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And it’s clear that this isn’t just a fight. It’s entertainment.
Fittingly, the Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor World Tour began in Los Angeles, California. The entertainment capital of the world. Where everything is fake and nothing is real. And that is the question heading into this fight. How much of this is real? How much of this is fabricated to build this fight into a spectacle the likes of which has never been seen in sports history?
And does it matter?
Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor took their time in the spotlight to trash talk the other, gesticulate, and talk about money. And the fans ate it up. McGregor had large UFC fanbase that showed up booing everything that wasn’t their Irish hero.
Those in TMT gear and adorning TBE on their hats played their part in the call and response song of ‘hard work dedication’ and ‘all work is easy work’.
Whether the fight is competitive or not, whether it’s an insult to boxing and the legacy of fighters who most young people couldn’t point to in a lineup, above all everyone in attendance and watching around the world was entertained.
Conor did his thing and Floyd dusted off the Money persona that has been missing for years. He showed that he still has it and was able to give McGregor a taste of his own medicine. What do you expect from a guy who made the transformation from boring, pretty boy defensive fighter to all-time great box office smash in the boxing world.
That’s what everyone wants to see. They want to see these guys entertain using the gimmicks they’ve developed in order to put themselves in the position they find themselves in today.
After they cleared the stage in the arena, Floyd went to the press room to sit with the media and answer questions.
One of the more telling questions was when this fight went from pipedream to reality. Of course, it was when the money talked. As fans continued to demand the fight, Floyd said he told Al Haymon that “this can be the biggest fight in history.”
From there things got in motion and it was signed, sealed, and delivered.
Because the result is seemingly an after thought, it’s clear that entertaining is the main driving force behind the selling of this fight.
Floyd said, “We have to give the fans what they want to see. In order to have a sold out arena, things can’t be smooth and calm. Fans want entertainment and that’s what we’re here to give them. I think they were entertained by both competitors.”
But that didn’t keep Floyd from trying to sell that he’s vulnerable. He said, “I can’t push my body. Training camp is grueling. It’s rough. This has to be the last one. I know deep in my heart this is it.” When asked more about training, he said, “the difference this time around is knowing my body. I’m taking time off and letting my body rejuvenate and heal. I’m making sure my body is close to 100%.”
But this is something we’ve heard for years. Floyd has continually tried to sell his opponents as being competitive fights for him in order to entice fans to buy the fight. The question is, how many believe him?
We’ll know just how many when the pay-per-view figures come in.
Why is Dana White so closely involved when there isn’t a sign of UFC branding anywhere? If the UFC has no involvement with the fight, then shouldn’t McGregor be sitting up there alone? Surely he doesn’t need a mouthpiece.
Why were the UFC fans booing Richard Sturm? This is the COO of MGM Resorts Entertainment & Sports. Likely, UFC fans are unfamiliar with the way the boxing business works. Sturm and Co. likely put up a hefty site fee to cover the fighter purses until after the pay-per-view buys come in. This is different from what we see in the UFC because unlike in the octagon where total fighter purses for a card could come to a total of under $3 million dollars, boxing events can be $30 million for just one fighter. It’s much harder to put $30 million in liquid cash to cover fighter purses than it is $3 million and it’s why Sturm got his chance to talk about his product.
Did they cut McGregor’s microphone? It’s a possibility. Why would they? Well I would look no further than Angel Garcia. If you don’t follow boxing too closely, Angel Garcia is a foul-mouthed trainer (very much in the mold of Conor McGregor) who has a tendency to rant when given a live mic. Recently he started up on one of his trademark rants, but it took a massive wrong turn when he started spewing a racist agenda that appropriately struck a nerve. I’m sure nobody wants a repeat of that.
How many people were in attendance? Leonard Ellerbe reported that there were a little over 11,000 in attendance for the press conference. It’s likely that this will be one of the smallest given the time (2pm on a Tuesday afternoon). New York and Toronto are scheduled to start later.
Is this fight available for streaming? Yes, at long last Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President of Showtime Sports, said that this fight will be available to watch on any device.
When do tickets go on sale? Monday July 24th. Prices range from $500–$10,000.
The Mayweather-McGregor World Tour Hits Los Angeles was originally published in sundaypuncher on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.