The two fighters have been trading barbs on social media for months as anticipation for a fight that has been hailed by former UFC fighter Brendan Schaub as “the biggest sporting event of our lifetimes” continues to heighten.
The first stop of a world press tour to promote the event was held at Staples Centre in Los Angeles today.
McGRegor made an uncharacteristic move by arriving on stage first. Notorious for being late to UFC press conferences, the Irishman walked boldly on stage in a three-piece suit before posing for photographs. Check out the detail on his pinstripe.
Well, that was … something. Only 47 more days until we can all put this behind us. A parting tip for Showtime ahead of the remaining tour stops: why turn off McGregor’s microphone during Mayweather’s sermon? I’d understand if the trash talk was the side course per usual, but don’t hold out on us when events like today’s are effectively the main course.
. Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor begin their world press tour on Tuesday
. The pair share the stage for the first time at the Staples Center in Los Angeles
. They’ll then travel Toronto, New York and London for further press conferences
. Boxing legend and UFC champion are set to throw down in Las Vegas in August
At any rate, thanks for following along with us and do check back later for Rory Carroll’s full report from the ground in Los Angeles.
“God only made one thing perfect, and that’s my boxing record,” says Mayweather. And then they come together for the traditional staredown. They continue to mouth off at one another and Dana White is ultimately forced to break them up.
MAYWEATHER vs MCGREGOR WORLD TOUR
Toronto, Canada — Budweiser Stage, Thursday July 13 — 7.30am AEST
New York City, USA — Barclays Centre, Friday July 14 — 8.30am AEST
London, UK — SSE Wembley Arena, Saturday July 15 — 4am AEST
MAYWEATHER vs MCGREGOR Los Angeles Press Conference Full Video
Mayweather emerged through the crowd soon after with his entourage, but one Irish fan scored an early point for their man by throwing an Irish flag at the boxing champ.
The two faced off on stage and adopted different approaches. McGregor was playful, talking and moving. Mayweather stayed still and stony-faced as the mind games began.
Unfortunately this was a boxing press conference, so unlike UFC events where president Dana White immediately asks for questions, we were forced to wait for the suits to make long-winded statements. Fittingly, they were booed.
But the crowd exploded as White introduced McGregor — and the two division champ immediately targeted Mayweather’s dress sense.
The fans didn’t have to be convinced. They were already sold.
They roared when McGregor entered the arena and walked on the stage. They booed when Mayweather did the same.
Maybe they weren’t certain of a McGregor victory, but they looked and sounded as if they believed that the charismatic Irishman has a chance. Or perhaps they wanted to believe he has chance. Whatever misguided emotion was in their hearts, it was strong enough to make them ditch work to back their man at a news conference. Similar turnouts are expected later this week at stops in Toronto, New York and London.
Both fighters later spoke to reporters back-stage. Mayweather said he wasn’t bothered by the pro-McGregor crowd. “Popularity has nothing to do with what we have in our bank accounts,” Mayweather said. “I always chose fortune over fame.”
McGregor’s press conference was gatecrashed by Mayweather’s father. “You ain’t ever had a pro-fight in your life … you going to get the f*** beat out of you,” Floyd Sr said.
WHITE: ‘I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS EVERY WEEKEND’
Earlier, UFC president Dana White completed interviews backstage and Aloe Blacc performed for the fans in attendance while they waited for the key participants to arrive.
What are the rules of the fight?
The fight will be held under boxing rules, presenting a huge challenge for mixed martial artists McGregor as he faces off against one of the greatest defensive boxers in history.
Adding to McGregor’s challenge, the fighters will be using 10-ounce boxing gloves instead of the smaller UFC gloves and he will not be allowed to use the leg kicks or takedowns that are used in mixed martial arts.
McGregor will weigh in at 154 pounds, UFC president Dana White told ESPN.
Mayweather confirms this is his last
‘I’m not the same fighter I was 21 years ago or 10 years ago,’ he says. ‘I understand that. But I have that fighter’s mentality.
Training camp is gruelling. I can’t do it anymore. I’m just working hard every day. This has to be my last one.
‘After taking a couple of years off, I was okay, but then we made this fight happen. I know this is it. Deep in my heart, I can’t [go on].’