One of the biggest fights in all of combat sports history is about to go down.
Reigning UFC Lightweight Champion “The Notorious” Conor McGregor is set to challenge boxing legend and perhaps the greatest defensive tactician in the sport’s history, Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr., in a 12-round bout on August 26 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
McGregor has pursued this monumental showdown for the greater part of the last 12 months, and now it seems the fight that will put both the MMA world and the boxing world together is finally coming to fruition.
For better or for worse, everyone will be fixated on this fight for the next two months or so. While there are many intriguing details surrounding this matchup – compelling backstory, rich history, and two polarizing fan bases – there are a few details that we can dive into.
Today, Evolve Daily shares The 5 Most Intriguing Facts About Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor.
1) Mayweather hasn’t competed in nearly two years and is now 40 years old
The last time the world was witness to Mayweather’s pugilistic greatness was on September 12, 2015, in a shutout unanimous decision victory over welterweight Andre Berto. At the time, Mayweather was 38 years old and coming off the most significant victory of his career over rival Manny Pacquiao.
Today, Mayweather is 40, two years older and definitely two years wiser. Although he loves to keep in shape when he doesn’t have a fight scheduled, the fact remains that Mayweather hasn’t traded leather for a very long, long time. Against a big puncher with the youth and size of McGregor, that could be a problem.
It hasn’t been evident, but Mayweather has slipped a little, in terms of his hand speed, defense, and overall boxing ability. Bouts against Miguel Cotto, Marcos Maidana and to an extent, Pacquiao, proved as much. He is easier to hit now, and perhaps a little ripe for the taking. But because of his otherworldly boxing skills, Mayweather has managed to appear as unbeatable as ever.
McGregor and team are banking on Mayweather showing his true age when they finally lace it up. With the Irishman’s monstrous left hand, anything can happen.
2) Mayweather and McGregor will be making an insane amount of money
Finally, there is only one reason this fight is happening – money. Both Mayweather and McGregor stand to make millions of dollars in selling this fight to the general public.
When Mayweather fought Pacquiao in 2015, the pay-per-view did over four million buys at $75 a pop for the regular version and nearly $100 for Hi-Definition. With their guaranteed purse combined with a cut of the pay-per-view proceeds, Pacquiao took home close to $150-million while Mayweather bagged a whopping $300-million in excess. It went down as the richest fight in boxing history.
How well the Mayweather-McGregor fight does will depend on how the promoters can convince the public that this will be a competitive fight. You already know the press conferences and media junkets will be absolute pandemonium, given how both fighters possess this amazing ability to generate interest in their bouts.
If enough people purchase what they are peddling, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to see it come close to Mayweather-Pacquiao numbers, or even surpass it. Despite McGregor having to share his revenue with the UFC, it will still amount to be his biggest payday yet.
3) This is Conor McGregor’s first ever professional boxing match
It’s interesting to examine how exactly we arrived at this point in history, when in just a little over two months’ time, one of the world’s best mixed martial arts fighters will take on the world’s best boxer in a 12-round boxing match. It almost seems surreal, and to be honest, many fans did not expect it to happen.
While McGregor is certainly a very capable fighter, he hasn’t boxed a single round in his professional career as compared to Mayweather, who has managed to remain undefeated for over 20 years en route to a perfect 49-0 record.
To be fair, McGregor did compete as an amateur boxer in his younger days, but that was when he was only 12-years old. As a preteen, McGregor trained under two-time Olympian Phil Sutcliffe and eventually became an All-Ireland champion at the youth level. So it’s not to say that McGregor is completely clueless about boxing. In fact, even in MMA, McGregor’s strongest asset has been his boxing, having used his hands to finish 18 of 21 foes by knockout.
In the past few months alone, with the Mayweather bout inching closer and closer to reality, McGregor has even focused entirely on developing his pure boxing skills, training with world champion boxers like Chris van Heerden.
Is the talent gap between Mayweather and McGregor more than a mile wide? Only when we see both men go at it in the ring will we know for sure. However, McGregor’s previous experience with boxing and his recent focus on developing this particular skill set could lessen the gap ever so slightly.
4) Mayweather looks to set record with 50th straight win
At the ripe old age of 40, Mayweather has enjoyed a highly-publicized and storied boxing career for over 20 years. At an unblemished 49-0, he has faced and defeated the greatest fighters of this generation, making it look very easy in the process with his enigmatic defensive fighting style.
“49 have tried, and 49 have failed,” is his famous line, referencing the 49 times he had stepped into the ring and made lesser fighters look silly with his stifling defense and pinpoint accurate offense. Even the great Filipino warrior Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao couldn’t put a dent in Mayweather’s record in their blockbuster 2015 super-fight.
By the time Mayweather steps into the ring with McGregor, the Las Vegas native will be going for a historic 50th straight win, eclipsing heavyweight legend Rocky Marciano who went 49-0 before retiring in 1956.
When Mayweather announced his retirement in 2015, after defeating Andre Berto to tally his 49th victory, not many experts believed it would be the last time Mayweather stepped into the ring. In fact, everyone was absolutely certain he would return for number 50, and here we are.
5) This isn’t the first time the boxing and MMA worlds have collided
Believe it or not, this is certainly not the first time a boxer and a mixed martial artist has faced each other in combat. There is definitely precedence for this sort of event, regardless of how they have previously resulted.
The late great Muhammad Ali took on wrestler and MMA fighter Antonio Inoki in 1973 under special rules. Although it was merely an exhibition match aimed at garnering publicity, it would damage Ali enough that it affected him for the remainder of his career.
In 2007, boxing champion Ray Mercer took on brawler Kimbo Slice, losing by a guillotine choke submission. He would then return in 2009 to take on UFC heavyweight Tim Sylvia, winning by knockout.
In 2010, James “Lights Out” Toney fought UFC legend Randy Couture. Couture made Toney look silly and finished him with an abrupt arm triangle choke within one round.
Suffice to say, when a boxer steps inside the MMA cage, things tend to end unpleasantly for the boxer. With McGregor landing the blockbuster Mayweather fight however, this is the first time the world will get to see an elite MMA fighter take on an elite boxer under a pure boxing ruleset.