Live Report: Mayweather McGregor London Press Conference
Live Report: Mayweather McGregor London Press Conference
By: Thomas Nicholls
Conor McGregor yesterday revealed that he is set to “run boxing” once he dispatches Floyd Mayweather on August 26.
Photo Credit: Esther Lin/Showtime Sports
Celebrating his 29th birthday, McGregor once again stole the show as the Media Tour come to a close at the SSE Arena, London. In a whirlwind press roadshow that has taken the stars to Los Angeles, Toronto, New York and London, the pair have been involved in a constant verbal warfare but now it’s time to let the fists do the talking.
McGregor is unrivalled when it comes to trash-talk, all four arenas have lit up as soon as he takes to the microphone, but for all his slurs at Mayweather, the 40-year-old self-proclaimed “TBE” has rarely looked phased. More than what can be said for ShowTime chief Stephen Espinoza who was called a “little f***ing weasel” on Wednesday’s show in Toronto. McGregor felt aggrieved as it appeared his microphone has been switched off on the tours curtain raiser in Los Angeles and he certainly let Espinoza feel the wrath of his anger.
Thousands filled the SSE Arena on Friday and both Mayweather & McGregor refused to disappoint. In an astonishing and sometimes hilarious seven-minute rant, “Notorious” let fly at almost every member of The Money Team, once again Espinoza was on the receiving end whilst Floyd sat relaxed playing on his mobile phone.
In London, the press table was set up in a ring, giving McGregor a taster of being in the squared circle and in just six weeks’ time he gets the chance to put his promises into action. Whilst the media tour has certainly captured the attention of the fight fans, very little are in belief that McGregor can upset the odds and get the better of Mayweather. Let’s not forget Gatti, De La Hoya, Hatton, Marquez, Moseley, Cotto, Canelo and Pacquiao have all fallen victim to Mayweather’s elite defensive mastery.
In typically boisterous fashion, UFC President Dana White announced his man to the microphone as the stadium erupted in anticipation, the trash talk king was set to unleash.
“What an honour”
“We’re 6 weeks out from the biggest fight in sporting history, 12 weeks ago I fought in front of the 500 people at the HMV forum and now I’m going to quadruple my net worth in half a fight”
“He was wearing high heels yesterday, you should’ve worn them from the first day you stupid baldy tw*t!”
“In 6 weeks’ I’m going to sleep this fool, I’m going to bounce his head off the canvas”
McGregor then gave Mayweather some reprieve and went for his security team, calling them “juice headed turkeys”
Both stars had their usual glitzy entrance as it became apparent that the London fan base was firmly in favour of the UFC champion. Mayweather was collected as usual, shrugging off the chants from the pro-McGregor fans in the arena, he spent most of his turn on the mic circling the press table goading McGregor. Leaning in to McGregor’s right hand man Dana White, Mayweather claimed, “You’re his pimp and he’s your hoe!”. Throughout the week Mayweather has lived up and revelled in his role as the villain, angering the fans with “point to the quitter, point to the quitter!” to a chorus of boos.
So, the verbals have come to an end for now, it’s time for both men to focus on their fight camps. Despite the flash suits, trash talk and KO promises, McGregor knows he has an almighty task on his hands if he is to end Mayweather’s perfect record of 49-0.
The MMA community and many of Mayweather’s haters have rallied around the Irishman and are willing him on to succeed. For every Mayweather fight, there has been a famous saying amongst the anti-Mayweather optimists – “but if he lands one of his big shots” yet Cotto, Canelo and Pacquiao etc, could never find “that” punch. Although now 40, Mayweather is simply a master craftsman and it would take one of sport’s greatest ever upsets to deny him that illustrious 50-0 status.
It is sure to be a truly fantastic spectacle on August 26, propelling the sport to an all new high, but you can’t help but think that the fight will be as one sided as the trash talking. For all McGregor’s wit, grit and heart he will realise early in the fight why the many men before him had failed to stop The Money Man.
Thomas B Nicholls
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.