Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor
|Date||August 26, 2017|
|Venue||T-Mobile Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|Tale of the tape|
|Mayweather defeats McGregor in 10th round by TKO|
Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor, also known as "The Money Fight" and "The Biggest Fight in Combat Sports History", was a professional boxing match between undefeated eleven-time five-division boxing world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. and two-division mixed martial arts (MMA) world champion and, at the time, UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor. The fight took place at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada, on August 26, 2017 at the light-middleweight weight class (154 lbs; 69.9 kg). It was scheduled for twelve rounds and recorded the second highest pay-per-view buy rate in history.
Mayweather extended his professional boxing undefeated streak to 50 victories and 0 defeats (50–0), surpassing the 49–0 record of Hall of Famer Rocky Marciano, after defeating McGregor by technical knockout (TKO) in the 10th round. Mayweather's guaranteed disclosed paycheck was $100,000,000 and McGregor's guaranteed disclosed paycheck was $30,000,000. However, the purse for the two fighters was expected to be substantially higher for each, with Mayweather reportedly earning over $300,000,000 from the fight and McGregor earning over $100,000,000.
During his successful UFC mixed martial arts career McGregor maintained an interest in boxing and entertained the idea of a "money fight" with Mayweather. Mayweather reportedly talked to Freddie Roach to train McGregor for the fight in case it would happen. UFC president Dana White dismissed the rumors of a fight with Mayweather on The Dan Patrick Show, stating that Mayweather would have to contact him since McGregor was under contract with the UFC. White even went as far as stating, "Here’s what I think the chances are [of the fight happening]: About the same of me being the backup quarterback for Brady on Sunday," referring to Super Bowl LI. In January 2017, it was reported that the two parties had entered an "exploratory phase" in negotiating a potential match between Mayweather and McGregor. On The Herd with Colin Cowherd, White openly offered to pay Mayweather $25 million to hold the proposed bout during a UFC event. He also predicted that pay-per-view viewership of the hypothetical bout could possibly rival Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.
On March 7, 2017, Mayweather called upon McGregor to "sign the paper" and "make it happen", arguing that "if Conor McGregor really wants this fight to happen, stop blowing smoke up everybody's ass." On March 10, 2017, Mayweather stated that only a fight with McGregor would make him come out of retirement. On March 16, 2017, Dana White backpedaled on his stance against a Mayweather–McGregor bout and said that he would not deprive McGregor of a massive payday. On May 18, 2017, McGregor reportedly agreed to all of Mayweather's updated terms and signed the contract. The official confirmation of the fight was made on June 14. An international press tour was held from July 11–14.
In July 2017, IBF junior lightweight champion Gervonta Davis was reported to be going to participate in a co-main event. In their first joint promotion on 11 July 2017 McGregor said the racist phrase to Mayweather “Dance for me, boy" . Earlier in 2017 McGregor called Mayweather a Malteser with eyeballs. On July 19, additional undercard details were released. By that time, three names had been confirmed on the undercard, including British amateur boxer Savannah Marshall, who signed up earlier in the year with Mayweather Promotions, and Badou Jack, who stepped up to fight at light heavyweight. On July 26, 2017, it was announced that former welterweight titleholder Shawn Porter would be headlining the preliminary card, facing Thomas Dulorme. On August 17, Porter pulled out of the fight due to personal reasons, including a death in the family. He was replaced by Cuban boxer Yordenis Ugás. On July 29, it was reported that Gervonta Davis would defend his IBF junior lightweight title against former WBO champion Roman 'Rocky' Martinez. Martínez was dropped due to not having enough time to make the 130 pound [59 kg] limit. Instead Davis has been rescheduled to fight unbeaten prospect Francisco Fonseca. On August 9, 2017, it was announced that Nathan Cleverly would defend his WBA light heavyweight title against Money Team fighter Badou Jack.
A mural was painted in McGregor's Dublin training facility, Straight Blast Gym, depicting McGregor hitting Mayweather with a left-handed punch.
|Main Card (PPV)|
|Super welterweight (154 lbs.)||Floyd Mayweather Jr.||def.||Conor McGregor||TKO||10||1:05|
|Junior lightweight (130 lbs.)||Gervonta Davis||def.||Francisco Fonseca||KO||8||0:39||[a]|
|Light heavyweight (175 lbs.)||Badou Jack||def.||Nathan Cleverly||TKO||5||2:47||[b]|
|Cruiserweight (200 lbs.)||Andrew Tabiti||def.||Steve Cunningham||Decision (unanimous) (97–93, 100–90, 100–90)||10||[c]|
|Preliminary Card (Fox prelims)|
|Welterweight (147 lbs.)||Yordenis Ugás||def.||Thomas Dulorme||Decision (unanimous) (94–91, 93–92, 93–92)||10|
|Welterweight (147 lbs.)||Juan Heraldez||def.||Jose Miguel Borrego||Decision (unanimous) (98–96, 97–92, 97–92)||10|
|Preliminary Card (Unaired)|
|Super middleweight (168 lbs.)||Antonio Hernandez||def.||Kevin Newman||Decision (unanimous)||6|
|Super middleweight (168 lbs.)||Savannah Marshall||def.||Sydney LeBlanc||Decision (unanimous) (40–36, 40–36, 40–36)||4|
In the United States, the fight was televised via Showtime pay-per-view, available through both traditional television providers and various digital services, including the Showtime PPV website and apps, and UFC.tv. Fathom Events organized public screenings at venues such as movie theaters. On July 10, 2017, it was announced that pricing for the PPV in the U.S. would mirror that of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, being set at US$89.95 (with an additional $10 charge for high definition).
The fight was called by Showtime's lead commentary team of Mauro Ranallo (play-by-play), Al Bernstein (color), and Paulie Malignaggi (color), along with ringside reporter Jim Gray. Showtime produced a four-part documentary series, All Access: Mayweather vs. McGregor, focusing on the preparations for the fight. Fox Sports (the television rightsholder of the UFC) provided shoulder programming for the fight, including coverage of the press tour on UFC Tonight, as well as a pre-show and preliminary card on Fox and Fox Deportes.
Due to the high demand, a large number of television providers, as well as UFC.tv, experienced technical issues with their carriage of the PPV, including errors, buffering and low video quality. The main event was delayed by an hour from its projected start time in order to address these problems. Following the fight, a class-action lawsuit was proposed in Oregon against Showtime Networks for unlawful trading practices and unjust enrichment, alleging that the network knowingly advertised a level of quality it was unable to deliver with the amount of bandwidth it allocated for the PPV stream. Showtime and the UFC stated that they were investigating their respective customer complaints, and would issue refunds on a case-by-case basis.
Sky Sports Box Office held broadcasting rights to the fight in McGregor's native Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Although it was initially believed that the price would match that of the U.S. PPV, the price was set at €24.95 (£19.95). The fight was called for Sky Sports by Johnny Nelson and Carl Froch, joined by British MMA fighter and UFC analyst Dan Hardy. British radio rights were held by the BBC, with Mike Costello and Steve Bunce on commentary for BBC Radio 5 Live.
As with Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, it was expected that many viewers would seek unauthorized streams of the fight due to the high cost of the PPV. Showtime successfully received a preliminary injunction against the registrant of a group of 44 websites who planned to illegally stream the fight in violation of its copyrights, and all parties in active concert or participation with them.
Mayweather was expected to earn at least $100 million, increasing up to four times that amount upon the event achieving all its metrics. McGregor was expected to earn $75 million, but both men signed NDAs barring them from publicly communicating the financial details. According to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Mayweather would earn a guaranteed purse of $100 million and McGregor was guaranteed $30 million.
In a Q&A session in Glasgow in September 2017, McGregor revealed, had he been disqualified, he would have been fined $10 million. The referee also warned him, had he lifted a leg, he would have not been warned and got a straight point deduction.
Guaranteed Base Purses
- Gervonta Davis ($600,000) vs. Francisco Fonseca ($35,000)
- Nathan Cleverly ($100,000) vs. Badou Jack ($750,000)
- Andrew Tabiti ($100,000) vs. Steve Cunningham ($100,000)
- Thomas Dulorme ($75,000) vs. Yordenis Ugás ($50,000)
- Juan Heraldez ($12,500) vs. Jose Borrego ($5000)
- Kevin Newman ($7500) vs. Antonio Hernandez ($7000)
- Savannah Marshall ($5000) vs. Sydney LeBlanc ($3500)
On August 23, 2017, the WBC revealed that the inaugural "Money Belt" would be on the line; it is made from Italian-made alligator leather and encrusted with 3.3 pounds (1.5 kg) of 24-karat gold, 3,360 diamonds, 600 sapphires, and 300 emeralds.
Officials and rules
On August 16, 2017, the officials were named for the fight:
- Referee: Robert Byrd
- Judges: Burt Clements, Dave Moretti, and Guido Cavalleri
Both athletes initially agreed to box in 10-ounce (285 g) gloves per Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) rules which require 10-ounce (285 g) gloves for boxing matches contracted over 147 pounds [67 kg] (the fight is contracted at 154 pounds [70 kg]). McGregor wanted 8-ounce (225 g) gloves and Mayweather agreed, and both athletes submitted formal requests to box in 8-ounce (225 g) gloves, which was granted by the NSAC.
Experts expected that more money would be bet on the fight than any other boxing match in history; estimates ranged up to $85 million in bets. There were six separate $1 million bets on Mayweather in Las Vegas bookmakers, but a large majority of bets overall were on the underdog, McGregor.
Live gate and revenue
Nevada State Athletic Commission announced the live gate for the event was $55,414,865.79 from 13,094 tickets sold and 137 complimentary tickets given out. This was far less than the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight which grossed $72,198,500 from a paid attendance of 16,219 in 2015, despite claims from Ellerbe and Mayweather that it did more than $80 million.
Sky Sports initially estimated the fight garnered over a million PPV buys in the UK and grossed in excess of £20 million, which would've surpassed the record set in April 2017 when Anthony Joshua defeated Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000 at the Wembley Stadium. This would've also meant the fight generated more buys in the UK than Mayweather-Pacquiao which took place in 2015. Figures later revealed by the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board showed the Mayweather–McGregor fight drew 874,000 PPV buys in the UK.
Showtime Sports’ Stephen Espinoza told the LA Times the fight was expected to generate around 4.4 million domestic buys, which would fall just short of the 4.6 million record which was set by Mayweather-Pacquiao.
On December 14, 2017, Showtime officially announced 4.3 million domestic buys, making it the 2nd highest buy rate in pay-per-view history.
At the weigh-in, Mayweather tipped the scales at 149.5 lbs, with McGregor at 153 lbs. Mayweather and McGregor entered the ring following the Irish and American national anthems; the Irish singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Imelda May performed on behalf of Conor McGregor, followed by the American singer-songwriter and actress Demi Lovato, who was personally chosen by Mayweather.
Mayweather was expected to dominate the fight early, but McGregor started strong and was ahead on the score cards for the first few rounds, due in part to Mayweather using the rope-a-dope technique liberally in the early stages. As the fight progressed, McGregor weakened. As the fight reached the 25-minute mark, when MMA fights end (five rounds of five minutes), Mayweather began to attack. In Round 9, Mayweather landed a series of punches to McGregor's face, and the onslaught continued into Round 10, when referee Robert Byrd eventually called the fight in favor of Mayweather after McGregor failed to defend himself.
After the match Mayweather stated that he had expected McGregor to be a fast starter, and had allowed him to deliver his heavy blows early. McGregor on the other hand was disappointed by what he saw as an early stoppage, but respected the referee's decision. Former boxers such as George Foreman and Evander Holyfield expressed their impression regarding McGregor's boxing skills and the competitiveness of the fight, with Foreman claiming that experts who criticized the fight "should apologize. It was competitive". Mike Tyson gave McGregor an "A grade" for his performance, stating he was impressed. The fight was lauded for its entertaining and exciting nature, especially when compared to Mayweather's most recent bouts.
Mayweather announced in his post-fight interview that he had fought his final boxing match, and would officially retire from the sport. Mayweather stated "Any guy that's calling me out? Forget it," putting an end to his boxing career. McGregor said in his post-fight interview that he would be willing to box again, and that he would return to mixed martial arts and the UFC.
Davis failed to make weight during the August 25 weigh in, forcing the IBF to strip him of the title. The title was declared vacant, but would be still up for grabs if Fonseca secures victory. Davis would go on to win by KO in the eighth round. Cleverly lost his WBA light heavyweight title to Jack in a one-sided bout which ended when the referee stopped the fight in the fifth. Cleverly retired after the fight.
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