Boxing-UFC

Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor fight finalized for Aug. 26

Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor fight finalized for Aug. 26

LAS VEGAS -- Floyd Mayweather Jr. will come out of retirement to meet UFC star Conor McGregor in an Aug. 26 boxing match that will feature two of the top-selling fighters in the world.

The two fighters both announced the fight Wednesday, after months of speculation about whether Mayweather would return at the age of 40 to face a mixed martial arts fighter who has never had a pro boxing fight.

Oddsmakers immediately made Mayweather a big 11-1 favorite in a fight that will take place in a boxing ring and be governed by boxing rules. It will take place at 154 pounds.

"It's official," Mayweather said on Instagram next to a video poster of both fighters.

"THE FIGHT IS ON," McGregor tweeted several minutes earlier, posting a picture of himself next to one of Mayweather's father, Floyd Sr.

Mayweather, who retired in September 2015 after winning all 49 of his pro fights, will face the Irish UFC superstar at the T-Mobile arena on the Las Vegas Strip. He had tweeted a picture of himself sparring in recent days to show he was already getting ready for the bout.

"This is really an unprecedented event," said Stephen Espinoza, who heads Showtime Sports, which will handle the pay-per-view. "Really we haven't seen anything in modern history that resembles it, it's impossible to predict how many sales this will do."

Espinoza said the fight came together quickly after McGregor and the UFC reached agreement last month on their end of the deal and Mayweather's team pushed for the fight in recent days.

"All parties were motivated and reasonable and thrilled we could get everything done," he said. "The sky's the limit on this."

Financial terms were not released, though Mayweather got the greater share of revenue when he fought Manny Pacquiao and is expected to have a similar percentage against McGregor.

Depending on pay-per-view sales, both fighters could earn huge purses, though probably not the $200 million or so Mayweather earned for Pacquiao.

"Everybody's happy," said Mayweather's adviser, Leonard Ellerbe.

McGregor, the wildly popular UFC star, is 21-3 in UFC fights, and is coming off a win in November against Eddie Alvarez. Though he hasn't boxed professionally, McGregor did box while growing up and is known for his striking expertise in UFC.

"The reason he's such a superstar is this guy will fight anyone, anywhere and at any time," UFC chief Dana White said about his fighter. "It's the right fight at the right place at the right time."

The two fighters are expected to do a press tour that should provide fireworks shortly before going into final training for the fight.

The cost of tickets and the price of the pay-per-view has not been decided, though the pay-per-view is expected to be at or near the $99.95 charged for Mayweather's 2015 fight with Manny Pacquiao that drew a record 4.4 million pay-per-view buys.

Mayweather will come off a two-year retirement in a bout that McGregor has been pushing for nearly that long. It finally came together and Nevada boxing officials on Wednesday approved the date for a Mayweather Promotions bout.

Mayweather last fought in September 2015, beating Andre Berto and then announcing his retirement. His fight before that, a decision win over Pacquiao, was the richest in boxing history and reportedly made him more than $200 million.

Though oddsmakers make Mayweather a big favorite, the thought of the fight has excited many in the MMA world. It has also intrigued some in boxing, though most dismiss McGregor's chances under boxing rules against one of the greatest defensive fighters 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.

Even if the actual bout may not shape up as a great matchup, the run-up to the fight will. Both fighters are noted for their ability to sell their fights, and both have exchanged in trash talking and more to promote their bouts.

"As with every Mayweather and McGregor fight part of the appeal is the spectacle and outsize personalities who are participating in it," Espinoza said.

The pay-per-view revenue for the event would likely gross tens of millions of dollars. It comes less than a month before Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez meet in a highly anticipated fight Sept. 16 that could rival it for pay-per-view buys.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. beats Conor McGregor by TKO in 10th round

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. beats Conor McGregor by TKO in 10th round

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Floyd Mayweather Jr. put on a show in the last fight of his spectacular career.

Conor McGregor didn't do so badly, either.

Mayweather figured out a 50th opponent Saturday night, letting McGregor have the early rounds before stalking him late and leaving the mixed martial artist defenseless and exhausted on the ropes in the 10th round.

It was a smashing end to a career that earned Mayweather more money than any fighter before him -- including an estimated $200 million for his last bout.

"I think we gave the fans what they wanted to see," Mayweather said. "I owed them for the (Manny) Pacquiao fight."

Mayweather battered McGregor around the ring in the later rounds, finally stopping him at 1:05 of the 10th with a flurry of punches that forced referee Robert Byrd to stop the fight.

Before a pro-McGregor crowd that roared every time the UFC fighter landed a punch, Mayweather methodically broke him down after a slow start to score his first real stoppage in nearly a decade. He did it in what he said would be his final fight, against a man who had never been in a professional boxing match before.

McGregor boxed surprisingly well but after landing some shots in the early rounds, his punches seemed to lose their steam. Mayweather then went on the pursuit. McGregor backpedaled most of the way, stopping only to throw an occasional flurry as Mayweather wore him down.

"I turned him into a Mexican tonight," McGregor said. "He fought like a Mexican."

Though Byrd cautioned McGregor for hitting behind the head on two different occasions, there were no real fouls in the fight and McGregor never tried to revert to any MMA tactics

McGregor had vowed to knock Mayweather out within two rounds, and he won the early rounds with movement and punches to the head. But the tide of the fight turned in the fourth round as Mayweather seemed to figure out what he had to do and began aggressively stalking McGregor.

Mayweather was credited with landing more than half his punches, as he solved McGregor's defense after a few rounds. Ringside stats showed him landing 170 of 320 punches to 111 of 430 for McGregor.

In a fight so intriguing that it cost $10,000 for ringside seats, McGregor turned in a respectable performance for someone in his first fight. He switched from southpaw to conventional at times and used his jab well, but Mayweather's experience and his ring savvy paid off as he executed his game plan to perfection.

"Our game plan was to take our time, go to him and take him out in the end," Mayweather said. "I guaranteed everybody this fight wouldn't go the distance.

McGregor was trailing badly on all three ringside scorecards through the ninth round, with scores of 89-81, 89-81 and 87-83. The Associated Press had it 87-84.

Mayweather was widely criticized for not going after Pacquiao in their megafight, and he didn't make the same mistake this time. In a fight that could make him $200 million, he seemed to stagger McGregor with a series of punches in the ninth round, landing at will as McGregor desperately tried to clinch.

The end was near as the two fighters came out for the 10th round and Mayweather went right after McGregor again. He landed a punch that set McGregor reeling across the ring, then landed a combination that had McGregor defenseless as Byrd moved in to stop the bout. McGregor didn't complain when the fight was stopped and went over and hugged Mayweather.

"I was a little fatigued," he said. "He was composed in there, that's what 50 pro fights can give you."

He seemed almost happy in the ring afterward, secure that he had given a good performance even in losing.

"I thought it was close though and I thought it was a bit of an early stoppage. I was just a little fatigued."

McGregor's challenge of Mayweather was fueled by social media and turned into a spectacle as the two fighters promoted the bout. It figured to make him $100 million or so, and gave McGregor a name and brand outside of the UFC.

He also got some respect from a fighter who has been in the ring his entire life.

"He's a lot better than I thought he'd be," Mayweather said. "He's a tough competitor, but I was the better man tonight."

After all the talk and hype, the fight unfolded like most in boxing figured it would. Mayweather, a 5-1 favorite, took a few rounds to establish his dominance but once he did it was a one-sided fight.

Mayweather ran his record to 50-0, surpassing Rocky Marciano's 49-0 record and giving himself a great parting gift. He repeated afterward that he was not going to fight again.

"This is my last fight for sure. 50-0 sounds good, I'm looking forward to going into the Hall of Fame," Mayweather said. "I picked the best dance partner to do it with.

Irish fans arrived by the thousands in the days before the fight, filling the arena for the weigh-in and boisterously cheering for their man. They even went off in the middle of the night and spray painted an Irish flag and "49-1" on a billboard on Interstate 15 promoting Mayweather's businesses.

The capacity crowd of 14,623 cheered McGregor on, but they quieted as the fight progressed and Mayweather showed his dominance.

Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor prom tour gets off to frenzied start

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Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor prom tour gets off to frenzied start

LOS ANGELES -- Floyd Mayweather Jr. reached into a backpack and held out a $100 million check for the crowd of 11,000 fight fans to see.

"Let me show you what a $100 million fighter looks like," he said.

Conor McGregor interrupted from his stool behind the podium: "That's to the tax man."

Mayweather replied: "You're right. I'm the IRS, and I'm going to tax your ass."

The undefeated boxer and the Irish UFC champion have thrown their first jabs in a summer of verbal sparring before the fighting spectacle of the year.

Mayweather and McGregor kicked off a four-city promotional tour Tuesday at Staples Center, facing off in front of a raucous crowd that thoroughly enjoyed this circus' first stop in Hollywood. Both fighters promised a knockout, and they had a prolonged shouting match during their second faceoff, with UFC President Dana White stepping between them.

"I am fighting, and he is boxing," McGregor said. "It's two men at the top of their game competing. It's two worlds colliding. That enough is reason why this is what it is."

All but the most naive fight fans realize the promotion for this bout could be much more entertaining than the historic 154-pound fight Aug. 26 in Las Vegas.

McGregor and Mayweather traded clever insults and profane boasts that quickly showed why this boxing match should be a rare spectacle -- before the opening bell, anyway.

"He looks good for a seven- or eight-figure fighter, but I'm a nine-figure fighter," Mayweather said. "This (guy) made 3 million dollars his last fight, but we know that's training camp money for me."

The 40-year-old Mayweather has been coaxed out of his latest retirement for the colossal payday coming from this unique matchup. The bout will cost $99.95 on high-definition pay-per-view, while tickets at T-Mobile Arena will range from $500 to $10,000 -- and there aren't many $500 seats.

In a tailor-made pinstripe suit that repeated a profane phrase in tiny letters as its stripe, McGregor didn't try to disguise his glee at the prospect of his mammoth financial reward for seeing how his heavy hands can fare against Mayweather's famed defensive skills in this cross-disciplinary experiment.

McGregor got more personal than Mayweather, going after everything from the boxer's apparent money troubles to his attire. McGregor also risked racial offensiveness when he yelled, "Dance for me, boy! Dance for me, son!" during an exchange with Mayweather.

"He's in a ... track suit," McGregor said, looking at Mayweather. "He can't even afford a suit anymore. The Rolls is a 2012 outside. He is (expletive). There's no other way about it. I'm going to knock him out inside of four rounds, mark my words."

Two years after his last fight and several years after his trash-talking heyday, Mayweather rose to the promotional challenge in an energetic, biting performance. The unbeaten star led his fans in a call-and-response cheer that derided McGregor as "easy work!"

"That's what the people want to see," Mayweather said. "To have a sold-out arena and just give these people something just real smooth and calm, they don't want that. That's not what they want. These fans want entertainment, and that's what we're here to give them."

And while the 40-year-old Mayweather acknowledged his skills have declined and claimed his comeback is for one fight only, he also said he has "more than enough" to beat a rookie boxer.

"We know Mr. Tapout likes to quit," Mayweather said, referring to McGregor's submission loss to Nate Diaz in UFC competition last year.

When McGregor spoke to the media after the public show, Floyd Mayweather Sr. relentlessly heckled him from the back of the room. The 64-year-old trainer's presence provoked genuine amusement from the two-division mixed martial arts champion, who suggested he might not abide by the contract that would punish him for MMA tactics with an enormous financial penalty.

"Tell him as long as he speaks my name with respect, I will abide by the boxing rules," McGregor said to Mayweather Sr. "I'll abide by the Marquess of Queensberry Rules only if he speaks my name. If he disrespects me during this buildup, then maybe I might just bounce an elbow off his eyebrow. So that's on him how he does it."