The fight is set for August 26 at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena. Both McGregor and Mayweather have confirmed the bout via social media.
UFC president Dana White, who has a contract with McGregor, says that the match will happen at 154 pounds, and last for 12 rounds. The Nevada Athletic Commission put their approval on the event, although the Mayweather camp is pushing for a venue change to MGM Grand.
Regardless, the fight is set for Aug. 26 and will be distributed via Showtime pay-per-view.
What can we expect when McGregor and Mayweather meet in the ring? Find out as we discuss the odds, fighters, and an interesting weigh-in from one of McGregor’s sparring partners.
Mayweather Favored by a Wide Margin
Floyd Mayweather is 49-0 in his professional boxing career, so it’s little surprise that he’s up big on our GTBets.eu line. Here’s a look at how we have the fight right now:
Conor McGregor +500
Floyd Mayweather -700
Mayweather retired last year after racking up 49 wins from 1996 to 2015. He’s easily boxing’s biggest pay-per-view draw, earning $100 million from a 2015 fight with Manny Pacquiao.
Given that he was unlikely to ever get a check this big again, and there were no serious rivals left, “Money” retired after a Sept. 2015 victory over Andre Berto.
Despite retiring, Mayweather will step back into the ring as the best fighter of his generation, and one of the greatest of all-time. If he beats McGregor, as expected, it would run his record to a perfect 50-0.
As for McGregor, he’s an elite MMA fighter who’s known for his knockout power. Case in point, he won the UFC featherweight title through a 13-second knockout against Jose Aldo on Dec. 12, 2015.
The Irishman then went on to split non-title welterweight fights against Nate Diaz before knocking out Eddie Alvarez in Nov. 12, 2016 to win the lightweight belt. This makes McGregor the first-ever fighter to hold two UFC belts at the same time.
Despite McGregor’s MMA pedigree, he’s being given little chance due to the fact that this is his first professional boxing match.
McGregor-Mayweather Deal Finally Gets Done
But White added fuel to the speculation when he appeared on Conan O’Brien and spoke about how he thought the fight would happen due to the massive amount of money involved.
“Is this thing possible? Yeah, I think it’s possible. Do I think it can happen? I do, because there’s so much involved. But it’s a long, long way away from happening,” said White.
White had been in prolonged discussions with Al Haymon, Mayweather’s adviser, since 2017 kicked off. Haymond had to go through White because of McGregor’s UFC contract.
By May 18, White announced that he and McGregor had come to a financial agreement. This meant that a financial split with Mayweather was the final hurdle. And with Money matching his biggest payday ever, both sides are satisfied.
McGregor’s Sparring Partner Releases Telling Video
While both sides were unsure about how likely this fight was to happen, McGregor began training as if it were a reality. And he sparred against former IBF International Welterweight title holder Chris van Heerden as part of his training.
McGregor’s camp released a video that showed the UFC champ holding his own against van Heerden. However, the South African boxer released his own version that reveals him to be dominating the unpaid sparring session (see below).
People telling me Mayweather will have his hands full trying to land on McGregor -STOP IT! I respect McGregor BUT i ain't Floyd and i landed pic.twitter.com/gd4dFi3XUU
— Chris van Heerden (@TheHeat001) June 14, 2017
Van Heerden, who’s 25-2-1 as a professional fighter, explained that he released his own version to show respect for the sport of boxing.
“Because people are tweeting and talking and telling me that Mayweather has his hands full landing on Conor McGregor,” said Van Heerden. “I’m a professional fighter, boxer. And I’m standing up for the sport. I was just making it very clear that, don’t be ridiculous. If I could land, don’t tell me Floyd Mayweather is not gonna land.”
When asked if he thought that boxing was being disrespected, van Heerden said no. However, he wanted to make clear that McGregor won’t just walk into the ring and match up with the sport’s top fighter.
“This is just a platform to prove that in boxing,” he said, “a mixed martial artist taking on a boxer in the world of a boxer, you’re not gonna beat a boxer in boxing taking him on if you come from mixed martial arts.”
Van Heerden Gives McGregor a Puncher’s Chance
Knockouts can happen in any fight, and van Heerden gives McGregor some small chance thanks to his power.
“It would be ridiculous for me to say he has no opportunity, he has no chance,” Van Heerden explained. “Yes, he has a slight chance of pulling it off. He’s a fighter, he’s a mixed martial artist. He can land one big punch. It can happen. This is fighting, it’s two men in the ring. The opportunity is there. He doesn’t have a zero chance of beating or causing the biggest upset in the sport. Yes, he has. In my opinion and I’m gonna stick by it and I’m not afraid to say it, there’s no way he’s beating Mayweather.
“I have nothing but respect for McGregor. There’s no bad blood. I think [he’s] phenomenal. And being a southpaw, it’s gonna work in his favor. He’s got the power to do it. I wasn’t fazed by his power, I wasn’t hurt. But again, we didn’t have 10-ounce gloves on and he’s got some small chance of causing an upset.”
One key point here is that van Heerden and McGregor sparred last year, so the latter has improved somewhat. But on the other hand, he’ll be facing an even greater champion in Mayweather, which makes it questionable how well McGregor will fare.
We shall find out on August 26.