SAN DIEGO, July 10, 2017 – Let the games begin.
Two of the biggest personalities in combat sports, boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather and UFC champion Conor “The Notorious” McGregor start the serious hype train for their August 26 bout with a four-city press tour. Open to the public, the tour begins fittingly in the city which perfected showbiz hype, Los Angeles, on Tuesday, July 11.
The tour also visits Toronto, Brooklyn, New York, and London this week.
For all the talk leading up to the announcement of the bout and all the talk since, Tuesday will be the first time Mayweather and McGregor actually appear together in public in the same venue, and presumably on the same stage at the Staples Center. Tickers are being distributed to the public on a first come, first serve basis free of charge.
Thirty thousand tickets were reportedly snapped up by American fans, so the Toronto stop was moved Sunday to a larger venue. Toronto and London ticket distribution is “forthcoming” according to the announcement.
UFC president Dana White and McGregor arrived in Los Angeles Sunday evening, with White posting the following photo via social media.
The first official promotional video for the fight was released by Showtime Pay Per View, which is airing the fight.
This press tour is the real show worth watching. Neither Mayweather or McGregor lack for confidence, and no cat has ever gotten either man’s tongue. There should be no holding back by these two brash athletes, and they know their fans are counting on epic verbal sparring and smackdowns. In a contest determining which man is better at promoting his events, it would be a 50-50 matchup.
We’ll personally be disappointed if there aren’t some zingers about rental cars and the Internal Revenue Service.
But don’t expect the fight to follow suit. Mayweather is a boxing genius in the ring, with technical skills few other people who have devoted their careers to boxing have been able to match. Only a handful even came close to challenging Mayweather. So why does anyone think a martial arts star with losses on his record in his own sport who’s never boxed a single professional round is going to achieve what no one else has accomplished?
McGregor is training at a Dublin gym, and says he will be able to switch seamlessly from orthodox to southpaw and find Mayweather. But so far, no one’s seen him sparring with anyone possessing a boxing record remotely close to Mayweather’s impressive resume.
Mayweather and McGregor will dance around the ring for 12 rounds. Fans will be sorely disappointed in the main event. There are some terrific fights planned for the undercard featuring champions Gervonta Davis and Badou Jack from the Mayweather Promotions stable, but it’s not fair to expect them to carry a $100 pay per view.
So enjoy the free show and the world-class trash talk this week. Save your pay per view money for the Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin middleweight showdown on September 16, a fight that really MEANS something in sports.
But not many of you will take my advice. Knowledgeable observers agree there is potential for Mayweather and McGregor to smash financial and pay-per-view records.
Love him or hate him, Floyd Mayweather is regarded among the top pound-for-pound boxers of his generation and perhaps of all time, with an undefeated professional record of 49 wins and no losses. Mayweather retired from boxing in 2015 after a unanimous decision victory over Andre Berto.
The Berto fight was an afterthought to Mayweather’s unanimous decision defeat of eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines on May 2, 2015. The long awaited showdown became the highest-grossing pay-per-view fight of all time, with well over four million U.S. buys and more than $400 million in domestic pay-per-view revenue alone. The live gate at the MGM Grand Garden Arena was $71 million, smashing the previous record of $20 million for Mayweather’s fight against Mexican star Canelo Álvarez in 2013.
McGregor is the current UFC lightweight champion and the former UFC featherweight champion. He beat José Aldo for the featherweight title in December of 2015 with a knockout 13 seconds into the first round. He then defeated Eddie Alvarez via TKO for the lightweight title in November 2016, becoming the first UFC fighter to hold championships in two weight classes simultaneously. He was forced to relinquish the featherweight belt shortly after the Alvarez fight due to inactivity in that weight class. He has a professional mixed martial arts record of 21-3, with 18 of his victories coming by way of knockout or TKO. McGregor has never boxed professionally or as an amateur.
McGregor first raised the possibility of fighting Mayweather in 2015, with the two engaging in a war of words on social media ever since. Both fighters will reportedly earn nine-figure paydays for the bout. Each.
MAYWEATHER vs. MCGREGOR World Tour Dates & Cities:
Tuesday, July 11, 2:30 pm PT, Staples Center, Los Angeles
Wednesday, July 12, 6 pm ET, Budweiser Stage (update), Toronto
Thursday, July 13, 7 pm ET, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
Friday, July 14, 7 pm BST, The SSE Arena, Wembley, London, England
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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