of all time, he was a participant in at least four.
When Manny Pacquiao fought Mayweather in 2015, the PacMan came home with $120 million. In September, the highly anticipated Miguel Canelo and Gennady Golovkin bout boasted a purse of $15 for each fighter, before the 60 percent PPV split. The PPV and other bonus can add millions on to each purse in the boxing industry.
That being said, the cream of the crop in boxing obviously grosses significantly more than its MMA counterparts. The bottom tier may be a different story. The UFC minimum purse for any card is $10k to show and $10k to win. Unlike most boxing promotions, purses are usually offered at a flat rate with a win bonus that equals the same amount. This provides added incentive for an athlete to preform to their highest potential. Some lower promotions like Victory Fighting Championship (broadcast on UFC Fight Pass) have been known to offer “finishing bonuses” to fighters who end the fight rather than letting it go to the judges.
In a stark contrast to the UFC minimum, the opening bout for the Mayweather/McGregor card did not even amount to $10k between the two fighters. This may also have to do with the fact that rounds were significantly shorter for Savannah Marshall ($5k) and Sydney LeBlanc ($3.5k). The first 12 round fight on the card was Andrew Tabiti ($100k) against Steve Cunningham ($100k).
The UFC minimum is not the industry standard. Bellator MMA may start an undercard fighter at $1,000 to show and $1,000 to win, while small regional promotions may be as low as $200 and $200. This is not unlike smaller boxing promotions.
Overall it can be said that top tier boxers currently have the opportunity to make significantly more than MMA fighters at the highest levels, while the pay is probably more even overall at the lower levels.
Competition With Other Promotions
In joining the boxing community, the UFC will have significantly more competition than the promotion is use to. This is unlikely to dissuade the UFC, given that they are very good at what they do and will undoubtedly be competitive in the current mix as far as the promotional aspect is concerned.
Some of the top competition in the boxing world include; Top Rank, Golden Boy, Premier Boxing Champions, K2 Promotions, Dibella, Mayweather Promotions (TMT), Roc Nation and the recent addition of the successful British promotion, Matchroom.
These promotions host their events across a number of high-profile broadcast networks such as HBO, Showtime, ESPN, CBS, NBC, Fox, FS1 and more. The UFC currently airs its “Fight Night” events, which are not PPV, on FS1. Premier Boxing Champions is the boxing promotion featured on FS1, which could mean someone would need to find a new network if the UFC started promoting boxing events frequently. This would be less likely in the immediate future as the UFC would probably start out with a few PPV events to test the waters.
Audience and Marketing Strategy
The UFC already has a huge audience in the MMA world. It is very likely that a good number of these fight fans would follow the promotion into the boxing arena. As evident in the Mayweather/McGregor fight, the UFC has the ability to reach a broad demographic.
With decades of steady promotions and marketing strategies, the UFC has already mastered the promotional aspects of creating a successful event. They do an incredible job of pre and post fight media, using an adequate but not overbearing amount of dramatization to draw fans in to the personalities of the competitors. Like any good TV show, movie or book, knowing the compelling backstory of an athlete inspires fans to feel more connect and more motivated to watch.
This type of professional and methodical approach to promotion may be what boxing needs to make a comeback in the U.S. where it is still less popular than in other regions.
Competition for Boxers
McGregor is not the only MMA competitor who has shown interest in boxing. There are a good number of athletes who already compete in both sports. UFC athletes Jose Aldo, Stipe Miocic, Jimi Manuwa and Cris Cyborg have already voiced interest in wanting to box. If allowed to compete in the ring, those names would undoubtedly draw a crowd.
The hang up on which promotions boxers compete for could potentially ride on the payout, which it should. No one is looking to get punched in the face for free. As extensively discussed earlier, the high-end payouts for the UFC are still significantly less than that for top boxers. The UFC may find that they have to cough up more to compete for athletes in the industry. Depending on the PPV and gate numbers, this may be worth it, as many large boxing cards have draw a much bigger crowd and PPV turn-out than UFC cards.
Top Rank Boxing Promoter Bob Arum has been very vocal in his opinion that the UFC is considering getting to boxing because of low PPV numbers. “My thoughts are that UFC is desperate. Their numbers are way off, they have no marquee star,” Arum said in an interview with NYFights.com. “Look at their PPV numbers. They barely break 100,000 homes on their shows. They’re having trouble getting renewal on their contract with FOX. They have to do something. One of things they may try and fall back on and try and acquire a boxing presence.”
Arum, who typically has a lot to say when it comes to the UFC and Dana White, has also made comments about the amount the UFC pays their fighters in comparison to boxing. In a 2011 interview he was quoted as saying, “I don’t know where Dana is coming from, I never said anything bad about him. But Dana has to realize, because of the monopoly the UFC has, they pay their fighters maybe 20-percent of the proceeds that come in on a UFC fight and we pay fighters over 80-percent. So that’s the difference, so talk about giving back to the sport, when you pay your talent 20-percent and boxing promoter’s like myself and others pay over 80-percent, who’s giving back to whom? It’s very easy (to make network deals) when his athletes get paid nothing. Our athletes get paid.”
The other question is whether or not the UFC would put their boxers on an official roster with the same ancillary rights agreement that their MMA fighters are subject to. This could also make a difference in the caliber of athlete they acquire.
UFC Easing in to the Boxing World
About this same time last year Arum told media outlets that he met with Ari Emanuel (owner of UFC parent company WME-IMG) who was interested in purchasing Top Rank’s fight library for $100 million, which includes iconic fights such as 1975’s “Thirlla in Manilla” between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Though the conversation did not go anywhere, the library would have been an addition to the extensive classic fights available on UFC Fight Pass and a soft introduction into boxing for UFC fans. A long-term deal with ESPN has since been inked for rights to the library.
In the recent interview with NYFights.com Arum stated that he was contacted last year by someone in the UFC wanting to purchase Top Rank. It was unclear if Arum was referring to the entire promotion or the previously mentioned attempt to purchase the library. The UFC is know for successful acquisition of other promotions, though up to this point they have all been MMA only promotions.
Allowing McGregor to compete in boxing earlier this year granted the UFC businessmen and fans to acquire a taste for boxing without shoving it down their throats. This has sparked obvious interest from fighters and there are a lot of MMA fighters out there with great hands who could be fun to watch.
The Future of UFC Boxing
Will we see a UFC boxing card in the near future? Overall it makes a good deal of since. The UFC already knows the formula for success in combat sports. The company has already gotten its feet wet. Fighters and fans are watching anxiously to see what the UFC’s next move will be.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Dana White, Anthony Joshua, Sosa, Takam, Smith, Williams, Hernandez, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 17th to October 24th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Dana White Says UFC Could Start to Promote Boxing
Dana White recently spoke to the Wall Street Journal at https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=V2wbIUSpALY. In this interview Dana indicated that he likes promoting MMA but has an interest in promoting boxing.
He told Jason Gay of “The Unnamed Podvideocast” that, “I could see bringing boxing under our umbrella and trying to see what we could do with that.”
White was observed wearing a shirt that read “Zuffa Boxing” on the promotional tour for the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor bout. Zuffa Boxing could soon become a real thing.
Watch Joshua vs. Takam Heavyweight Title Fight Exclusively on DAZN
Fight fans can watch Anthony Joshua defend his IBF and WBA Heavyweight Titles against Carlos Takam on Saturday, October 28th live on DAZN.
DAZN is a live and on-demand sports streaming service that allows fans to watch their sport, their way, live or on-demand. Fans can watch their favourite teams, leagues and players anytime, anywhere with the ability to play, pause and rewind anytime. Subscriptions are available for $20 a month or $150 annually, with the first month free.
DAZN is also the only way to get unlimited access to every live NFL game this coming season. And with access to the NFL Network 24/7 and NFL RedZone, you’ll never miss another touchdown, field goal or interception ever again. You can also see top European soccer including LaLiga Santander, Ligue 1 and Serie A, plus KHL Hockey, Moto GP, ATP 250 Tennis, PDC Darts and Pro14 Rugby Union – all in HD.
It’s available in Canada on most connected devices including Smart TVs, smartphones, tablets and games consoles – for more information or to sign up, please visit dazn.com.
Olympian Nico Hernandez Fighting for First Pro Title December 2nd
2016 Olympic bronze medalist Nico Hernandez will be fighting for his first professional title on Saturday, December 2, when he takes on Hungarian invader Jozsef “Little Red” Ajtai in the eight-round main event for the vacant International Boxing Association (IBA) Flyweight Championship, headlining “KO Night Boxing: Gold & Glory” at Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas.
“KO Night Boxing: Gold & Glory” is a presentation of KO Night Boxing LLC., in association with Hartman Arena, and sponsored in part by Twister City Harley-Davidson Metro PCS, Mort’s Cigar Bar and Jimmy Egg.
The action will be taped live for future airing on CBS Sports Network.
The 21-year-old Hernandez (3-0, 2 KOs), fighting out of Wichita, will be fighting in a scheduled eight-round bout for the first time. His three pro fights to date were all scheduled for six rounds and each was held in Kansas, the last two in his second home, Hartman Arena.
In his last fight this past September 23rd, Hernandez was forced to fight late replacement Kendrick “Uprising” Latchman who outweighed the celebrated American Olympian by more than 10 pounds. Hernandez won a six-round unanimous decision by scores of 60-54 and 59-55 twice.
Despite being younger than Hernandez by almost a year to the day, Ajtai (19-9, 12 KOs) has already had 28 pro fights, including a full 10-round distance loss by decision last year to two-time Olympic gold medalist Shiming Zou, the former World Boxing Organization (WBO) flyweight world champion.
“By far, Nico is fighting the toughest opponent of his pro career,” Hernandez’ promoter John Andersen (“KO Night Boxing LLC) said. “Ajtai has much more experience as a pro than Nico, plus he went the distance against a two-time Olympic gold medalist, Zou. Ajtai is a busy fighter with a good knockout ratio (63%). This fight is going to tell us a lot about Nico, especially his power at 112 pounds.
“Nico fighting for a title in only his fourth pro fight proves that all our hard efforts of KO Night Boxing and Team Nico has paid off quickly and we’re grateful that the IBA has given him this great opportunity. I didn’t realize the high quality of champions the IBA has had in the past and we’re proud that Nico can someday join this group. In the flyweight division, Nico may enter world title fight shot discussions earlier than I had originally thought, which was in his third year as a pro. An impressive performance against Ajtai could position him for a world title fight next year with less than 10 fights under his belt.”
“We’re excited to have an American Olympian fighting for our first Americas title,” IBA President J.C. Courreges added. “Nico Hernandez is an Olympic bronze medalist and we’re hopeful that he will develop into an IBA world champion in the not too distant future. His amateur pedigree speaks for itself and we’re very happy to have this young man fighting for the IBA Americas title.”
IBA world champions during the past quarter-century include Hall-of-Famers Oscar de la Hoya, George Foreman, Roberto Duran and Arturo Gatti, as well as stars such as Roy Jones, Jr., Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosely, James Toney, Mikkel Kessler, Eric Morales, Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver.
Ukranian Olympian Makes Professional Debut on Friday
Olympian middleweight Dmytro Mytrofanov will make his professional boxing debut Friday night in Elk Grove Village against an unbeaten foe.
Mytrofanov, who fought for the Ukraine in the 2016 Olympics, will square off against American Brandon Maddox, who is 7-0, with five knockouts.
The six-round bout will take place at the Belvedere Events Center, 1170 W. Devon Ave., Elk Grove Village.
Mytrofanov, 27, won national titles in the Ukraine in 2008 and 2012, The middleweight was also a bronze medalist at the 2011 European Championships.
He is represented by Andrew Sobko of Natex Boxing Promotions.
The 31-year-old Maddox has won 71 percent of his fights by knockout. The Detroit, Mich. fighter won Golden Gloves titles in Detroit and Chicago. He also posted a 4-2 mark in professional Mixed Martial Arts fights.
Friday’s fight, sanctioned by the Illinois State Athletic Commission, is being promoted by Natex and Hitz Entertainment.
On Friday’s fight card, along with Mytrofanov-Maddox, are:
Super welterweights Anthony Prescott and Anthony Abbruzzese
Undefeated super featherweight Giovanni Mioletti and Tyrome Jones
Undefeated super middleweight Tommy Hughes and Emmanuel Sanchez
Heavyweight Tulagonov Osvaldo, making his professional debut
Undefeated middleweight Osvaldo Vera
Friday’s first bout begins at 7:30 p.m.
VIP tables, which seat 10 people, are $250 per person. General admission is $40.
Tickets can be purchased at www.natexboxing.com
Ishe Smith to Face Julian Williams on November 18th
Former world champion Ishe Smith battles top 154-pound contender Julian “J-Rock” Williams in a 10-round super welterweight clash that headlines Premier Boxing Champions on Bounce live from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on Saturday, November 18.
In the co-feature, Lionell Thompson clashes with unbeaten prospect Earl Newman in a 10-round light heavyweight bout. Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with unbeaten prospects Tugstsogt Nyambayar and Xavier Martinez going head-to-head in a 10-round featherweight fight.
“This card is going to bring it,” said Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe. “The fans will be presented with variety; veterans and prospects going head-to-head and tough fighting styles meshing come fight night. The main event between Ishe Smith and Julian Williams is going to be an exciting battle! I think Ishe and Julian are going to put on a great show. Both fighters are very tough competitors and fight with everything they have. We also have a great undercard line-up. This is going to be an all-around exciting night of boxing for the fans.”
“This is the kind of show that presents something for every boxing fan,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Ishe Smith is a former champion who still has title aspirations. He’s going up against a young hungry contender on the comeback trail in Julian Williams. Earl Newman will be taking a major step up when he takes on Lionell Thompson in the co-feature and both Tugstsogt Nyambayar and Xavier Martinez will be looking to keep their undefeated records intact. It all adds up to a fun night for boxing fans.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, are priced at $29, $39, $59, $69, $89 and $149 and are on sale now. Tickets are available at www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com or through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 andwww.ticketmaster.com.
The 39-year-old Smith (29-8, 12 KOs) won his world championship with a majority decision over Cornelius Bundrage on Feb. 23, 2013 to become the first Las Vegas-native to win a world title. He has also challenged top fighters such as Erislandy Lara and Daniel Jacobs and most recently defeated Tommy Rainone and Frank Galarza in his last two bouts.
“I took this fight just like I’ve taken every tough fight over the years,” said Smith. “I constantly challenge myself to the best and I believe Julian Williams is one of the best in the division. If you look at my resume, all I’ve done is fight the best guys, in their prime, so this is nothing new to me. I’ve reached the point where I’ve seen it all. This fight will get me exactly where I need to be, closer to a world title shot.”
Williams (23-1-1, 15 KOs), one of the top young contenders in the 154-pound division, is working his way back into title contention by taking on a tough former world champion in Smith. The 27-year-old Williams of Philadelphia suffered a KO loss to Jermall Charlo in his first title shot in 2016 and returned to the ring with a TKO victory over Joshua Conley in his last fight on June 30.
“We’ve been working hard for months and I’m ready to get back in the ring,” said Williams. “I could fight tomorrow. I know this is an important fight for my career. Ishe is a veteran and he is going to bring his ‘A’ game to try to prove he’s still got it. I’m not going to give him that opportunity. I will be victorious and show that I’m ready to fight the best in the world.”
Rahman Junior Opponent Chickens Out in Ring, Seconds Before Scheduled Fight
The young career of heavyweight contender Hasim Rahman Jr. took an unexpected turn last week, as his scheduled opponent, Joseph Coats, decided not to fight, while in the ring during the introductions and literally left the ring and returned to the locker room.
The four-round Rahman vs. Coats bout was supposed to happen at The Durham Armory in Downtown Durham, North Carolina, last Thursday, October 19. However, the debuting Coats, trained by reputable trainer Don Turner, initially refused to come out of the locker room. Forty minutes later, Coats finally agreed to get on with the fight only to leave Rahman waiting in the ring for nearly 10 minutes while chickening out for a second time.
He now faces suspension.
Event promoter Michelle Rosado (Raging Babe Events) and matchmaker J Russell Peltz (Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc.) were as perplexed as Rahman’s promoter, Greg Cohen, by Coats’ sudden departure.
“Russell told me in his 48 years in the sport, he NEVER saw anything like this,” said Cohen. “A fighter in the ring rethinks his choice and leaves. I’m told he was out of the building before the announcer finished explaining to the crowd what happened.”
Cohen says he already has the next fight scheduled for the promising slugger Rahman Jr., November 4 in Springfield, Virginia, in a co-promotion with Shabazz Brotherz Boxing Promotions.
“Junior showed class and poise in the way he handled this and he’s to be commended. Sometimes in boxing, strange things happen and this is one of those times.”
Jason Sosa to Clash with Robinson Castellanos on November 25th
Two of the most experienced fighters in the stacked 130-pound division will continue the heated Puerto Rico vs. Mexico rivalry when Jason “El Canito” Sosa (20-2-4, 14 KOs) takes on Robinson “Robin Hood” Castellanos (24-13, 14 KOs) in a 10-round super featherweight fight at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on the televised undercard for Kovalev vs. Shabrankskyy. The event takes place Saturday, Nov. 25 and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Although the competition between Puerto Rico and Mexico runs deep in the ring, Latinos and Hispanics come together and support each other in times of need. In light of the natural disasters affecting Mexico and the Caribbean, a portion of the proceeds of the ticket sales form this event will be donated to relief efforts for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the earthquake in Mexico City when ticket buyers use the code LATINOSUNIDOS to purchase their tickets through Ticketmaster.
“With the terrible natural disasters that have impacted Puerto Rico and Mexico recently, it was incredibly important to us that we find opportunities in boxing to give back to those affected,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Though Puerto Rico and Mexico are rivals when it comes to boxing we stand together united to help these communities recover and rebuild their lives.”
The 29-year-old Sosa, of Camden, NJ and of Puerto Rican descent, is the former WBA World Super Featherweight Champion. He earned his title by handing Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna his first loss as a pro with an 11th-round knockout in Beijing, China in June 2016. Sosa successfully defended his title with a 12-round decision win over Stephen Smith in Monte Carlo in November 2016 before returning several months later in a tough fight against Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko in April 2017. Sosa is also known for fighting to an impressive majority draw against former WBA Super World Featherweight Champion Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters and for stopping former world title challenger Jerry “The Corpus Christi Kid” Belmontes in only one round. Sosa’s aggressive style should produce fireworks against Castellanos.
“Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico,” said Sosa. “I have been living there for the last few months and I opened a business there. Now to see the destruction and devastation that my people are going through, it breaks my heart. It was very difficult for me to leave and begin my training camp back in New Jersey to get ready for the fight against Castellanos. This fight is important for many reasons. It is the beginning of the road to becoming champion again and it is my way of giving Puerto Rico a reason to smile and be proud. They are my biggest supporters and that little island shows me so much love. I can’t do much but I can show them that this win is for them. I want to thank Castellanos and HBO for this opportunity.”
Castellanos is a battle-tested warrior who is coming off a spectacular performance against current WBA Super World Super Featherweight Champion Jezreel “El Invisible” Corrales in July of this year. The 35-year-old native of Guanajuato, Mexico also handed super bantamweight contender and world title challenger Ronny Rios his first career loss, stopping him by TKO in October of 2014. Before challenging for a world title, Castellanos stopped Cuban former unified WBA and IBF Featherweight Champion Yuriorkis “El Ciclon de Guantánamo” Gamboa on the May 5 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN. After having been so close to winning a world title in his last outing, Castellanos will look to make sure that he gets another crack at the top of the division with a victory on Nov. 25.
“What has happened in Mexico and Puerto [Rico] has been devastating,” said Castellanos. But it has also reminded us that we are strong and united. The crisis won’t be resolved from one day to another, but however long it takes we will lift ourselves up. I know little about Jason [Sosa], but I know that he was a world champion. He has already accomplished a dream that I am still looking to accomplish. I know that I’ll need a victory to fight for a world title again. Both of us will have to leave everything in the ring, and I hope that the people in New York really enjoy our fight.”
Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor Round by Round Results: Mayweather Stops McGregor in the Tenth Round
By: William Holmes
The massive appeal of this fight caused pay per view providers worldwide to experience difficulties providing the fight to their customers. The start of the main event was delayed to allow the cable providers time to sort out their issues and make the fight available.
The T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was nearly empty for the undercards but celebrities started to fill at the end of the televised undercard.
The Irish National anthem was sung first by Imelda May and Demi Lovato sung the national anthem of the United States second.
Conor McGregor entered the ring first to a loud roar from the crowd. His entrance was surprisingly more subdued.
Floyd Mayweather entered the ring second with his face covered, similar to Bernard the “Executioner” Hopkins.
Conor McGregor appeared to be a little more tense than normal during fighter introductions.
Robert Byrd was the referee. The following is a round by round account of tonight’s historical fight.
Photo Credit: USA Today
Floyd Mayweather (49-0) vs. Conor McGregor (0-0); Junior Middleweight Division
Mayweather comes out and circles away. McGregor goes on the attack and lands some body shots on Mayweather. Conor throwing a high volume of punches early on. MGregor lands a straight left hand. Mayweather has a smile on his face. McGregor missing with the jab. Mayweather misses with a straight right. McGregor landed a straight left hand. McGregor lands a left uppercut. Mayweather misses with a lead left hook. MccGregor lands a jab. Mayweather with a jab to the body. McGregor switches stances. McGregor has intriguing movement. McGregor lands a left uppercut on Mayweather. McGregor jabs Mayweather.
McGregor comes out moving forward and Mayweather moves backwards. McGregor is touching Mayweather with punches. McGregor gets warned for throwing a hammer first. McGregor lands another left uppercut buy Mayweather lands a straight right hand. Mayweather lands a straight right to the body. McGregor throws out a straight left hand. McGregor lands a right to the body. McGregor lands a right uppercut and then two straight right jabs. Mayweather lands a hard right to the body. Mayweather throws a right cross to the body and McGregor throws a straight left to the body. McGregor lands a straight left hand. McGregor slips a Mayweather cross. McGregor lands a straight left to the body. Mayweather lands a straight right to McGregor’s chin. McGregor lands a check left hook and two straight left crosses. McGregor misses with a wild left hook.
10-9 McGregor, 20-18 McGregor
McGregor looked at ease in the corner. McGregor backs Mayweather into the corner and lands a two punch combination. McGregor almost hammer fists Mayweather in the back of the head. McGregor lands a straight left hand. They tie up by the ropes. McGregor lands a quick jab. Mayweather staying outside of McGregor’s range. Mayweather with a right cross to the body. Good left hand by McGregor. McGregor with a left to the body of Mayweather. Referee warns Mayweather to kepe his head up. McGreogr misses with a wilde left. McGregor with two jabs. Good jab lands by McGregor. Mayweather with a right cross to the bbody. McGregor almost lands a right uppercut. McGregor lands another jab. McGregor flicks out another jab. McGregor almost lands another hammer fist. McGregor is looking for that counter uppercut.
10-9 McGregor, 30-27 McGregor
McGregor moves Mayweather backwards again. McGregor attacks the body of Mayweather by the ropes. McGregor continues to go to the body of Mayweather. McGregor throwing looping hooks. Mayweather ties up with McGregor. They both land a cross at the same time. Mayweather lands a right to the body. Mayweather is coming forward on McGregor. Mayweather lands a straight right hand. McGregor pivots behind Mayweather. Mayweather lands a combination on McGregor. McGregor lands a jab and looping hook. Mayweather lands a good hook to the body. Some good exchanges this round. McGregor jabs Mayweather again. McGregor looks a little tired. McGregor lands a left cross. McGregor lands a little hook to the body. Mayweather lands a hook to the body. McGregor lands a straight left and Mayweather lands a straight right.
10-9 Mayweather, 39-37 McGregor
McGregor goes out throwing a double jab. McGregor lands another good jab. McGregors jab is on point. Two left hands connect for McGregor. Mayweather puts his gloves in the face of McGregor when they tied up. McGregor lands a short uppercut to the body. McGregor lands a jab. McGregor is landing a high volume of punches on Mayweather. McGregor lands another straight left hand. McGregor is landing good shots to the body of Mayweather. They tie up again in the middle of the ring. McGregor isn’t landing hard punches, but he’s landing a lot of punches. He slips two punches by Mayweather. Mayweather lands a left hook on McGregor. McGregor lands two jabs and Mayweather lands a right cross. McGregor’s volume of punches is winning him rounds.
10-9 McGregor, 49-46 McGregor
McGregor flicks his jab in the face of Mayweather. McGregor lands punches on Mayweather while turns his back on McGregor. McGregor lands a jab and a short hook. McGregor lands a hard straight left to the body and Mayweather answers with a right cross upstairs. McGregor lands some good hooks to the body. Mayweather lands a left right hand. Mayweather lands another straight right hand. McGregor is fading it seems. McGregor lands a looping right hook. Mayweather lands another straight right hand. McGregor throws out a straight left hand to the face and a good hook to the body. McGregor landing some good shots to the body. Mayweather lands a good combination on McGregor. Mayweather lands a right cross to the body. Mayweather misses with a straight right hand. McGregor with a left cross to the body and Mayweather ducks and turns his body. McGregor lands a straight left hand and lands his own straight right hand.
10-9 Mayweather, 58-56 McGregor
McGregor looks exhausted. McGregor throws the first combination of the round. Mayweather lands a hard body shot. McGregor lands two quick jabs. McGregor lands a good combination. McGregor lands a good hook to the body. Mayweather misses with a combination. McGregor lands a good straight left hand. Mayweather connects with a left jab. McGregor ties up with Mayweather and backs him into the corner. Mayweather lands a lead right hand and McGregor connects with a three punch combination. Mayweather lands two straight lead right hands. Mayweather lands a straight right hand. Mayweather connects with a hard straight right hand followed by a straight left hand. Mayweather connects with hard punches. Mayweather is pressing forward on McGregor. Mayweather is pressing the action and lands a straight right hand.
10-9 Mayweather, 67-66 McGregor
Mayweather is looking a lot fresher than Conor McGregor. Mayweather turns his back to McGregor again. McGregor lands two straight punches to the body. McGregor gets in two underhooks. McGregor ducks the punches of Mayweather. McGregor lands a short left uppercut. McGregor landing good shots to the body. Mayweather is pressing forward and lands some good jabs. McGregor is backing away from Mayweather. McGregor lands a jab. McGregor lands some body punches. None of McGregor’s punches look to be very hard. McGregor lands a shopping left hook. McGregor is having a better round. Mayweather lands a jab. McGregor lands a left cross and Mayweather connects with a right cross. McGregor connects with a jab and a left cross. McGregor puts a little more mustard behind that last left cross. McGregor lands two left crosses and Mayweather responds with a short little jab. McGregor lands with a straight right. Close round.
10-9 Mayweather; 76-76
McGregor answers with a hard straight lefthand and he hurts Mayweather with a body shot. Referee warns McGregor for a low blow. McGregor ducks several punches from Mayweather. McGregor is landing some good shots on Mayweather. McGregor gets tagged with a straight right hand. McGregor gets hit with a straight right hand by Mayweather. Mayweather lands a short right uppercut on McGregor. Mayweather lands a two punch combination on McGregor. McGregor is exhausted. Mayweather backs McGregor back into the corner. They tie up. McGregor looks exhausted. Mayweather lands a hard left hook. Mayweather lands another straight right hand. McGregor tries to hold onto Mayweather. McGregor is spent. McGregor is getting tagged at all angles.
10-8 Mayweather, 86-84 Mayweather
McGregor keeps his jab hand in the head of Mayweather. McGregor ties up with Mayweather and lands some short hooks. McGregor and Mayweather tie up again. Mayweather lands some hard shots to the body. Mayweather lands two hard combinations on McGregor. McGregor os wobbly. Mayweather is going in for the kill and the referee stops the fight.
Floyd Mayweather wins by TKO at 1:05 of the tenth round.
More Full Coverage: Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor
Diffusing the Notion of Power: Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather
By: Kirk Jackson
The main argument Conor McGregor, UFC President Dana White, UFC’s legion of hardcore, biased followers, advocate is McGregor’s overall physical strength, youth, size and punching power.
Essentially claiming these physical tools automatically dwarf anything the older, smaller, Floyd Mayweather can muster.
Their barbaric approach and sentiments suggest either ignorance of the sport of boxing, or a clever ploy to draw other demographics of audience into the event that will hog headlines August 26.
“Conor’s got extraordinary power, he’s got extraordinary movement and he’s bigger,” saidformer UFC commentator Joe Rogan. “He’s a far bigger guy. I mean he’s a big framed guy and he’s strong and he’s young.”
“That’s what Conor McGregor is. He’s a freak athlete. There’s a guy named FirasZahabi, who’s one of the best trainers in MMA, Georges St-Pierre’s trainer — he calls it the touch of death.”
The last man to share an octagon with McGregor, Eddie Alvarez, stated similar thoughts regarding McGregor’s punching power.
“I don’t know if it was after I got hit that I kind of went into fight or flight mode,” Alvarez said of their encounter.
“To be honest with you, that first shot, I had no clue what it was. I had no clue, and my butt was on the ground, and I remember in my head going ‘what the fuck was that?’”
Comparatively, McGregor is the bigger than Mayweather regarding physical size.
The Irishman has a one-inch height advantage and a two-inch reach advantage. With longer arms working to McGregor’s favor, as he enjoys utilizing his advantage as he likes to strike opponents from the outside.
Another physical factor favoring McGregor is he is in his twenties and eleven years younger than the 40-year-old Mayweather.
This is where the physical advantages for McGregor end.
Even at the advanced age of 40, Mayweather looks faster than McGregor and if we compare professional fight history between the two, Mayweather has the edge in regards to stamina.
Aside from showing slight fatigue in his last bout against Andre Berto, it’s a rare sight to see Mayweather tired in a fight. McGregor however displayed exhaustion against Nate Diaz in both encounters, falling to submission in their first fight.
McGregor may possess explosive speed, power and athleticism by mixed martial arts standards, but the application of these traits is applied differently within the realm of boxing.
If the Irishman tires out after two, five-minute rounds in the Octagon, it’s fair to suggest he will tire out over the course of an accelerated pace of 12, three-minute rounds via boxing.
Which may have prompted McGregor to suggest he will stop Mayweather within four rounds of action.
According to UFC President Dana White regarding McGregor’s claims, “He [McGregor] gets off the flight from Ireland, looks like he was just fitted at Armani. Walks off the plane and he says, ‘I will knock this man [Mayweather] out within four rounds.’”
McGregor figures he won’t outpoint the boxer and win on the score cards and he knows his body more than anyone else; meaning he knows his gas tank is limited.
Regarding punching and power in boxing, there are two famous phrases or mantras that hold true.
“All it takes is one punch,” and the famous, “Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth,” – via Mike Tyson.
These adages provecorrect over time and they actually point towards Mayweather’s favor.
McGregor is southpaw and as a mixed martial arts stylized-fighter, his style and rhythm will probably throw Mayweather off – he is not accustomed to facing mixed martial artists.
But that goes against McGregor too. He is not used to fighting boxers with superior hand-striking ability. Eddie Alvarez is not going to cut it.
No disrespect to Nate Diaz, but Mayweather is in a different solar system skill-wise comparatively speaking.
Mayweather will not stand squared up and lunge in with his arms down like Jose Aldo. The same openings McGregor is accustomed to seeing fighting his UFC contemporaries will not be there against Mayweather.
A quick comparison to what McGregor faces regarding Mayweather and Diaz.
Diaz doesn’t make his opponents miss punches. Diaz doesn’tevade strikes or necessarily force the opponent to move all that much. Diaz stands in front of his opposition and essentially lets opponents hit him.
Mayweather is the polar opposite;the pursuit of Mayweatherrequires great footwork, feinting him out of position, cutting the ring off instead of chasing a great jab helps along with a wonderful sense of timing.
Mayweather fights utilizing different angles and stances, each with a specific purpose and as the opponent is chasing, missing punches, while consistently eating counter punches, Mayweather also attacks the body; wearing opponents down, making the chase that much more problematic.
Regarding the adage of all it takes is one punch to end anyone’s night, yes that is true.
Sure, one punch can end the fight for Mayweather. Applying a certain amount of pressure across the temple or chin can even put to sleep the most iron-chinned competitors.
The most damaging punch however, is the punch you don’t see coming. Mayweather is a master of landing those types of punches; accurate, precise, deceptive and damaging.
Regarding pure punching power, ESPN’s Sport Science did a report/experiment testing and comparing McGregor and Mayweather’s punching power.
Bringing it back to McGregor and Diaz, the man from Stockton stunned McGregor with a solid left hand; prior to submitting the Irishman later in the round.
According to Sports Science, with the very least Mayweather hits as hard as Diaz but possesses greater speed and places greater emphasis on precision, that all spells trouble for McGregor.
To echo the sentiments of mixed martial arts fighters Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisbing, boxers generally speaking punch harder than mixed martial artists. That’s a given right?
Many boxers, train from ages 4, 5 and focus on punching. Placing and shifting the weight into punches, moving hips behind punches, snapping the wrist, generating the proper torque for unleashing fistic fire power.
Sonnen stated on his podcast, “Floyd is throwing punches at guys that are great at slipping and rolling with and dealing with punches.”
“Conor is throwing punches at guys who aren’t great at –they’re very good… but they have to focus some of their time on the grappling, on the submission, on the conditioning, on the strength, on the weight cutting… they’re not great at it in comparison to what Floyd is throwing punches at,” Sonnen said.
“Floyd throws harder and punches significantly harder than Conor does. And he’s also used to throwing it at harder targets.”
While there are more nuances to boxing than what was mentioned in regards to punching, imagine the various nuances mixed martial artists have to learn – those trying to absorb multiple disciplines of fighting.
It makes sense a boxer generally possesses greater punching power and why should that be different with Mayweather?
Concerning form and technique, Mayweather is a boxing savant, considered a prodigy at a young age. While his knockouts decreased over time, we must take into consideration he moved up four weight classes and fought bigger opponents.
Emphasizing a point Sonnen touched on, the opponents he faced are trained to take punches; many of these boxers know how to roll their chins to mitigate the impact of incoming punches. Something McGregor lacks experience with.
Another thing to consider, contrary to White, Rogan and McGregor’s narrative, Mayweather is accustomed to fighter bigger guys.
Regarding opponents of the past, Marcos Maidana weighed around 175 lbs. after weigh-ins for a welterweight bout (147 lb. limit) against Mayweather.
Oscar De La Hoya weighed in the upper 160 lbs. range, same with Miguel Cotto. Canelo Alvarez weighed in the lower 170 lbs. range and these aforementioned fighters punch harder than McGregor. These are three Hall of Famers and De La Hoya is also an Olympic Gold Medalist.
Body punching is another thing McGregor has to worry about. While observing sparring and training footage, can’t help but notice McGregor keeps his cup/protector high; above the navel area.
Mayweather is an underrated body puncher. He utilizes his patented jab to the solar plexus or jab to the pit of an opponent’s stomach, essentially sapping strength from oncoming opponents.
Facing a southpaw we’ll more likely see straight right hands towards McGregor’s body, as the distance between an orthodox fighter’s right hand and a southpaw fighter’s chin and body is closer in distance.
And for a guy with questionable endurance issues, deposits to the body only makes sense for Mayweather.
McGregor is not used to defending his body from attacks like that; a subtle nuance of the boxing that is yet again underestimated.
Whether Mayweather can deal with McGregor’s punching power remains to be seen. Wonder what big punchers such as Ricky Hatton, Shane Mosley, Victor Ortiz, De La Hoya, Cotto,Maidana, Alvarez and Manny Pacquiao think?
There are more variables at hand that determine the fate of a fight, but power looks to be Mayweather’s advantage.
Why Mayweather And McGregor Are Beloved For Engaging In Bad Behavior
Why Mayweather And McGregor Are Beloved For Engaging In Bad Behavior
By: Sean Crose
America loves the pairing, but make no mistake about it – Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather behave horribly. The past few days have set me to thinking quite a bit about these two, as I’ve watched and written on the migraine headache that was their international press tour. And while I admit there was a fascinating element to it all, I found it strange that such men, McGregor in particular, are viewed as legitimate heroes.
Perhaps it’s all a backlash to the insane political correctness that has rocked the country. When students at exclusive colleges literally shut down free speech with the possible intent to take censorship nationwide, guys like Floyd and Conor can seem downright refreshing. “Mate,” McGregor once told a reporter calling him out for some prickly comments, “shut the fuck up.” Such things can be pleasing in a world where an Orwellian nightmare appears to be morphing into real life.
Yet Conor and Floyd are far from heroes saving the planet from goose stepping social justice warriors. They’re two men enthralled with bad behavior. To support these guys, to cheer on their antics, isn’t standing up to the tyranny of political correctness, it’s allowing the pendulum to swing too far the other way. Words are not, as the snowflakes tell us, acts of violence. They can hurt like hell, though, and that’s something these guys refuse to keep in mind – or even care about.
Mayweather has made some ugly statements over the years, including some particularly nasty ones regarding Manny Pacquiao’s being Asian. He’s since expressed remorse for those actions – fair enough – but his entire ho/pimp/ stripper routine during the press conferences this week bordered on scary at times. I sensed that McGregor himself was uncomfortable with it after a point, as if the master of mind games himself had finally found that it was he who was being played.
McGregor was far from a sympathetic figure during the tour, however. The man, in my opinion, knew what he was doing when he called Mayweather “boy.” He was simply seeing how far he could go. What’s more, McGregor’s actions with Showtime honcho Stephen Espinoza were truly horrifying. That’s right, horrifying. Not funny. Horrifying. Riling up a crowd of thousands, then flashing true disdain – and perhaps even a sense of violence – towards a single person isn’t cute or funny. It’s simply wrong – end of story.
By the way, McGregor’s hold on vast crowds is worth noting. Imagine, if you will, the man being a political figure rather than a sporting one. Frightened yet? With the instant aggression McGregor can suddenly summon in his enormous cult-like fan base, maybe you should be. The guy has a strange hold on people. Perhaps there are large numbers of individuals who find bad behavior liberating, who find what the Marlon Brando character in Apocalypse Now called “petty morality” stifling. If so, McGregor might be their man.
Or perhaps people just lack an empathy button and feel that McGregor and Mayweather are simply entertainers. Sure enough, some are openly saying they will pay one hundred dollars simply to be somehow engaged in a vast spectacle when the two meet for their massive, pay per view broadcast fight on August 26th. Then again, perhaps there’s something more at play here, something more sinister that says unsettling stuff about our society as a whole.
I haven’t watched pro wrestling in years, but one of the things that used to delight me about it was the characters – those over the top, cartoon figures who’d engage in all kinds of off the wall, sophomoric dramas right before our very eyes. One of the big keys to these characters was that they consistently celebrated the self. Indeed, pro wrestling was successful because it presented the art of self worship as a joke – a joke that even kids could see through, yet still enjoy. I’m guessing that still rings true with professional wrestling today. The whole freakin’ thing is satire. Mayweather and McGregor appear to have a lot in common with pro wrestlers of yore…except neither seems to be playing a part. Rather, these two appear to be, at most, employing extensions of themselves for public consumption. Each man is taking himself and his incredible success so seriously that it’s either frightening, pathetic, comical, or some combination of the three.
Yet, whether we choose to admit it or not, we as a society are taking them seriously, too. Again, this may all be a backlash to the PC crowd, which is attempting, with some serious success, to instill itself as a harsh and fearful deity to be cowed by, groveled before, and meekly obeyed. There’s even a good argument to be made that Political Correctness and the Cult of the Self are in competition to decide what society’s unofficial religion will be. If that’s the case, Mayweather and McGregor are the Cult of the Self’s Peter and Paul…except, of course, it’s doubtful either will ever settle for the role of mere apostle.
What’s easy to forget in all of this is that these are two men we’re talking about here, individuals with good and bad qualities who it would be wrong to judge in entirety. There’s no harm in judging their pubic personas, though, and seen through the prism of the past week, those personas leave much to be desired, whether they’re adored or not. That’s mainly why I’m not big on this fight – it’s all about the person rather than the contest.
Me, I’ll take the upcoming middleweight showdown between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin over this circus anytime.
Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor and the Magic of Mass Amnesia
Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor and the Magic of Mass Amnesia
By: Ivan G. Goldman
If you try to make sense of Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor as an athletic contest you’re probably expecting too much. But if you accept it for what it is — an enormously lucrative entertainment – you have to respect its genius.
These two men from different sports are of course successful in their own right, but combine them into one spectacle and it’s like adding glycerol to nitric acid, giving birth to nitroglycerine. The product is far more powerful than the sum of its parts.
“It takes two warriors to bring an event like this together,” said Mayweather, and that’s absolutely true. His last fight against Andre Berto didn’t set the financial world on fire. It was also a dud as a fight, but dull fights don’t seem to harm Floyd’s cash flow.
Thousands of fans are already showing up just to hear boxer Mayweather and UFC fighter McGregor shout at each other in publicity events, beginning with 11,000 in Los Angeles and ending this week in London. In financial terms the spectacle is so enormous it probably shouldn’t even be measured against other boxing matches. It fits better in the category of fabulously successful entertainments such as Wonder Woman or Seinfeld.
Superhero movie Wonder Woman has grossed more than $750 million since opening last month, says Forbes. But it took five weeks of night-after-night attendance to amass that sum. Seinfeld, the most successful sitcom ever, has made more than $3 billion just from its reruns. But remember, it ran nine seasons. Mayweather-McGregor will pull in somewhere less than a billion for an event that takes place on one night only – August 26 in Las Vegas.
It’s no longer possible to pretend the excitement isn’t for real. The fight, as the promoters keep saying, is what people want. But what will they actually see on fight night?
“Floyd is going to run around and won’t get touched,” said Hall of Fame ESPN analyst Nigel Collins. “It’s just ridiculous. He’s the only boxer I can remember whose fights were very dull and yet his fights sold. His lifestyle sold. To the hip hop crowd, yes, and he also marketed a luxurious, ostentatious lifestyle.”
After Mayweather’s marketing image clicked, noted Collins, he “went from a guy earning $500,000 per fight to earning millions. It’s like wrestling, where you get baby faces and heels.” Mayweather, noted Collins, sold himself as a heel.
But even when the fighter’s strategy to gain attention is clear, it’s not necessarily a pattern others can follow, he pointed out. “So many heavyweights tried to be like Ali.” Yet there were always inaccessible ingredients missing from their efforts. You can’t artificially manufacture charisma. It’s there or it isn’t.
On the other hand we also witness the inexplicable Kardashian phenomenon — a family of non-performers who aren’t particularly magnetic or talented and don’t seem to do much yet succeed more than folks who can actually sing, dance, act, or think.
“Adrien Broner tried to imitate Floyd,” said Collins. “He’s an asshole who’s already been beaten up a couple of times. But Floyd is dedicated. It seemed like the money went to his head, but it never interrupted his discipline as an athlete. Even as he’s rolling in money and women.”
Irishman McGregor is, according to analysts who know the territory, exceptional within the context of his own UFC world. And when it comes to publicizing the fight with Mayweather he also makes the grade. Yes, he’s got charisma and comes up with rejoinders that exert force. Mayweather chose well.
But on fight night, McGregor, who’s never been in a professional boxing match, is entering one against a great boxer. And inside the ring, his charisma and rejoinders won’t help.
Meanwhile Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza promises the full reality-programming pre-fight treatment to lure in pay-per-view subscribers on fight night at a hundred bucks a throw. Also as usual, Floyd Senior challenged McGregor to mix it up with him. He’s been saying that to his son’s opponents for years. Daddy Floyd has always showed mixed love, admiration, and envy for his son, spiced with a dose of resentment for eclipsing his own boxing career with such magnitude. It’s all part of the Mayweather medicine show.
Also part of that show, Floyd promises plenty of action, delivers something else on fight night, and eventually the bitter aftertaste of the contest is forgotten as he goes through the same routine with another hand-picked opponent. Some sort of mass amnesia seems to be at work here. Is this witchcraft?
“The thing that puzzles me is why so many people are interested in this fight,” said Collins.
Of course this is the contest that, barring an Irish miracle, gives Mayweather his 50-0 record, one-upping the record of Rocky Marciano. And this one might actually be his last bout. Unless he comes up with another great gimmick. You never know.
Goldman’s boxing novel The Barfighter, nominated as a Notable Book by the American Library Association, is available online and at better bookstores everywhere.
Ivan G. Goldman’s 5th novel The Debtor Class (Permanent Press, 2015) is a ‘gripping …triumphant read,’ says Publishers Weekly. A future cult classic with ‘howlingly funny dialogue,’ says Booklist. Available wherever fine books are sold. Goldman is a New York Times best-selling author.
Second Mayweather-McGregor Press Conference Thrills Target Audience
Second Mayweather-McGregor Press Conference Thrills Target Audience
By: Sean Crose
Well…at least Conor’s fans were happy. Wednesday’s press conference for the Mayweather-McGregor novelty boxing match was loaded with screaming, swearing and the thunderous approval of thousands of live fans. I have to be honest, I found it tiring. People loved it, though, and the affair seems to have delivered in a big way. Word is that McGregor won clearly. Good for him if he did. Frankly, the whole thing gave me a headache. Was it harmful? No. Was it indicative of a society in decline? No. Did it help sell a fight? Absolutely. Make of it what you will.
Photo Credit: Esther Lin and Showtime
The truth is that these press conferences actually appear to be what Mayweather-McGregor is all about. In other words, these media and fan gatherings are more important than the fight itself to those who want to watch it. At least that’s I’m reading on Twitter from people who look to be willing to spend good money on this pay per view. For what it’s worth, McGregor came off as a nasty piece of work, swearing, making the kinds of statements that infuriate social justice warriors and exhilarating the crowd, which clearly adored him. I’ll let you in on a secret – I doubt he’s really that big of an ass. Don’t tell anyone.
Having said that, I thought Floyd held his own, but what do I know? Truth be told, this fight isn’t targeted towards people like me. As I’ve stated before, this is a boxing match for people who don’t like boxing. Sure, some boxing fans will buy it. But it’s not geared towards them. It’s geared towards those who don’t like boxing. In other words, most of the known universe. For the record, there were shenanigans with the Irish flag and a money bag Floyd had brought onto the stage (McGregor said there was only five grand inside). Honestly, I have a somewhat hard time believing either man is inside the others’ head, but again, what do I know? I’m a boxing writer and this whole thing is being marketed to those with other interests.
By the way, McGregor lashed out at some of us “boxing experts,” letting us know how clueless we all are. I didn’t take it seriously, though – and if you take any of this seriously, you might want to take a step back and try to view things objectively. Still, if this sort of thing is your cup of tea, it’s probably the best cup of tea you’ll ever have.
Press Release: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor Press Conference Quotes
Press Release: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor Press Conference Quotes
Unbeaten boxing legend Floyd “Money” Mayweather and UFC star “The Notorious” Conor McGregor went face-to-face for the first time on Tuesday, in a highly anticipated press conference in front of over 11,000 fans at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles as the two global stars discussed their Saturday, August 26 showdown at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in an event that will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME PPV.
Photo Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
The fighters posed for the first face-off of the unprecedented event that has captured the imagination of sports fans around the world. Mayweather and McGregor will meet in a super welterweight contest that serves as the first time champions from boxing and MMA will meet in a sanctioned boxing match.
The Mayweather vs. McGregor world tour will continue on to Toronto, New York City and London as the superstars deliver all the spectacle of the summer’s biggest event directly to the fans who demanded it.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Tuesday:
“Everyone knows I’ve never backed down from anybody. You line them up, and I knock them down like bowling pins. On August 26, I’m knocking Conor out.
“I am guaranteeing you this. You are going out on your face or on your back. So which way do you want to go?
“Twenty one is the number. They ask me why is that the number? Because that’s how long I’ve been kicking ass. I don’t care about a ring or an octagon. Put me in there and I’m going to kick ass.
“It takes two warriors to bring an event like this together. The two biggest forces in combat sports made this happen.
“This was something that the fans wanted to see. I spoke to my team and said that the Mayweather-McGregor fight can be the biggest fight in history. That’s what we’re here to turn into reality.
“McGregor is a professional, stand-up fighter. The only loss he took was when he was on the ground. He’s a tough competitor and I’m taking him very seriously.
“Everyone knows I’ve been doing this for a long time. I’ve been here before. He’s a tough guy though and a warrior. The best must fight the best. The fans wanted this fight, me and McGregor wanted the fight. It’s going to be blood, sweat and tears on August 26.
“Training camp has been rough. I know deep in my heart that this is the last one. I’m taking care of my body and giving myself time off to allow my body to rejuvenate.
“Conor really wants to win. Extremely badly. Other fighters it usually plays out two ways. Some guys play it safe and then some like Marcos Maidana go for the kill. I think he’s the Maidana-type. He’s a heavy-hitter so I have to be cautious. It’s going to basically be a toe-to-toe battle.”
“My mind is blown. I’m absolutely honored to be here in front of you fans for this great spectacle. Somebody’s 0 has got to go.
“He’s got little legs and little hands. I’m going to knock him out inside of four rounds. Mark my words.
“I’m a young, confident, happy man. I’ve worked extremely hard for this. I’m going to embrace everything. No one can do anything to me. I’m going to have a good time.
“Floyd will be unconscious inside of four rounds. The power and ferociousness that I have, he’s never experienced it before. I don’t fear him.
“Even if he catches one of my punches with his glove, it will still hurt him. I’m like nothing he’s ever seen before.
“Twelve, three minute rounds is going to be a breeze for me. Not to take anything away from this sport, but I have no worries about going twelve rounds with Floyd.”
“Floyd is the perfect motivation for me to go in and conquer the supposedly unconquerable. What more motivation could you need? This pushes me on to do these record-breaking events.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“This is a great fight that the fans have demanded. That’s exactly what we’re going to give them on August 26.
“Floyd Mayweather is the undefeated, pound-for-pound king and The Best Ever. He’s here to give the fans what they wanted and that’s his huge event a memorable fight on August 26.
“Mayweather Promotions is all about giving the fans exactly what they want, and this battle between Floyd and Conor is going to deliver all of that and much more.
“This is the can’t-miss event of the summer and this crowd at STAPLES Center proves just how big it’s going to be. This whole week we’ll be bringing all the excitement of a fight week to sold out venues throughout the world.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, Executive VP & General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports
“Over the last several years, SHOWTIME has teamed up with MGM and Mayweather Promotions to give fans the biggest and most exciting events in sports. Record-breaking event after record breaking event. We also have a long history of MMA in SHOWTIME and are glad to be in business with UFC and Conor McGregor.
“We will be working to deliver this event to the fans in unprecedented ways. We will give you new ways to experience the preparation leading up to the fight and then fight night, like never before. We’ll bring you behind the scenes and up close and personal with the “All Access” series. Your backstage pass to this fight premieres on July 28 on SHOWTIME.
“They said this fight could never be made, they said this fight would never happen, but this fight is no surprise. 10 years ago Floyd decided to leave his promoter and become his own boss. He became his own boss and broke PPV record after PPV record. Here we are, 49-0, he’s fought 24 world champions, and never lost. Floyd Mayweather has generated 20 million PPV buys and 1.3 billion dollars in PPVs. He is by far the number one attraction in sports and entertainment. There is no one else who is even close.
“Am I surprised that this fight is happening? Especially against someone younger, bigger and stronger than he is. Not at all. This is Floyd’s plan. To put on the most exciting and spectacular events that the sports world has ever seen. That’s what August 26 will be. That’s been the plan all along. ”
DANA WHITE, President of UFC
“This is the biggest fight any of us have ever been a part of. People have just rallied behind this fight. Don’t judge a fight until the fight is over. You never know what’s going to happen, especially with a guy like Conor who hits like a truck. When he hurts someone, he puts them away.
“This is a completely full event today, not a seat left. We had to move to a bigger venue in Toronto. Barclays Center sold out and then today tickets sold out at Wembley in 10 minutes. There’s never been anything like this.
“Floyd is almost 41 years old. Conor is a young southpaw who hits hard. We’ll see how it plays out. It’s crazy to think that Conor won’t connect with him.
“Conor McGregor believes in himself like nobody I’ve ever seen before. What he thinks about, he manifests into reality. The boxing media will get to know Conor on this tour and see the mental warfare that he engages in. Then on fight night, Conor is going to try to knock Floyd out.”
RICHARD STURM, President of Sports and Entertainment, MGM Resorts International
“Thank you to all the great fight fans around the globe watching this event. We’re thrilled that this event will be held at T-Mobile Arena, the home of the biggest events in the sports and entertainment industry. In only 15 months the T-Mobile Arena has become an industry leader and home to many of the greatest entertainers and athletes in the world.
“Las Vegas and the T-Mobile Arena will be the center of the sports universe for this great spectacle when two great champions bring these two sports together for the first time. It’s going to be an absolutely electric weekend. We look forward to delivering an unforgettable experience to all the fans who travel from around the world to this great event.”
More Full Coverage: Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor
Press Release: Floyd Mayweather To Meet Conor McGregor In Unprecedented Boxing Event
Saturday, August 26 Live on SHOWTIME PPV®
From T-MOBILE ARENA in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS (July 11, 2017) – A worldwide audience will witness a one-of-a-kind sporting event when legendary boxer and pound-for-pound king Floyd “Money” Mayweather returns to the ring to battle all-time MMA great and UFC champion “The Notorious” Conor McGregor in a 12-round boxing match. The fight announcement on June 14 captured the world’s attention as fans across the globe anticipate the outcome of this once-in-a-lifetime showdown taking place Saturday, Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The event will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME PPV and promoted by Mayweather Promotions.
A 12-time world champion in five weight classes, the 40-year-old Mayweather retired undefeated in September 2015 as one of the greatest to ever step in the ring, buoyed by box office success that saw him shatter nearly all of the revenue records in the sport’s history. Now, he returns to challenge the bold, powerful and popular McGregor, whose elite striking skills put him in the record books as the first athlete to hold two UFC titles simultaneously, all while soaring to the mantle of the sport’s No. 1 PPV attraction at only 28 years old.
Mayweather and McGregor will meet in a super welterweight contest (154-pound limit), serving as the first time champions from boxing and MMA will meet in a sanctioned boxing match.
“There was only one name that could bring me out of retirement and that’s Conor McGregor,” said Mayweather. “I’m excited to give the fans what they’ve all been asking for. I always want to do something different and groundbreaking and this fight with Conor is that perfect opportunity. He’s a young, skilled and powerful guy who I’m not going to take for granted. I expect to come out victorious, but anything can happen in the ring. This is a must-see event live or on pay-per-view on August 26. The whole world will be watching Mayweather vs. McGregor.”
“This is a historic fight and will be the greatest spectacle in combat sports history,” said McGregor. “I am about to change the entire approach to fighting as it stands today. On August 26 I will shock the world. Again.”
The SHOWTIME PPV on-air team will call the action on the telecast beginning live at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. The telecast also will be available in Spanish using secondary audio programming (SAP).
Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, said, “Floyd has been a trailblazer his whole career and this event proves that he is still the marquee name in the fight game. This is the kind of event that Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions are known for and we’re proud to bring this exciting night of action right to the fans. We know that Conor McGregor is a dangerous fighter who believes 100 percent that he is going to win this fight. I’m expecting to see as sharp a Floyd as always and I anticipate him doing what he always does, going in there and winning. You will not want to miss this once-in-a-generation showdown on August 26 in Las Vegas and live on SHOWTIME PPV.”
Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports, said, “We are proud to reunite with Floyd Mayweather, Mayweather Promotions and the MGM Grand to deliver this unprecedented global event. Never before, in the vast experience of SHOWTIME PPV which includes worldwide events featuring record-setting events with Mike Tyson, Julio Cesar Chavez and Floyd Mayweather, have we experienced a reaction like we have to Mayweather vs. McGregor. Both Floyd and Conor are trend-setting personalities who have transcended their respective sports. They carry unmatched reputations for spectacle and athleticism, and together they create a truly can’t-miss event.”
Dana White, President of UFC said, “My goal has always been to put on the greatest fights the world has ever seen, whether they take place inside an Octagon or a boxing ring. Floyd Mayweather is one of the best fighters of all-time but he has never faced someone like Conor McGregor. Throughout his UFC career, Conor has proven that he should never be underestimated and I believe this will be no different. On August 26th, we will see the biggest fight in history. The world will be watching to see if Conor can follow through on another promise and make history once more. No matter the outcome, this will be a historic night in sports and we are honored to give the fans what they have been asking for.”
Richard Sturm, president of entertainment and sports for MGM Resorts International, said, “It is an honor to have the opportunity to host the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight at T-Mobile Arena, our industry’s leading venue for major sports and entertainment. Las Vegas is known for its summer heat but nothing will be hotter than this championship event on August 26.”
One of the most decorated fighters in the history of the sport, Mayweather, of Grand Rapids, Mich., and fighting out of Las Vegas, used his trademark speed, defensive prowess and ring generalship on his way to 24 triumphs over world champions during his illustrious career. Among those 24 victories are the biggest names in the sport, past and present, including Manny Pacquiao, Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Canelo Alvarez, Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Zab Judah and Arturo Gatti.
In addition to his in-ring accomplishments, Forbes, Fortune and Sports Illustrated have all named Mayweather the world’s highest paid athlete multiple times. His events amass record-breaking numbers; he has headlined four of the six highest-grossing pay-per-view events of all-time and holds the all-time record in gross pay-per-view receipts. His 2015 showdown with Pacquaio shattered the all-time pay-per-view television record with 4.6 million buys while the event grossed a staggering total of more than $600 million.
Mayweather, the only fighter to have headlined three events that each generated more than 2 million pay-per-view buys, has garnered numerous “Fighter of the Year” awards over his storied career, including five ESPY Awards and two Boxing Writers Association of America awards.
Representing his hometown of Dublin, Ireland, McGregor’s larger than life personality and devastating power have helped him become his sport’s No. 1 attraction. He became the first MMA fighter to crack Forbes highest-paid athlete list in 2016 and was even higher on the list in 2017.
He became the undisputed UFC featherweight world champion by delivering pinpoint left handed shots that quickly ended the nights of top fighters Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes. McGregor then moved up in weight for a pair of blockbuster matchups with Nate Diaz that saw him set a new mark for UFC pay-per-view buys when he defeated Diaz in the rematch last August.
After dispatching Diaz, McGregor set his sights on history as he headlined at Madison Square Garden against lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez. McGregor put on a striking clinic against Alvarez knocking him down five times before getting the second round knockout and adding the lightweight title to his featherweight world title, becoming the first UFC fighter to ever hold two belts concurrently.
SmackTalk: Mayweather, McGregor Talk A Big Game At LA Press Conference
SmackTalk: Mayweather, McGregor Talk A Big Game At LA Press Conference
By: Sean Crose
“This is all about the Benjamins.”
So said Mauro Ranallo as part of Showtime’s live stream of the first press conference for the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor August 26th 12 round bout. Ranallo was flanked by Paulie Malignaggi, who might become a McGregor sparring partner, and Brendan Schaub, an MMA announcer whose job was clearly to hype up McGregor’s chances in the fight. To listen at times to Schaub, whose a likable guy, you would get the impression that only an idiot would pick the 49-0 Mayweather to beat McGregor, whose never had a professional boxing match in his life. Never mind the fact that Schaub is also an expert on the sport of boxing, as well as MMA. This was all about the Benjamins indeed.
When it was time for the event to begin, McGregor stepped on the stage wearing a crisp suit and a serious expression. He then strutted around for a bit in a frat boy strut. A few moments later, Mayweather arrived…after making McGregor wait a bit. Wearing casual TMT attire, he looked considerably smaller than McGregor once he took to the stage. McGregor started moving about and talking smack. Floyd just looked at him, unphased. Ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. then started announcing the speakers. The MMA fans, who probably made up most of the crowd – indeed, who probably make up the core fan base for the fight – booed. UFC President Dana White then announced McGregor and the crowd went insane.
One thing that became clear, however, was that McGregor was not being allowed to dominate a press conference the way he generally likes to in the UFC. There would be little, very little, back and forth between he and Mayweather. “He’s in a fucking track suit,” McGreogr quipped about the boxer. “He can’t even afford a suit any more.” Then, McGregor got to the heart of the matter. “He is fucked there’s no other way about it,” he said. “I’m going to knock him out inside four rounds, mark my words.”
McGregor proceeded to focus on the sport of boxing, which is about to make him a very rich man. “I don’t fear him,” he said of his opponent. “I don’t fear this limited set of fighting…this is a limited set of rules that makes this half a fight, a quarter of a fight….if this was a true fight, it wouldn’t take one round.” Before stepping down from the mic, however, the bold Irishman verbally swaggered a bit more. “All these rules, all these restrictions, it doesn’t phase me, it amuses me,” he said. “All I need is a gum shield, line me up to the ring and I’m good to go.”
Mayweather responded in kind when it was his turn to speak, making it clear whose show it was. “We knew I was the A-side,” he said. “That’s why this bitch had to come to the boxing ring.” Mayweather also took to mocking McGregor’s earnings, turning the UFC star’s usual verbal attack against him. “This bitch made three million dollars his last fight,” he said of MCGregor. “But we know that’s training camp money for me.” The longstanding undefeated fighter then took it to McGregor directly. “I’m not the same fighter I was,” he admitted, “but I got enough to beat you.”
Not yet done, Mayweather, then got on McGregor for “tapping out” in some MMA battles. “And we know Mr. Tapout like to quit,” he said, referring to McGregor. “You goin’ out on your face or you goin’ out on your back.” Afterwards, both men engaged in procrastinated verbal jawing during the staredown. They’re good salemen, these two. Here’s the truth, though:
Floyd Mayweather doesn’t fight unless he has all the advantages, both in and out of the ring. That means McGregor couldn’t interrupt incessantly during today’s press conference. Such a thing might have given the witty Irishman a mental edge. Perhaps, then, there was more than one way to take one of Mayweather’s digs at his opponent:
“Sit quiet, you little bitch.
More Full Coverage: Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor
Mayweather-McGregor: It’s All About The Money
Mayweather-McGregor: It’s All About The Money
By: Seamus McNally
Unless you live under a rock, you have probably heard by now that former pound-for-pound king Floyd “Money” Mayweather (49–0, 26 KOs) will return from a 23-month layoff to face UFC lightweight champion “The Notorious” Conor McGregor (21–3, 18 KOs) in a 12-round junior middleweight boxing match on August 26th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Mayweather, one of the greatest boxers of all time, will attempt to reach the hallowed 50–0 mark by facing a fighter who will be making his professional boxing debut
So why is a bout between a future first-ballot hall of fame boxer and someone who has never boxed a day in his life taking place? Quite simply…. money.
When Mayweather fought Manny Pacquiao on May 2, 2015, the long-awaited showdown shattered every financial record possible. It garnered approximately 4.6 million buys and generated $623.5 million in total revenue. Most people figured those numbers would never be reached again, and yet here we are just two years later with a fight that has the potential to exceed those astronomical numbers.
To give you an idea of how much money this fight could generate, ESPN’s Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell spoke to ticket brokers, sports marketers and those who are in the boxing business, and based on projected revenues from tickets, pay-per-view, sponsorships, merchandise, and betting, they came up with an estimated total revenue figure of $606.1 million generated by this mega-fight.
To put in perspective the amount of money Mayweather-Pacquiao generated and the expected numbers Mayweather-McGregor will produce, the next highest grossing boxing fight is the 2007 Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoyafight which sold 2.48 million pay-per-views and grossed a total revenue of $165 million. McGregor’s best pay-per-view was his rematch against Nate Diaz last August which did a reported 1.65 million buys.
The hype behind Mayweather-Pacquiao was built largely on them being the two best boxers of their generation and the anticipation of fans who waited six years for the fight to finally come to fruition. The promotion itself was subdued, with older and more mature versions of Mayweather and Pacquiao largely being respectful in the press conferences leading up to the fight. That will not be the case in the build-up for Mayweather-McGregor.
The promotion for this fight will be unlike anything we have ever seen before. McGregor is the best trash-talker in combat sports since the late Muhammad Ali and his press conferences are usually just as entertaining as his fights. Not only does he talk more trash than anyone in sports today, but he consistently backs it up inside the Octagon, which has made him a global superstar and an icon in his native Ireland.
McGregor will hurl more insults at Mayweather in the next two months than Mayweather has heard in his previous 49 fights combined. McGregor will probably attempt to ignite some type of altercation with Mayweather during a press conference stare down. The media and casual sports fans will eat it up. McGregor will talk millions of people into believing he has a chance. The hype of fight week will probably exceed the Super Bowl.
Even before the promotion has hit full-gear, McGregor’s bravado already has plenty of people believing he will win. ESPN.com put a poll up on their site asking who will win and out of over 100,000 votes, 24% picked McGregor.
But to be frank, this fight is purely a money-grab. It might be an even bigger scam than Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. It’s more like a Ringling Brothers Circus show. I for one, am very excited to see the shenanigans that McGregor will pull at the press conferences and how Floyd will react. But I know going into this, McGregor has no chance to win.
Yes, I know 18 of McGregor’s 21 wins in mixed martial arts have come via knockout with his fists. Yes, I know he is taller, bigger, and younger than Mayweather. Yes, I know he’s a southpaw, which supposedly is Floyd’s kryptonite.
It means nothing.
McGregor has scored those knockouts against guys who come from wrestling and jiu-jitsu backgrounds, not professional boxers. Mark Hunt, Donald Cerrone, and Anderson Silva, all accomplished MMA fighters who are considered great strikers, have a combined professional boxing record of 1 win, 3 losses (2 by knockout) and 1 draw.
Mayweather has managed to defeat the best boxers of his era, and with ease. Many of them never even managed to hit Mayweather with one punch of significance. And now people are expecting a guy to come in with no prior professional boxing experience and beat one of the best defensive fighters to ever live. The idea is laughable. The same would be true if Mayweather fought McGregor in the Octagon. He would stand as little a chance of defeating McGregor as the Irishman does of out-boxing Mayweather.
This was already proven when former UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Randy Couture submitted boxing legend James Toney in the first round of their 2010 MMA bout.
I heard one analogy that describes this fight perfectly. It will be like the best diver trying to beat Michael Phelps in the 100m butterfly. The diver knows how to swim, but not as fast as the most decorated Olympian ever. McGregor knows how to punch, but he won’t be able to outbox the best boxer of this generation.
Like everyone else, I will be glued to the television the night of August 26th to watch the spectacle of two iconic figures in their respective sports duke it out for 12 rounds (or less). But I expect nothing less than another easy victory for Mayweather.
Conor McGregor May Play Possum against Floyd Mayweather; So What?
Conor McGregor May Play Possum against Floyd Mayweather; So What?
By Ivan G. Goldman
When he accepted a fight against the UFC’s Conor McGregor, Floyd Mayweather in one brilliant stroke secured a magic 50-0 record, revitalized his celebrity status, and concluded a deal that will earn him lots and lots of millions, maybe even more millions than when he vanquished one-armed out-slicked Manny Pacquiao two years ago in the largest grossing boxing match ever. And he accomplishes all this with little risk to his health or reputation.
Given these facts, Floyd is a man who clearly doesn’t need much in the way of advice. Still, if I were advising Floyd I’d emphasize one simple idea: don’t fall for any tricks. Because as the referee will instruct you, you must protect yourself at all times.
Playing possum would be a corny move on McGregor’s part, but let’s face it, this is a corny spectacle. A guy with no chance boxing a boxing genius. No octagon, no kicking, no limb-bending, and no wrestling beyond what transpires in a boxing clinch. This will be like a human trying to outrun a racehorse.
Yet plenty of folks will root for and talk themselves into expecting a Rocky kind of ending, where, damn the odds, the no-chance underdog comes from behind with a massive punch to trample odds into dust. Some of them have already put their money on it, which explains why the line, the last I checked, was only -650 Mayweather, +425 McGregor. McGregor bettors are risking $100 against a profit of only $425, which is like putting $100 on a hunch that the Earth is flat. It ought to pay better.
But so far at least, MMA zealots are keeping the line respectable by moving money to the crazy side of the gamble. Although it’s also true a 40-year-old who hasn’t competed in more than two years will be facing an active 29-year-old.
Expect to see a flustered Irishman being peppered minute by minute by a master and unable to do a thing about it. Notice I say peppered, not hammered. Floyd doesn’t, as a rule, hammer opponents. But he usually destroys them. He accomplishes this with speed and boxing science and above all, defense. Really good boxers have trouble landing clean shots against Floyd, and a non-boxer will find it impossible.
I know there’s an element of boxing in MMA, but the fighters employ it under such different circumstances that it’s not boxing. It only looks that way. This, by the way, is not intended to disparage mixed martial arts fighters. They’re tough guys in a tough sport, and if Mayweather-McGregor transpired under MMA rules Floyd would have only the barest of chances.
If in the course of time McGregor looks like a wobbly beaten fighter who can’t take one more punch, Floyd should assume he’s faking and proceed with caution. But of course he’s been doing that for most of his career. When’s the last time you saw him go in for the kill? For that matter, when’s the last time you felt after watching one of his bouts, “Man, that was some fight!”?
He’s created his great career by patiently taking his opponents apart and then continuing to take them apart in a round-after-round beat-down that morphs into an unspoken deal between the two fighters: They both get to finish on their feet as long as no one tries to get cute.
Fans apparently flock to Mayweather fights hoping someone will shut his big mouth, but the fact is, he’s great at what he does and also is in fact tough. We’ve seen him hurt from time to time, and he doesn’t panic, doesn’t go down. He fights back and prevails.
There have already been several matches between fighters from different sections of the combat spectrum. They tend to be either boring, not memorable or both.
In 1976 Muhammad Ali took on Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki, who practiced an early variant of mixed martial arts. For most of the fight, conducted under a smorgasbord of rules, Inoki lay on his back like an upside down water bug, kicking at Ali’s legs. A draw after fifteen tedious rounds. Fans threw trash into the ring, and everyone who paid to see it got screwed.
Seven years ago aging master boxer James Toney, in need of a paycheck, took on MMA fighter Randy Couture in a cage. Toney was taken to the ground early and tapped out after 3 minutes, 19 seconds. Everyone who paid to see it got screwed.
Hardcore boxing fans know what to expect August 26 at the MGM Grand, a relatively small venue favored by Floyd. They foresee a huge buildup bursting with pizzazz followed by not much of a fight. But they may well be outnumbered by MMA fans and casual onlookers who don’t know much about either sport.
A boxing trainer friend of mine, Anthony Huizar, who operates out of Carson, California, is plugged into the ticket maze and expects to come up with a seat. He’s “going for the spectacle,” he told me.
Most tickets will likely be scalped through middlemen by the two fight camps and whatever prices are printed on them will be only a fraction of what fans actually pay, unless they’re super-high rollers, who don’t generally have to pay for anything in Las Vegas.
The sportsbooks’ over/under line is telling. It’s set at nine and ½ rounds, and the under is favored by -180. Bettors expect someone to get stopped, which would have to be precipitated by serious action. Hope springs eternal.
Ivan G. Goldman’s 5th novel The Debtor Class is a ‘gripping …triumphant read,’ says Publishers Weekly. A future cult classic with ‘howlingly funny dialogue,’ says Booklist. Available from Permanent Press and wherever fine books are sold. Goldman is a New York Times best-selling author.