Ricochet News

The ultimate showdown: Mayweather vs McGregor this weekend in Las Vegas

By Marc Jacobson - Aug 26, 2017
The ultimate showdown: Mayweather vs McGregor this weekend in Las Vegas

In what is deemed as one of the biggest fighting events, never mind just boxing, in the history of duals; the unbeaten 49-0 boxing superstar Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather will finally take stage against UFC star Connor ‘The Notorious’ McGregor  at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday morning (05:30 SA time).

This is probably the first formal cross-discipline fight between two icons in each code, but while that makes for salivating viewing, it does put McGregor at a disadvantage, with the Irishman fighting in the unbeaten Mayweather’s ‘backyard’ in the boxing ring – and it will bode the opposite if the two were to fight in the ‘octagon’, for instance.

Will Mayweather lose his first fight in 50 against a fighter who is fighting in his very first professional boxing dual, or will he round his figures to a perfect, polished 50-0?

Either way, whoever wins, both will have a fairy-tale end, for the one who wins that is, because McGregor for one, would also only dream to end Mayweather’s long 49-0 successful run in his very last outing in the ring – and Mayweather would want to head into a finalised retirement with a perfect 50 and with his head held high and dignity still in-place.

"This is the biggest event that has ever happened in combat sports," announced Dana White, the chief executive of MMA's Ultimate Fighting Championship.

"This fight will reach over a billion homes worldwide."  

The 40-year-old Mayweather came out of retirement for this economically booming fight, after last outing against Manny Pacquiao in 2015, in the last ‘all-eyes-on’ fight.

According to experts, tickets, TV sales, sponsorships and betting could generate close to $600-million, the richest since that Pacquiao fight two years ago, which generated approximately $623-million.

However, what that fight lacked, this fight will gain, in what is a clash between two different worlds, between the past and future, and between youth and experience.

The fight is testimony to the significant rise of UFC over the last few years, when boxing has faced a slight dwindle. It is for this reason that Dana White proclaimed that the fight will be the most lucrative pay-per-view of all time.

“Everything is tracking right now to say that we’re going to kill this thing. So it’s looking really good,” she said.

“It is the most distributed event in pay-per-view history, in over 200 countries on pay-per-view.”

The Mayweather/Pacquiao bout attracted 4.6-million pay-per-viewers, generating $455-million, while this fight is expected to attract 4.9-million pay-per-viewers, with a generation of $485-million.

Mayweather will earn himself an astonishing $200-million for the fight, win or lose, while McGregor will get the spoils of half that – $100-million.

Experts are predicting Mayweather to take the reins, due to the fact that it is his discipline, and well, also because he is simply unbeaten, and according to SA bookies, Sportingbet, the American is pinned as 2/7 favourite, with McGregor devised at 13/5.

Pacquiao, was himself, one McGregor naysayer, when he proclaimed that the 29-year-old will not even be able to land a single punch on Mayweather.

“There is no way he will be able to land a meaningful punch on Floyd. How could he? He has no professional experience in boxing," Pacquiao told Yahoo Sports.

"McGregor has no chance in this fight. In fact, it could be very boring," he went on to say.

Mayweather is arguably one of the best defensive boxers ever, with quick feet, and glistening reflexes, enabling him to often reputably avoid many contact shots, and on the reverse end, has been known to tire boxers out and strike intricate and accurate shots in return.

McGrgeor however, is a two-time UFC World Champion and also knows his way around a ring, no matter the shape; and he has held a championship in three different weight-divisions before.

The Irishman is known as one of the best strikers in the UFC, and has demonstrated his punching power in the octagon with 18 knockout wins in 21 of his UFC wins. He lost just three in a total 24 professional fights.

Mayweather has landed 26 knockouts out of his 49 wins in the boxing ring, so that may pose for intimidating reading against McGregor's favour.

What McGregor does have to his advantage though, is that he has youth - which means he should have enough endurance to keep up, being a whole 11-years younger than his opponent, while also having a slightly farther reach of 188cm to Mayweather’s 183cm.

McGregor (175cm) is also slightly taller than Mayweather (173cm) and is one-kilogram heavier too.

Despite all the critics though, McGregor, who had actually come from humbled beginnings after having lived off unemployment in Dublin just four years ago, made rather exuberent comments at the final press conference on Thursday, when he said he would knock Mayweather out within the first two rounds.

“I will go forward and put the pressure on and break this old man," McGregor said.

"I don't see him lasting two rounds. I think I could end him in one round if I want. Everyone is going to eat their words on Saturday." 

Unbothered and seemingly unfazed, Mayweather then expressed that the talking will be done in the ring.

“We can both do a lot of talking, but it comes down to the skills. After 21 years I've been hit with everything and I'm still right here. One thing you must know about combat sports, if you give it, you must be able to take it,” Mayweather said.

"I go out there and do what I do. I've been here before and fought many different fighters with different styles." 

"There have been plenty of guys who talked a lot of trash, but when it's all said and done, I came out victorious."

Apart from capturing 10s of millions of dollars for the fight alone, the winner of the centre-mark showpiece will also receive a ‘Money Belt’, not tokened for Mayweather’s nickname, but rather because the belt is strapped with 3360 diamonds, 600 sapphires and 300 emeralds in-stitched on 1.5kg of solid gold in alligator leather.

A lot is at stake for this ultimate showdown, and while title contentions are not one of those stakes, the fight will go down imprinted boldly as one to fill the history books - besides, each fighter, also has reputable names to up-keep.

Get ready to set your alarms and tune onto channel SS202 on DSTV in the early hours of Sunday morning (SA time), with the build-up starting at approximately 01:00 and the fight set to start at 05:30.