Whether you love it or loathe it, you have to admit that the Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor “Money Fight” has captured the sporting world’s imagination.
Many boxing purists have dismissed it as a publicity stunt, a freak show and an insult to the sport, while mixed martial arts fans are licking their lips in anticipation of tomorrow morning’s 12-round multimillion-dollar fight in Las Vegas.
It is expected to be the richest bout in history, surpassing the $600 million generated by Mayweather’s 2015 fight against Manny Pacquiao. It will be watched in more than 200 countries.
The Money Fight is what everyone is talking about. Can the Irish mixed-martial arts superstar, the 5/1 underdog, upset an experienced boxer who has proved so difficult to close down when facing big-name boxers?
Successful boxers of the calibre of Oscar de la Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Shane Mosley and Pacquiao have all failed to break through Mayweather’s defence over the years, prompting many experts to write off McGregor. Mayweather may be 40, yet his flawless, unbeaten record in 49 fights is testament to his pedigree.
He is meticulous in his planning for a big fight, but he hasn’t fought in two years since calling time on a 21- year career in 2015. There’s also the unpredictability that McGregor brings, having built up a fearsome reputation in a short period of time.
The 29-year-old Irishman’s rise to stardom is a wonderful rags-to-riches story. Before he was discovered in 2013, McGregor was on the dole. Now he is a multimillionaire and ready for his biggest fight yet – in the unfamiliar surroundings of a boxing ring.
“It’s mind-blowing. But I never forget the struggles. I never forget where I came from. I never ever forget the hard times,” said McGregor.
“I pinch myself because I am surrounded by luxury. But make no mistake – it’s luxury built on sacrifice.”
The trash-talking is done. Ring the bell for the first round.