In the last month or so, a mega fight has been brewing. One that would pit MMA against boxing, and in the process, aid in the closure of the constant debates on which sport is better or “who beats who.”
It’s a fight that would seemingly shatter every PPV record ever set—a fight that would pit UFC superstar Conor McGregor against Boxing kingpin Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Now, before I dive into this, let’s first look at the timeline and what exactly got us to this point.
On April 19th, McGregor tweeted the following:
I have decided to retire young.
Thanks for the cheese.
Catch ya's later.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 19, 2016
Prior to the tweet, McGregor was scheduled to face Nate Diaz in a rematch at UFC 200. The bout was expected to headline in what was projected to be the biggest event in UFC history.
However, on the same day, UFC President Dana White announced his decision to pull McGregor from UFC 200. White cited that McGregor had refused to do any of his promotional obligations, such as film a commercial and attend a press conference in Las Vegas.
Two days later, on April 21st, McGregor would send out a Facebook post announcing that he had un-retired. In that same post, McGregor had pointed out that all the media he had done was a factor in deterring his focus and preparation for the fight against Diaz at UFC 196.
It’s difficult to knock McGregor for feeling that way. The amount of media he did for UFC 196, including the extra publicity that was needed due to an opponent change, was overwhelming for any professional athelete.
Four days later on April 25th, McGregor would once again shake up the MMA world. He announced in a tweet that he was back on the UFC 200 roster and thanked White and co-owner of the UFC Lorenzo Fertitta for getting it done.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 25, 2016
But McGregor was apparently the only one who thought this, as White told the Los Angeles Times in a text message that this this was “not true.” White also stated that “We haven’t talked [to] Conor or his manager since the press conference. I don’t know why he would tweet that.” It’s obvious that McGregor and the UFC were at odd ends, and the tension was certainly starting to build.
Over the course of the next week, news would die down, with a few rumblings here and there. One of the rumblings included a rumor from the The Sun that McGregor would be fighting Mayweather. On May 7th, in an interview with Liftn.com, Mayweather pawed around these rumors and somewhat confirmed that there was something brewing.
*Some language in the following video is NSFW*
There was much speculation to be had…that is until McGregor shook the combat sports world on May 8th with a single tweet:
MMA Vs Boxing. pic.twitter.com/qgl8tKvT5s
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 8, 2016
Either there is some validity to all the rumors or these guys are masterminds in drawing attention.
Two days later on May 11th, White addressed the potential showdown on the Dan Patrick Show. White said that “Conor McGregor is under contract with the UFC,” but went on to say that “If Floyd wants to fight Conor, call me Floyd.”
It definitely seems that White is interested, but it’s vague when determining what platform the fight would take place on. Will this super showdown be classified as an MMA bout or a boxing bout?
Money himself showed no hesitation in addressing that question during an interview with Showtime Boxing on May 14th. When asked about the rumors and his thoughts on whether the potential fight against McGregor would happen, Mayweather was boldly confident: “Do I think the fight will happen? Absolutely.” And when inquired about whether the fight would be a boxing or MMA bout, Mayweather said, “It has to be a boxing match.”
On May 16th, Mayweather would once again add fuel to the fire. In an interview with ESNews, Money was adamant about the possibility: “If I do fight, it’s only against Conor McGregor.” It only makes sense that he would say this too, since this would be a record breaker as far as revenue and PPV ratings are concerned.
It’s no secret that Mayweather’s last fight against Andre Berto was poor in regards to PPV numbers, drawing around 400-550k buys, according to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports (h/t Dan Rafael of ESPN.com). Those numbers stemmed off Mayweather against Manny Pacquiao’s PPV record of over 4.4 million buys.
It’s obvious that Mayweather is a draw, but it’s clear he could use a push from another draw of equal caliber—specifically, one named Conor McGregor.
On May 20th, TMZ reported that Mayweather put out a $50 million offer to McGregor, which would be 50 times the amount the UFC featherweight champion made in his fight against Diaz at UFC 196, according to Sherdog.
On May 23rd, Fox Sports The Herd’s Colin Cowherd said “My intel is Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather is going to happen.” Take it with a grain of salt, but the fight is certainly building up a lot of steam, and various people like Cowherd seem to think it’s definitely happening.
If the fight does happen, and I were to make a prediction at this moment, it’s pretty simple. Mayweather wins in a boxing match and McGregor wins in a MMA fight.
However, McGregor would give Mayweather more of a fight in a boxing match, while Mayweather would get destroyed in an MMA match. The biggest factor is McGregor’s conditioning for a 10-round fight. McGregor tired in the second round at UFC 196, which caused him to get hit often and eventually submitted by Diaz. Mayweather’s defensive tactics and counter attacks would be a tough puzzle to crack. But McGregor is technical in approach, precise and packs a punch.
The more I talk about it, the more I want to see it. These two men got the public talking. Job well done McGregor and Mayweather, job well done.