As we head towards fight night on the 26th of August, 9pm on the East Coast, it’s worth taking a breath to consider what it is that the sporting world is about to witness.
An undefeated boxer is set to go up against a mixed martial arts (MMA) champion — with his own list of accolades to boast — in a boxing match. That’s advantage, Mayweather.
Floyd “Money” Mayweather at the age of 40 stands at 49 wins to zero losses of which 26 were wins by knockouts. But these numbers are not at all surprising because experts will also tell you that Mayweather remains one of the most effective offensive and defensive boxers of his time.
So, what’s Conor McGregor thinking making his boxing debut against an undefeated boxer? Well 28-year-old McGregor’s no slouch either. McGregor’s numbers from within the MMA octagon stands at 24 fights that include three defeats, but — and here’s the kicker — 18 of his wins were via knockout.
However, fact remains, that the fight is going to be a boxing match against a boxer who has been undefeated in the professional circuit since 1996. The last time Mayweather was in the ring though, was in September of 2015, so that might be something to keep on the back of your mind as you take stock of the odds for yourself.
It has to be said in plain light that the odds do seem to be stacked against McGregor. To add to the list of worries for the Irish fighter’s fans, someone pointed out recently that McGregor’s last ten fights averaged 8 minutes and 38 seconds. Mayweather’s last 10 fights averaged an unthinkable 33 minutes and 36 seconds.
You have to appreciate, though, that while the fight might as well be over in a little over a half hour at the most, the organizers have done one hell of a job in creating — and maintaining — the hype and anticipation way ahead of fight night.
There’ve been, at least, four formally announced press events with both fighters and their posse present to talk all kinds of smack at each party.
In Los Angeles
We started off in Los Angeles, as early as the 11th of July, at the Staples Centre with a track suit clad Mayweather and McGregor in a shiny new tailored suit and the unmistakable two-tone Nautilus Chronograph ref. 5980/1A on his wrist. McGregor was already throwing insults the second he stepped onto the platform, but not in words. Have a closer look at that pinstripe on his suit.
Next, on the 12th of July, both men were in Toronto, Canada at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. Mayweather in his own mech’ label — The Money Team (TMT) — and McGregor in another tailored piece. Mayweather’s wrist-bling was visible this time round: The Hublot Big Bang Unico High Jewelry, which he purchased from Seddiqi & Sons back in December of 2015, in Dubai. Mayweather is, after all, a Hublot ambassador.
McGregor wore a yellow gold Rolex Yacht-Master II (ref. 116688).
In New York
The third press conference was in New York, the 13th of July at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn. There’s no way to describe the outfit McGregor wore to this one, and there probably is no point attempting to try either, since he was topless for the better part of the event. His yellow gold Rolex Day-Date with the President’s bracelet, however, was firmly on his wrist the entire time.
Mayweather was back to his TMT sweats and by all accounts, the New York leg of the conferences, might also have been the worst with plenty of car-crash moments on stage. But hey, any publicity is good publicity — right?
The last city on the list was London; the venue: The SSE Arena, Wembley. McGregor back to his suits and boutonnière but with the same Rolex from the New York conference. Mayweather opted for some form of tiger-striped top and his Hublot Big Bang Unico High Jewelry. McGregor, of course, made sure to remind Mayweather of his stripes on what is — not far off from — home ground.
At Long Last, Vegas
Then, as the week of the fight rolled in, fight organizers gave us another glimpse at the men, this time in a more sober setting in Las Vegas. Felt almost like the time for cheap talk was over. Both men formally attired, Mayweather even throwing in a few positive words acknowledging the domain of McGregor’s dominance. McGregor still ran his mouth.
Wristgame: McGregor had a yellow gold Daytona on him, with that superb emerald dial (ref. 116508) and Mayweather was back to his Hublot Big Bang Unico High Jewelry.
No watches will, however, be in sight on the 26th of August as the two men don their gear and, notably, the highly disputed 8oz gloves over the Association of Ringside Physicians’ advice to go for 10oz gloves in accordance to McGregor and Mayweather’s weight class.
The Association of Ringside Physicians’ concern is that lighter gloves might prove McGregor’s punches to be vastly more lethal on a 40-year-old Mayweather. And Mayweather’s definitely not unaware of what’s at stake. He’s already announced that his 50th time in the square ring will also be his last — a re-retirement — stating that he had given his word to do so to his kids.
McGregor’s still got a long career ahead of himself and the last thing he needs now is a crippling defeat outside of his primary domain. The stakes are, no doubt, sky high. But with all things considered, the odds for and against both these men may still be up in the air. Of what the future holds — we’ll only know for sure once the referee’s rung that final bell.