You only have a few chances to do something remarkable in life. If an opportunity to do the impossible presents itself, the cunning will rise to the occasion. This will be the legacy of Conor McGregor, who is truly living up to his moniker Notorious with yesterday’s official announcement of his super fight against Floyd Mayweather.
Mayweather – McGregor: Fight of the Century?
After becoming the first UFC fighter to hold two championship belts simultaneously, McGregor set his eyes on the biggest prize of all, a boxing match against pound-for-pound kingpin, Floyd Money Mayweather. The two are combat sports’ biggest trash talkers that flaunt their love for cash and excess as a brand. It is literally a match made in fighting heaven.
Except for one thing, McGregor has never boxed professionally.
UFC president Dana White joins SportsCenter to discuss the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor being officially set for August 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
You can say that McGregor is either the craziest or the smartest man in combat sports. How an MMA champion campaigns to challenge the man who has been called The Best Ever or TBE in boxing and actually has his request granted is close to impossible. For years, high-level boxers like Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, and Danny Garcia all vied for a chance to hit the Mayweather lottery. When Mayweather chose Andre Berto to be victim number 49, many fans and boxers alike balked, feeling that he was taking on easy prey.
As boxings welterweight division began to push the sport into higher heights, even after Mayweathers retirement, many speculated if he would come back to fight one of these new champions. Thurman looked the most attractive after defeating Shawn Porter and then Danny Garcia, but Mayweather proudly proclaimed his happiness in retirement at every occasion.
However, only one name escaped his lips over the last few months: Conor McGregor. It seemed highly unlikely but faintly possible that Mayweather would accept the challenge from the Irishman, but as the clamor for the fight roared, financial projections were too intriguing to ignore.
Then came what was perceived as the biggest hurdle: egos. McGregor works for UFC President Dana White, and all matters of fighting lead to White for approval. With Mayweather historically having a contentious but playful relationship with White, it was safe to assume that the two might not see eye to eye on a great number of deal points. Enter the ultimate buffer, Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Showtime Sports. After corralling Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe,and White, the trio announced the deal yesterday as one of the easiest they had ever accomplished.
UFC President Dana White and Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe spoke to media at UFC headquarters to discuss the official announcement of Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor.
That was prefaced by the revelation of a confidentiality clause barring any of the parties to discuss the financial settlements probably due to the egos of the superstar athletes. Regardless, the fight is made and occurs quickly on August 26th.
It will be McGregors biggest accomplishment just to step into a boxing ring as a current UFC champion with the famously cantankerous relationship he sometimes has with Dana White. However, this will be possibly the biggest draw in boxing history and landmark 50th fight and possible win for Mayweather, which would break his undefeated tie with Rocky Marciano.
Leonard Ellerbe was clear that Mayweather understands he is putting it all on the line in this fight. After dominating the boxing game and becoming an icon for the boxer-businessman, he stands a chance, albeit small, to catch his first loss to a man who is making his boxing debut.
Stranger things have happened and Ellerbe was very respectful when describing his teams belief in McGregors boxing ability. Dana White also reinforced that McGregor can lose a substantial portion of income if he attempts any MMA moves under the boxing rules, so the deck truly is stacked against McGregor.
Still, with the media circus that will build weekly for this event, the true winner already is Conor McGregor, who has changed the landscape of professional combat sports with just his mouth and willingness to challenge anyone, even the king of the mountain himself, Floyd Mayweather, Jr.