After all the trash talk and press conferences broadcasted around the world, after all the media promotions interviews and adverts, it was finally time. Boxing’s Floyd “Money” Mayweather and the UFC’s mixed martial arts champion; the “Notorious” Conor McGregor would meet in Las Vegas and do battle in a boxing match on August 26th 2017. The bookies and most boxing experts predicted a comfortable Mayweather victory. Despite a very positive start, McGregor’s energy waned, and in the end the experts were vindicated. Mayweather won easily in the 10th round with a technical knock out over the exhausted Irishman. With that, he cemented his place in boxing’s Hall of Fame history; undefeated champion with fifty wins and zero defeats; one better than legendary boxer Rocky Marciano.
On the face of it, McGregor should look a little foolish right about now, he brashly made ridiculous comments and talked a very big and somewhat delusional game. But such is his showmanship; he made some of even the most skeptical critics believe in his chances. In reality, he was exposed as woefully unconditioned for boxing, lacking stamina and energy in the latter stages to keep the fight competitive.
That said, despite the result McGregor was competitive and impressed the boxing community. Remember, this was his first professional boxing bout against arguably one of the greatest ever champions. Another boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard was impressed by the Notorious boxing ring debut. He told boxingnewsandviews.com –
“McGregor surprised me. He impressed me with being able to utilize his own style to keep Mayweather off balance for a few rounds. For four or five rounds. It was amazing. Then what happened all of a sudden by the 7th round or so he just ran out of gas.”
And at only 29 years of age Mcgregor has a long career ahead of him. He is now a household name in sports. Oh, and he’s also at the very least $40 million richer too.
Critics of the Crumlin native balk at the fighter’s outspoken claims and crass language. He comes across as arrogant, ignorant and disrespectful. What they forget, is that this persona is exactly what launched his fame and made him a perfect contender for Floyd’s swansong fight. McGregor’s meteoric rise in the UFC earned him many fans, when he backed up his outlandish predictions. He won the UFC Featherweight Championship belt emphatically against Jose Aldo, then he defeated Eddie Alvarez to win the UFC Lightweight Championship belt. If that wasn’t enough, the Notorious one changed weight again and ultimately defeated Nate Diaz in a Welterweight rematch, having narrowly lost the first. He had conquered all before him in mixed martial arts and looked ready for a new challenge.
Naturally, the newly crowned UFC superstar immediately started to call out the then retired boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, suggesting that he could crossover from the mixed martial arts octagon to the ring and defeat him too. Hilarious claims, but Floyd was forced to take Conor’s profile seriously in terms of a potential last payday opponent especially amid supposed financial problems with the IRS. Like the famed US champion, McGregor’s personality and charisma sells tickets by the bucketful.
And so it happened. Despite being called a circus, The Money Fight: Mayweather vs McGregor proved to be the biggest pay per view and live gate boxing event in history, as Mayweather later confirmed to MMA Weekly.
“We did break the record tonight for the biggest gate,” Mayweather confirmed at the post fight press conference. “Me and Pacquiao done $72 million. I think we done somewhere over $80 million in the live gate (with McGregor).”
“Tonight, we broke the Pacquiao pay-per-view number,” Mayweather said. “All I’m doing is breaking my own records.”
McGregor lost the fight but in reality won a whole lot more. He was never expected to win, and was guaranteed a huge financial reward and increased exposure. The success of The Money Fight has given the young athlete status and financial clout to demand a huge appearance fee for all future fights; be that MMA or Boxing. He can now invest his wealth into other businesses if he wishes. It looks like the fighter is hoping to launch his Notorious Whiskey company; a project he seemed to reveal by displaying the bottle at the post fight conference in Las Vegas. There’s no doubt McGregor and Mayweather may become friends now as Conor could look to the now retired boxer for investment advice (taxation problems aside)
Conor McGregor on his own is proving to be extremely astute and promoting himself and his brand. With already a number of endorsement deals (the latest being Beats by Dre) the business side of him knows his worth and how to capitalise on it. He may have a future career as a promoter, or maybe even a Hollywood action hero such is his charisma and charm. Time will tell, Floyd Mayweather’s career in the spotlight may be winding down; but it looks like Conor McGregor’s career is just getting started, thanks to one big unsuccessful fight.