By Rich Cheney: Floyd Mayweather Jr. says he made the decision to come out of his 2-year retirement to fight UFC star Conor McGregor because the fans had demanded him to face the 28-year-old fighter, but the question is would Mayweather do the same if the fans demand him to fight Gennady ‘GGG” Golovkin.
Mayweather will be fighting McGregor in a boxing match on August 26 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Vegas. Mayweather-McGregor will be fought under the Marques of Queensbury rules of boxing. That doesn’t sound like a big deal until you realize that McGregor has never fought in a pro fight before during his MMA career. McGregor has only fought against other guys from an MMA or wrestling background. Those guys don’t have anywhere near the same training as a professional boxer or even an amateur boxer.
“McGregor is a tough competitor. People all around the world demanded this fight, so I had to give them what they wanted to see,” said Mayweather to BSO TV.
Having done a lot of reading in both boxing and MMA in the last year, I haven’t seen too many fans asking for Mayweather and McGregor to fight. I haven’t seen that at all. The only thing I see from fans is them talking about McGregor fighting different MMA guys like Nate Diaz, not Mayweather.
Personally, I think Mayweather is just coming up with an excuse to explain away his reasons for choosing a guy without a boxing background for an easy fight. I think the real and ONLY reasons Mayweather picked McGregor instead of someone like Gennady Golovkin is because he’s very popular right now in the MMA, and more importantly, he’s no threat.
I see fans mainly wanting Mayweather to come back and fight Gennady Golovkin or Keith Thurman than I do McGregor. To be honest, I’ve never read one comment from fans demanding Mayweather fight McGregor before Floyd started showing interest in that fight. I never saw Mayweather’s name brought up in the same light with McGregor’s for a fight between them. I think Mayweather is just taking advantage of McGregor’s popularity right now in the UFC so he can hitch a ride on his coattails to get a nice payday with the least amount of work.
McGregor’s last 5 fights in PPV have brought in big numbers dating back to 2015. There’s nobody in boxing that has brought in anywhere close to that number. If there was someone from another sport that consistently brought in box PPV numbers like McGregor, I think Mayweather would be looking to fight them if they were willing to be part of a circus fight.
This is why I believe that Mayweather chose McGregor for his next fight:
– Conor McGregor vs. Chad Mendez – PPV buys: 825,000
– Conor McGregor vs. Jose Aldo – PPV buys: 1,200,000
– Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz – PPV buys: 1,500,000
– Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 2 – PPV buys: 1,650,000
– Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez – PPV buys: 1,300,000
I think the whole reason for Mayweather taking the fight with McGregor is because of the UFC star’s popularity. Mayweather isn’t doing this out of pressure from the fans. That’s a cheap and very transparent excuse by Mayweather. The fans didn’t twist Mayweather’s arm to make the fight. We’ve seen how Mayweather ignores fans when they try and get him to fight guys in the past.
The fans wanted Mayweather to fight Paul Williams and Antonio Margarito when the two of them were in the zenith of their careers. Mayweather didn’t do it. The fans wanted him to fight Golovkin and Thurman, but Mayweather didn’t do it. Mayweather ignored the pressure from the fans and stayed retired.
”They asked for this fight,” said Mayweather about the fans supposedly asking him to fight Conor McGregor. ”I was in retirement, but they wanted me back and I’m back. Both parties are very happy [with the financial side of things]. He’s very happy, I’m very happy and I can’t wait.”
I don’t think this is the last of Mayweather fighting MMA guys. I see Mayweather looking to fight another MMA guys like Nate Diaz or whoever if they start bringing in huge PPV numbers each time they fight. Diaz, 32, has already been involved in 2 big PPV fights against McGregor.
If Diaz can prove that he can bring in HUGE PPV numbers on his own when fighting other fighters, then I see Mayweather making a play for a fight against him as well. I don’t know whether the UFC is going to allow Mayweather to pick and choose to fight all of their top guys for easy paydays. Moreover, I doubt that the boxing and MMA public is going to want to pay their hard-earned money to watch Mayweather beat up on MMA fighters.
Right now, the hype that is going into the Mayweather-McGregor fight is from the casual boxing and MMA fans, who don’t understand what a mismatch this is. The fans believe that McGregor has a chance due to how dominating he’s been in the UFC. Once they see for themselves that McGregor is totally out of his class against Mayweather, then they won’t likely bother dumping their money on another mismatch involving Mayweather and another MMA fighter in the future.
”You’re supposed to stand by your man. Stand behind the fighter you believe in,” said Mayweather in talking about the UFC fans supporting McGregor. ”He’s a hell of a competitor.”
There’s a chance that the Mayweather-McGregor fight may bring in more PPV buys than Mayweather’s mega-fight against Manny Pacquiao from 2015. That clash smashed PPV records with it bringing in 4.6 million buys. Mayweather made $250 million from the fight, thanks to the $100-110 PPV costs per household and the high number of buys. Mayweather vs. McGregor is expected to be sold for $100 on PPV. This is to take advantage of the huge interest in the fight.
So instead of the prices going down, they’re going to likely be raised through the roof. Mayweather will make his loot, and then disappear with his money back into retirement until he pops up for another likely fight against another non-boxer. As long as the fans are willing to pay to see circus fights like Mayweather-McGregor, I see Mayweather continuing to do these kinds of fights. The only thing stopping Mayweather from continuing to do this is his tendency to sit back and do nothing for long stretches.
Mayweather is 40 now. If he sits on his backside for another 2 years after the McGregor fight, he’ll be 42. There might not be an audience for a fight an old fighter like Mayweather, who no longer competes in his own sport of boxing. Mayweather can get away with these circus fights right now because he’s only been retire for 2 years, but if he doesn’t start fighting in his own sport against real boxers, I see the fans looking at him as someone that is just trying to get over on the public to take advantage of them.
The reality is pretty much any trained boxer is going to beat the stuffing out of an MMA fighter in a fight inside a boxing ring. It doesn’t take Mayweather to beat a guy like McGregor. I think you could have place a tiny super flyweight like Roman Gonzalez inside the ring with Mayweather and he would do the same thing in beating up McGregor.