Details about the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor boxing match on Aug. 26th have poured in since Wednesday’s monumental fight announcement, and now the picture of what the fight is going to look like has become much more clear.
After months of teases and questions, the highly anticipated clash between unbeaten boxing sensation Mayweather and UFC champion McGregor was made official, setting up what’s likely to be one of the grandest spectacles in sporting history.
#Boxing & #UFC collide in the fight no one believed was possible. @FloydMayweather vs. @TheNotoriousMMA on 8/26. #MayweatherMcGregor pic.twitter.com/BBhZn62D5L — SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) June 15, 2017
Mayweather, 40, and McGregor, 28, are two of the most polarizing figures in their respective sports, but later this summer they will share the boxing ring for what should be the most financially lucrative bout in the history of unarmed combat. It’s a money fight, and to most, nothing more because of the fact McGregor has never compete in a sanctioned boxing match in his life, be it professional or amateur.
Nevertheless, the once-fantasy fight is happening for real, and for the most part all the lingering questions of how it’s going to go down have been answered.
Here’s what we know so far:
— Mayweather and McGregor are scheduled to meet at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, which has a capacity of nearly 20,000, at a contracted weight of 154 pounds (super welterweight). Mayweather has never weighed in above 152 pounds, so that concession alone provides a level of comfort to McGregor, who is the UFC Lightweight champion (155 pounds).
— The fight is scheduled for 12 rounds of three minutes each.
— Each man will wear 10-ounce gloves. If the bout were contested at any weight below, 8-ounce gloves would be required.
— Traditional boxing rules will apply, per the ruleset of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). For anyone thinking McGregor may “go rouge” and try to throw a kick, knee or elbow during the fight, those MMA techniques are contractually forbidden and would result in several financial penalties.
— There will no championship belts on the line. Mayweather relinquished all of his boxing titles when he retired from the sport in September 2015.
— Both fighters will be randomly drug tested (both blood and urine) by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which has a partnership with the UFC to oversee its drug testing program. McGregor has been tested 12 times in the past 18 months, while Mayweather enrolled in the program the moment bout agreements were signed.
— There is no language in the contracts with regards to a rematch. Oftentimes in boxing there will be a rematch clause written into deals, but that’s not the case for Mayweather vs. McGregor.
— The undercard will consist of only boxing matches. There will be no MMA fights. Several notable names have campaigned for a spot on the card, but it’s unlikely many, if any, high earners will be added.
— The event will be a Showtime Sports production in conjunction with Mayweather Promotions. The UFC has absolutely no involvement in the production of the event.
— The pay-per-view, set to be distributed on SHO PPV, does not have an official price point, though it’s been said it will “be closer” to the $99.95 cost of Mayweather’s May 2015 bout with Manny Pacquiao as opposed to the typical UFC pay-per-view price of $49.95.
— Although ticket prices haven’t been released, ESPN business reporter Darren Rovell predicts the event could pull in upward of $70 million, which would challenge the combat sports record of $72 million set by Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.
— Disclosed fight purses for the bout will not be revealed until fight night, but all told it’s predicted that McGregor could flirt with a total payout of nearly $100 million, with Mayweather potentially receiving nearly double that amount, depending on the success of pay-per-view sales.
— Whatever outrageous amount McGregor earns, it’s a far cry from the $16,000 he received for winning his UFC debut in April 2013. He was collecting $235 welfare checks while living in his hometown of Dublin at this time five years ago.
— Speaking of pay-per-view sales, it’s been predicted that Mayweather vs. McGregor will not only break the all-time U.S. pay-per-view record of 4.5 million set by Mayweather and Pacquiao, but it could smash all global numbers.
— McGregor is currently a +700 betting underdog for the fight. Former pro boxer Holly Holm was a +1200 underdog when she knocked out Ronda Rousey to win the UFC Women’s Bantamweight title at UFC 193 in November 2015.
— Regardless of the outcome, the UFC expects McGregor to continue his MMA career after the boxing fight. The Irishman apparently wants to defend his Lightweight championship before the end of the year.
There was doubt about whether the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight would ever happen since it was first mentioned more than a year ago. However, two of the key players involved in negotiations, UFC President Dana White and Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe, said in a phone conference call that the process of putting the fight together was much smoother than anticipated.
“Everybody is thrilled with the way this deal went,” White said. “It was very fair, very smooth. One of the easiest deals I’ve ever done, and it was a deal I thought would be impossible. … I said this would never get done.”
“I was one of the first to say it would never happen,” Ellerbe said. “I’ll eat my words all day, though. At the end of the day, the financial terms of the deal are confidential. All that matters is we got the impossible deal done and everybody is happy.”
Although McGregor’s chances have largely been written off, anyone familiar with the fight game knows that any athlete who steps in a ring or cage has a puncher’s chance. McGregor’s has a better one than most due to his stunning knockout power, but going against one of the best defensive fighters in the history of boxing is cause for concern.
Ellerbe said Mayweather isn’t taking “The Notorious” lightly, though. They’ve studied McGregor’s game and know that just because he’s never stepped in a boxing ring for a pro fight before, it doesn’t mean he’s not dangerous.
“This is a fight that Floyd is taking very, very seriously, because we all do know all it takes in boxing is one shot and it don’t have to be a clean shot,” Ellerbe said. “A guy with that kind of power, he can nick you and you can be buzzed. There’s been a few times in fights in Floyd’s career that he might have been buzzed in the fight and nobody never knew.”
If McGregor can somehow pull off the unthinkable on Aug. 26th, it would elevate his stardom to an entirely new level, which is a compelling proposition for a man already regarded as one of the most brash personalities in sports. White said a loss won’t hurt the UFC or McGregor’s brand, but a win would turn the world on its head and catapult McGregor into a sensation unlike anything that’s previous stemmed from the fight game.
“If you look at this thing and you look at how big this fight is and you look at how big these athletes are that are involved in this fight, if Conor does knock Floyd Mayweather out, he is the biggest athlete on earth,” White said. “He’s the biggest athlete (on this planet), on other planets – he’s the biggest athlete. It’s pretty crazy.”