By Allan Fox: After his weigh-in on Friday, Floyd Mayweather Jr. gave a huge thank you to Showtime for paying him $350 million for tonight’s Conor McGregor fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather said Showtime gave him $100 million for his fight against Saul Canelo Alvarez, $300 million for his fight with Manny Pacquiao, and now they’re about to give him $350 million for the McGregor fight on Showtime pay-per-view.
If you’re wondering why Mayweather is saying this will be the last fight of his career, the huge payday he’s getting from Showtime tonight is a big reason. If Mayweather blows through all of this money and winds up broke in 3 to 5 years, then it’s unlikely that he’s going to be able to make yet another comeback for huge money. It’s surprising that there’s still interest in Mayweather’s career considering how long it’s been since he last fight.
If Mayweather wasn’t getting huge money, he’d likely be still toiling away like regular boxers trying to make a living in boxing. You can argue that his fight with McGregor is hardly worth the money he’s receiving, given the vast difference in experience between the two fighters. This fight is more about show business and theatrics rather than sport. Mayweather said it himself in calling McGregor a “Comedian.” Maybe that’s one of the reasons why he’s able to attract so many fans to his UFC fights. He’s got charisma that is lacking in most of the other fighters in that organization.
“In boxing this will be his last fight,” said Mayweather to Showtime about McGregor. “Paulie wanted to help him. Paulie asked me if he should help him. I said, ‘Absolutely.’ He crossed Paulie, and they showed only the footage that they wanted to show. Show the whole footage. Paulie has been traveling all around the world. For him to come in and go 6 or 7 rounds with a guy that’s been active, that says something right there,” said Mayweather.
The sparring that McGregor did with Paulie Malignaggi really says very little about what the Irish fighter can do. You should realize that they were using large gloves and head gear in the sparring sessions. In tonight’s fight, McGregor and Mayweather will both be wearing 8oz gloves. When you get his solid by a fighter weighing 170 lbs. with gloves light, you can get hurt. McGregor isn’t in the same league as Mayweather as far as boxing skills, hand speed and experience, but if he uses his size to connect with a big shot, he could knock him out. After all, McGregor is HUGE at 170 lbs., and he’s young and he’s been active.
Mayweather is 40, and he’s been inactive and just spending massive amounts of money on various things in the last 2 years. When you’ve been living like that, you’re not the same fighter you were before. Mayweather has probably lost a huge amount of his physical skills though inactivity and soft living. The advantage that Mayweather will be counting on to win tonight’s fight is his experience and knowledge of the sport. Mayweather will be trying to avoid getting hit by one of McGregor’s big left hands. I don’t buy for a second that Mayweather is going to be aggressive. He said that he’ll take the fight to McGregor, but I think he said that just to get boxing and MMA fans to purchase the fight on PPV.
There’s no question, Mayweather will test the waters against McGregor in the early going of the fight to see what he can get away with, and to check out his punching power. But if McGregor shows that he can connect with big punches, Mayweather will go into the defensive mode and play it safe until the later rounds until he feels that McGregor is tiring. Mayweather will likely go on the attack in the 8th to see if he can knock McGregor out. If the UFC fighter is still punching with a lot of power, Mayweather go back into the safety mode until at least the 11th or 12th before he tries again to score a knockout. In the meantime, I think the fight is going to be quite dull to watch unless McGregor can find a way through Mayweather’s shoulder roll defense.
”It won’t go the distance. He’s talking about the big left hand, and the big right hand,” said Mayweather. ”We’re going to find out if he hits harder than Canelo. We’re going to find out if he hits harder than Pacquiao. We’re going to find out if he hits harder than Cotto. We’ll just see. They hit me, they solid,” added Mayweather.
I think it will go the distance, easily. Mayweather has only had 2 knockouts in the last 10 years of his boxing career, and those came against Ricky Hatton and Victor Ortiz. I don’t count Mayweather’s knockout of Ortiz, because it was a sucker punch that bordered on being illegal. The way that Mayweather knocked Ortiz out wasn’t something he can count on against McGregor unless he chooses to foul. Mayweather can foul McGregor to try and knock him out, but I doubt the referee will allow that kind of thing.
Mayweather doesn’t have the punching power at 154 to knockout McGregor, especially with the way he throws only single pot shots. A fighter with huge power can score knockouts with single shots, but not a blown up super featherweight like Mayweather. For him to KO McGregor tonight, he’s going to need to let his hands go in a furious way by throwing sustained combinations. I don’t think Mayweather can do that, due to his fear of being hit back. Mayweather prides himself on his defense, and he’ll do anything possible not to get hit. Once Mayweather gets hit, he goes into a shell doesn’t come. An example of that was his fight against Saul Canelo Alvarez in 2013. Mayweather was having his way when Canelo was boxing him in the center of the ring for the first 8 rounds. But once Canelo tagged Mayweather with a big right hand in round 9, Mayweather got on his bike and stayed there for the remainder of the fight. Mayweather ran around the ring, causing the boxing fans to boo and it was hard to watch. The only thing Canelo did to take the fight out of Mayweather was hit him once with one big right hand. If McGregor does the same thing early in the fight, it’s going to have the same results with Mayweather choosing to run for most of the fight.
I think Mayweather will stop running every occasionally, to test McGregor to see if he’s tired, but if he’s not, the running will start again. Yes, the boxing and MMA fans will hate the movement from Mayweather, but it doesn’t matter. Mayweather is retiring, so he doesn’t need to worry about diminished PPV numbers in his next fight. We saw how Mayweather’s PPV numbers imploded after his boring fight against Manny Pacquiao in 2015. Mayweather’s PPV numbers went from 4.6 million buys against Pacquiao to just 300,000 for his fight against Andre Berto in September 2015. The likely reason for the HUGE drop off in PPV buys was because of angry boxing fans, filling ripped off by the boring way Mayweather fought Pacquiao.
Mayweather doesn’t have anything to fear though for his fight against McGregor tonight. He can bore the fans by running from McGregor, and it won’t matter if the fans vow never to buy another one of his fights. Mayweather will be going home with $350 million retirement check from Showtime, and he likely won’t be back unless he burns through his fortune with out of control spending.
”I can go forward. I’m not worried about that,” said Mayweather. ”Conor MCGregor keeps talking about what he’s going to do. You forget that I had the highest connect percentage in boxing history, and I take the least amount of punishment than any other fighter in boxing history. He’s a comedian. I don’t worry about that. When it’s all said and done, Floyd Mayweather can fight,” said Mayweather.
Mayweather does have great accuracy and defensive skills. There’s no question about that. I don’t know if he STILL has those skills. 2 years out of the ring changes a lot. Mayweather had better hope he still has those assets going for him tonight, as he’ll take a beating and wind up getting embarrassed by McGregor if he doesn’t have those things going for him. It could be bad for Mayweather if he can’t land his shots, and if his usually reliable defense fails him.
“In the Canelo fight, you guys gave me $100 million,” said Mayweather about Showtime Boxing giving him a big check for his 2013 fight against Canelo. “In the Pacquiao fight you guys gave me $300 million, and now you guys are giving me $350 million. I love Showtime. Tomorrow night, it’s Showtime. I dedicate this fight to Paulie,” said Mayweather in dedicating the fight to Malignaggi.
Mayweather is bragging about his money once again, as if the boxing and MMA fans care about that kind of stuff.
The fans are more interested in the fight and not the money that Mayweather supposedly will be making. It’s touching that Mayweather is dedicating the fight to McGregor’s former sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi. Is Mayweather going to try and get even with McGregor for him thrashing Malignaggi during their 2 sparring sessions?
If Malignaggi didn’t want to get hammered by McGregor, he shouldn’t have volunteered to work as his sparring partner. Malignaggi obviously knew that he wasn’t in great shape to be sparring a bigger, stronger, younger and more active fighter like McGregor. Malignaggi didn’t have to volunteer to spar with McGregor. This was his decision. You can’t blame McGregor for him beating up on Malignaggi during the sparring. Mayweather isn’t going to change what took place between McGregor and Malignaggi just by him trying to beat him tonight.