The fight that we all thought couldn’t happen, is happening. On Saturday night boxing’s biggest star, Floyd Mayweather (49-0) comes out of retirement to fight the best fighter in the UFC, the “Notorious” Conor McGregor at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
After back-to-back convincing wins in 2015 against Manny Pacquiao and Andre Berto, the boxing world thought that Mayweather’s sensational career was at an impressive end. We presumed that Floyd would take his unblemished 49-0 professional record (tying the great Rocky Marciano) and well over $300 million payday and just ride into the sunset.
He was just turning 40 years old and stated on many occasions that he was having problems with his hands. Also explaining to reporters how his body hasn’t been responding the way he wanted to during his training camps. McGregor is the younger, bigger, and stronger fighter. So with those facts surfacing in the sports world, we assumed that Mayweather wouldn’t risk his perfect record to fight a man that’s not even in his sport.
But, Mayweather had other plans.
Those plans involved setting up the once in a lifetime cross fight between him and McGregor, the lightweight champion of the UFC. This whole fiasco started in 2015 when McGregor was asked would he take on the now retired Mayweather in a boxing match. McGregor replied, “Duh, I mean who would not like to dance around a ring for $180 million.” The statement was made on the “Conan O’Brien Show” in early July of 2015.
During this time, McGregor was strictly an MMA fighter.
As time went on both men were throwing verbal jabs at each other and both were deeply interested in a potential bout. What really got the fight world thinking about this possibly happening is when McGregor posted a mock fight flier back in 2016 on his Instagram page, basically enticing to Mayweather to come out of retirement and fight him. The amount of attention that flier received was enough for Mayweather to offer McGregor a deal, a deal where McGregor would take home roughly about $50 million for a proposed bout with him.
McGregor declined the deal, demanding $100 million for a fight.
The original deal Mayweather had in place was shot down and all hope for the fight seemed to be lost. But that didn’t stop McGregor from trolling Mayweather practically every chance he got. Conor ramped up to the intensity by publically announcing the stoppage of his MMA career and focusing only on boxing. During that process, McGregor received his boxing license from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Later that year, Floyd came forward with another deal. This time Mayweather offered McGregor $15 million. Mayweather refused to go higher because he felt that McGregor wasn’t worth that much money, plus Mayweather is the A-side and is promptly suppose to earn the higher purse between the two fighters.
The money stipulations caused UFC’s President, Dana White, to come to the negotiation table and make what seemed to be, a take it or leave it offer. Dana offered Mayweather $25 million apiece for him and McGregor.
Mayweather laughingly declined the offer.
As you may assume, the long hold off for this fight was about money. Two egos who truly believe that they are worth the millions of dollars requested in order for this fight to be finalized. Mayweather’s request made since, he is the highest paid boxer in the world, universally recognized as the best pound-for-pound fighter in his generation, and has made well over $700 million in his 21 years in the sport. But McGregor’s highest payday was only $8 million and as yet to earn his stripes as a prize fighter. So it’s understandable why Mayweather continuously refused to pay McGregor $100 million.
But as time went on and verbal shots continued to be fired, Mayweather made the fight once again realistic when he announced that he was officially out of retirement to only fight Conor McGregor. With that statement, everyone knew this deal will get done. The only question was when?
Finally, around June 2017, the deal was finalized and the fight date was approved for August 26, 2017, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fans ultimately got what they wanted, a cross fight for the ages.
Floyd Mayweather will hopefully fight his last fight Saturday night against a young, motivated Irishmen with power in both hands that want to prove the boxing world wrong. Throughout this whole dilemma, both fighters seem focused and ready to give the fans a show. But McGregor has never fought in a professional boxing match before, but he believes he has the unorthodox skill set needed to defeat the undefeated Mayweather.
No more verbal shots, no more money disagreements, no more “hoping” for this potential billion dollar extravaganza. Did Floyd Mayweather, at 40 years of age, bite off more than he can chew? Can Mayweather eclipses Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record? Will Conor McGregor knock off the pound-for-pound king and be on top of the boxing and MMA ranks? Saturday night will be historic. Who will be on the right side of history?