Posted on August 15, 2017
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On July 11 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA, “The Notorious” Conor McGregor and Floyd “Money” Mayweather came together to embark on a four-city press tour to promote their unprecedented boxing match Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. The tour visited the following cities: Los Angeles, Toronto, Brooklyn, and London. Fight fans knew that it would be entertaining, but no one knew what was to come once the tour finally began.
Showtime Sports streamed each press conference on their respective YouTube channels throughout the week. Each stage of the tour got upwards of a million views. FS2 and ESPN also broadcasted the entire press tour on television. However, ESPN’s coverage of the tour blocked out the expletives whereas FS2 did not. The Herd With Colin Cowherd, as well as Undisputed with Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe, covered the tour extensively on FS1 during the week, providing in-depth analysis on who “won” each leg of the tour.
McGregor, who turned 29 years old on July 14, is the current UFC Lightweight Champion and first fighter in history to hold two belts at the same time. He won his second title in November of 2016 over Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 via second round TKO in front of a sold-out Madison Square Garden. He has never competed in professional boxing, but is primarily known for knocking his opponents out in the octagon. He is also known for his pre-fight trash talk, making him a fan favorite. His antics were never on display more than during the press tour with Mayweather.
Two of his most significant lines during the tour took place during the Toronto stage on July 12.
“On the count of three, I want this entire arena to scream: “[Expletive] the Mayweathers,” McGregor said.
Fans were outraged when McGregor confronted Mayweather with a line that will live in sports infamy.
“Dance for me, boy. I want you to dance for me,” McGregor said.
Sports personalities and other celebrities immediately called him “racist” for his comment. Most notably, actor Michael Rapaport had a strong viewpoint on the matter.
“I thought it was disgusting. I am rooting for the boxer in this fight. I love MMA too, but [McGregor] has no chance. It will be a boring fight. I am not paying to watch it,” Rapaport said.
Mayweather is 49-0 as a boxer and arguably the greatest fighter the sport has ever seen. He has not fought since September of 2015 when he edged Andre Berto by a 12-round unanimous decision. Four months earlier, he dispatched Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao en route to a 12-round unanimous decision in what some called the biggest fight in boxing history at the time.
Outside of the ring, Mayweather is known for displaying his lavish lifestyle to the TV cameras and general public. According to Forbes Magazine, his net worth currently stands at 340 million dollars. With that being said, he is the highest paid boxer in the world. He lives in Las Vegas in a mansion that one would have to see to believe. His watch collection, Bugatti’s, bedrooms, and bowling alley are just a few of the things someone would find if they stepped inside. To most fight fans, Mayweather is a great fighter who has defeated everyone in his path to greatness. The question is: can he be beaten?
During the Brooklyn stage of the World Tour on July 13, Mayweather pulled no punches during McGregor’s testimony.
“He [McGregor] did not quit once, twice, but three times. The fans can’t fight for you,” Mayweather said.
With the fight a month away, the hype will continue to intensify as Showtime is airing an All Access four-part special that chronicles the lives and training sessions of the undefeated American boxer and Irish UFC megastar. The first episode will air July 28 beginning at 9:00 pm EDT/7:00 pm PDT with replays to follow in the days ahead.