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.
Khabib Offers to Pay Ferguson $200,000 to Fight Him Telling Him to Shut Up and Fight
By: Oliver Dollimore
Undefeated Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov has had a rough go when it comes to big opportunities. “The Eagle” sits at no. 1 in the 155-pound division, but he yet to compete for the title.
Khabib Nurmagomedov offered No. 2-ranked Tony Ferguson $200,000 to fight him. The bout, which has been rumored to in the works, hasn’t come to fruition just yet due to Ferguson being in contract disputes with the promotion, although it is a fight that makes quite a bit of sense.
Tony Ferguson has made it abundantly clear that money is an issue standing in the way of a fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov.Specifically, the fact Nurmagomedov is being paid more than Ferguson.
Nurmagomedov, for his part, wants to get this highly anticipated No. 1 contender’s fight signed and delivered. So much so that he’s willing to pay in order to make the bout happen at UFC 209 on March 4.
Nurmagomedov (24-0, 8-0 UFC) originally wanted a fight with new lightweight champion Conor McGregor, but since McGregor is on the shelf for a while, Ferguson was the next best choice in his eyes. Meanwhile, Ferguson (22-3, 12-1 UFC) believed that a win over Rafael dos Anjos was going to get him a title a shot. That never materialized either due to McGregor’s layoff and other factors.
While it’s highly unusual for a fighter to offer to pay another fighter to compete against him, Khabib is apparently just doing whatever he can to secure a high-profile bout. Hopefully the UFC can figure the issue out and get these two in the cage together to see who the true number one contender is at 155 pounds.
Nurmagomedov spoke to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour to explain the current situation from his perspective:
“This is impossible [speaking about Ferguson wanting equal pay], (the) UFC never does this. Because I’m different, he’s different. He talks about (a) nine (fight) win streak, but I’m talking about (a) 24 (fight) win streak. Eight years (I’ve been) undefeated. Michael Johnson beat him, I beat Michael Johnson. He fought Rafael dos Anjos (in a) close fight. I dominated Rafael dos Anjos. When he fought with Danny Castillo, you guys can watch this fight, he lost for sure. Why does he want to make money like this? He needs to shut up and take this fight.”
As far as the contract dispute goes, Ferguson himself said on today’s edition of The MMA Hour that he isn’t sure why he isn’t being paid as he’d like to be by the UFC. “El Cucuy” has said that he’d like to be compensated in the same way that “The Eagle” is and he added in that there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be:
“I’m not sure, man. You ask them. Ask them why they’re not paying me, and maybe we’ll get some answers,” Ferguson said. “I haven’t had the opportunities that they have (given Nurmagomedov), as far as, over the past five fights, I’ve only been on one pay-per-view. All the rest have been on FOX Sports 1 cards, which limits my mainstream exposure. Khabib has been on three pay-per-views and two UFC on FOXs, which draws much larger audiences than FOX Sports 1 cards.”
“Despite this, there’s nothing that suggests that Khabib draws any larger than me. I haven’t been given the same opportunities or the same push as Khabib. I don’t belong to AKA or a big major sport’s program. I choose to do different things on my own and I’m building my own legacy, my own facilities, but that’s later on. That’s a completely different subject. So, as far as compensation goes, like I said, the UFC has been known to change it (for a particular fight) over their history, and I’m just looking for them to get this thing going, man. Let’s go. Let’s go, UFC.”
Fighter pay has long been a debated topic and Ferguson feels as if Nurmagomedov’s offer illuminates the problems within the system. As for right now, however, the surging contender encourages fans to get ‘anxious’ about the potential bout:
“But for right now, I’m enjoying my time. The fans, you guys need to get anxious, man. Let’s get some chatter going. Let’s get the UFC involved with this. If you’ve got Khabib willing to sacrifice his life and give me $200,000 of his own money, something’s wrong with that sh*t. I’m not going to take that guy’s money. He’s got a family too. So do I, and he’s got bills to pay. So I’m not going after Khabib’s. All I want is my stuff right and to be compensated for what my numbers prove to be, so let’s go kids.”
Ferguson has made a name for himself by winning an incredible nine straight as well as most recently beating former champion Rafael dos Anjos. Would you like to see him take on Nurmagomedov next?