The so-called “$100 million USD dollar mega fight” between pound-for-pound boxing champion, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and braggadocios UFC champion, Conor McGregor, is already reaching a fever pitch despite no indication that such a pugilistic affair will ever take place given the drastically different combat backgrounds for each man.
Thus far, all of the jabs, crosses, and overhand rights have been delivered and landed in the media who have gladly accepted them with no attempt at defense.
As a refresher, Mayweather recently took to Instagram to show off a $100 million USD check that he earned on May 2, 2015 – the date that Mayweather defeated Pacquiao in a record-breaking blockbuster fight – which generated a record 4.6 million pay-per-view buys and brought in over $600 USD million in revenue. Not only does it prove Mayweather’s immense wealth, but many speculate it’s a shot at McGregor as if to say “you need me, I don’t need you.”
Conor McGregor’s latest antics include filing for and receiving a boxing license in California which further fanned the flames of a proposed match despite Mayweather having called Las Vegas, Nevada his fight home since 2006.
Despite the posturing, Jeff Sherman at the Westgate Las Vegas sports book posted odds for a proposed fight. Mayweather was made a minus-2500 favorite to defeat McGregor in a boxing match. He had McGregor at plus-1100. That means a bettor would need to lay down $2,500 USD to earn a $100 USD profit on a bet on Mayweather while a $100 USD bet on McGregor would earn a wagerer n $1,100 USD profit were he to win.
Mayweather Promotions CEO, Leonard Ellerbe, was quick to point out that McGregor is beholden to his UFC contract and has “bosses” who would never want to see their most valuable asset beaten to a bloody pulp.
“They would never — and put this in bold caps — let him step into a boxing ring with Floyd Mayweather, because everyone knows what the outcome would be,” Ellerbee said. “He would get his ass beat from pillar to post.”
This Tuesday, UFC President, Dana White, echoed similar sentiments as Ellerbee – choosing to focus more on how unlikely it was rather than voicing his opinion on who would win.
“It ain’t happening,” White said to Yahoo Sports.
For even the most casual MMA or boxing fans, this type of fight hype is pure entertainment and nothing new. But more often than not, it comes with a definitive resolution.
At this point, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor’s names will forever be linked even if they never get in the ring with each other. But with no path forward – with no boxing governing body likely to sanction the fight and Mayweather unwilling to enter the MMA fray – fight fans need something to ease their bloodlust.
Even if they never throw a single punch at one another, Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor each get their fair share of W’s and catch a couple L’s.
Here’s how we see it:
Better origin story
Whether you’re a cinematic hero or villain, a proper origin story provides an audience with a reasoning behind a person’s actions.
As recently as 2013, Conor McGregor was still picking up a welfare check for €180 (roughly $235 USD) in advance of making his UFC debut in Sweden against Marcus Brimage. After knocking out his opponent – and earning a knockout of the night bonus – McGregor was $60,000 USD richer.
“Just last week I was collecting the social welfare,” McGregor said. “I was in there saying to them, ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m signed to the UFC. I don’t know. Blah, blah, blah.’ Now I suppose I’m just going to have to tell them [expletive] off.”
Prior to turning to mixed martial arts, a teenage McGregor trained in boxing at the Crumlin Boxing Club. Although he showed devastating power, the fight game wasn’t viewed as a viable career path. Thus, McGregor became an apprentice plumber in his late teens.
“I was up by five o’clock in the morning,” McGregor remembered. “I used to have to walk a half an hour to get to the motorway. I stand on the corner of the motorway and I waited for some hillbilly to come by and pick me up. I’d have to sit in his car and sit in traffic for about two hours just to get to the building site. I get to the building site and it’s cold, dark, wet and I’m sent to do this and sent to do that. It was a rough time. I did not like the life. Plumbing did not interest me. Working on site did not interest me. One day I said, ‘Fuck it,’ and I quit. I walked home and I said to my father, ‘There’s not a hope in hell you’re going to get me back to that building site.’ And he said, ‘We’ll see about that,’ and we proceeded to fight each other until, eventually, I lost. But I won if that makes sense. He might have whooped my ass, but I still didn’t go back to that building site.”
McGregor ultimately returned to boxing and MMA – telling his parents he would be a millionaire by the time he was 25.
“I didn’t just leave with no other option,” he said. “I left and said, ‘I’m going to pursue this dream of fighting for the UFC.’ Of course at that time, no Irish man had ever fought a man inside the octagon before, so there was not a story or career I could point to an Irish man and say, ‘Look at this guy. This is the career HE made for himself,’ because there was no other person before me.”
It’s well documented that Floyd Mayweather comes from a prominent boxing pedigree. Both his father, Floyd Sr. and uncles, Jeff and Roger, were a welterweight contender, IBO super featherweight champion, and WBA super featherweight and WBC super lightweight champions, respectively.
Each man also had a role in shaping a young Floyd – reportedly showing a then 9-10 month baby how to hold his hands in the proper way.
“One day I came into the room and he’s laying back on the pillow doing just what I was showing him,” Mayweather Sr. said. “I said, ‘This is it. He’s going to be a fighter.'”
Mayweather’s early years were marked by violence and instability.
“My mother’s brother shot my dad while my dad was holding me, when I was a little kid,” Mayweather remembered. “My mother was on drugs and my dad went to prison for dealing drugs, and he wasn’t small time.”
“I wasn’t going to put that baby down,” Mayweather Sr. told The Los Angeles Times in 2012. “I didn’t want to die. It wasn’t about putting my son in the line of fire. I knew he wouldn’t shoot the baby. So he took the gun off my face, lowered it to my leg and bam!”
The gunshot wound essentially ended the patriarch’s burgeoning boxing career. In turn, he took to training his son.
“I was breeded to be a fighter,” Mayweather Jr. said. “I take my hat off to my father … . It all started with my father. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here.”
As an amateur, Mayweather Jr. compiled a 84-6 record and notable accolades including Michigan Golden Gloves, National Championships, and a bronze medal at the Olympic Games in 1996.
The winner: Although Mayweather grew up in a prominent boxing family, his ascent to the pinnacle of the sport is just as unlikely as McGregor climbing the UFC ranks.. This is a draw.
Floyd Mayweather has 20 more years of boxing experience under his belt and more than double the ring opponents as his Irish counterpart. Thus, there is a larger sample size when it comes to picking out Mayweather’s best fight.
While one could argue that his biggest was against Oscar De La Hoya in 2007, that fight was decidedly underwhelming despite the Mexican boxer bringing six-divisions’ worth of world championship experience.
Rather, Mayweather’s 2012 fight against Miguel Cotto proved to be one his toughest opponents. The fierce Puerto Rican took it to Mayweather for all 12 rounds – and despite a unanimous decision for Mayweather – fight fans were treated to a masterclass from both fighters.
Afterwards, Mayweather remarked, “you’re the toughest guy I ever fought.”
On the UFC side of this debate, most never anticipated that there would be a rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz. But when the Stockton brawler shocked the world by choking out McGregor at UFC 196, it set the stage for a redemption tour.
Following five hard-fought, bloody rounds, the judges had the final say, scoring the bout 48-47, 47-47, and 48-47 in the Dublin fighter’s favor.
While McGregor had been known to be dismissive of his fallen foes in the past, he gave credit where credit was due, saying of Diaz, “He’s a hell of a competitor.”
The winner: It’s certainly admirable that in both cases, Mayweather and McGregor both went up from their normal weight classes to take dangerous fights versus skilled opponents.
Despite Diaz’s tenacity, most UFC insiders never labeled him as a world class fighter. At the time of their first fight, he was unranked in the pound-for-pound top-15.
When Mayweather squared off against Cotto, the latter had twice defended his WBA Super Welterweight Championship.
Simply put, Mayweather’s best fight took place against a better opponent.
One of Floyd Mayweather’s biggest criticisms is that he produces boring fights and hasn’t had a decisive KO victory since he controversially stopped Victor Ortiz in 2011. To the layman, he is a tactician, who favors well-timed shots and defensive shoulder rolls to bloody scraps that end with someone splayed out on the canvas.
If there were a single moment of power and grace to pick out from his undefeated career, it would be his 2001 fight against Diego Corrales which was the last time that esteemed ESPN boxing writer, Dan Rafael, picked against Mayweather.
Mayweather dropped Corrales five times before stopping him for good with a left hook in the 10th round. It perfectly illustrated how he could systematically break down an opponent before dropping the hammer.
Conversely, win or lose, Conor McGregor is known to produce entertaining finishes via striking or submission. Of his 24 professional fights, he has knockouts/TKOs/submissions in all but two of his victories.
His most decisive stoppage came against José Aldo in just 13 seconds after the Brazilian threw a shot and he countered with a beautifully accurate straight left hand that ended the fight – making it the fastest in UFC title fight history, topping Ronda Rousey’s 14-second KO of Cat Zingano earlier this year.
The winner: At the time of their fight, José Aldo, averaged a fight time of 21 minutes in UFC competition which was the longest in company history. He came into the fight on an 18-fight winning streak and hadn’t suffered a defeat since November 2005.
Like in the case of Floyd Mayweather versus Miguel Cotto, in this instance, Conor McGregor’s best knockout came against a better opponent.
When one thinks of Floyd Mayweather’s accessories, images of his diamond crusted jewelry and burly bodyguards who are always in tow, immediately come to mind.
Due to his immense wealth, Mayweather routinely drops tens of millions of dollars on things like 50-carat pinky rings and 74-diamond necklaces.
Mayweathr’s style is actually better in the ring than out of it – where he often layers too many luxury brands all together like a Louis Vuitton jacket, Gucci belt, Versace jeans and Tom Ford boots.
But when he’s fighting, he has just the right amount of extravagance – favoring trunks in the past made of python skin, mink, ponyskin and lambskin – in a rainbow of colors.
Conor McGregor on the other hand, gets it better outside of the ring. He’s especially adept when it comes to his bespoke dandy formalwear – aided by a long relationship with Irish tailor, Louis Copeland, and his namesake brand.
Mixing patterns, bow ties, pocket squares, vests and brown brogues into one harmonious package, McGregor is always on the verge of looking like he’s attending The Player’s Ball, but always does well to remain sleek.
Copeland also believes McGregor was at the forefront of making bow ties cool again, saying, “He brought dickie bows back… Three years ago, if you saw someone in a bow tie, you’d think they were off the wall; but now bow ties are everywhere.”
“Fashion and fighting is a lot alike – it’s all about attention to detail,” McGregor has said. “I always say I like to look good and whoop ass, and that’s what I’m doing – looking good and whooping ass.”
The winner: If there was even a question to who was more stylish, look no further than Conor McGregor’s attire in the lead up to UFC 205 in New York City. When he landed, he rocked a COOGI sweater to honor Biggie Smalls. For the press conference, he sported an oversized Gucci white fur, red floral-check pants, coordinating turtleneck, double-G loafers and burgundy socks. The latter ensemble paid homage to Joe Frazier’s look in the run up to his 1974 “Fight of the Century” with Muhammad Ali at Madison Square Garden.
Better trash talker
Floyd Mayweather is certainly not a man of few words. He has gone of the record in the past as saying notable gems like, “Mixed martial arts is for beer drinkers,” “When you talking boxing, you talking me” and said of Manny Pacquiao, “Once I stomp the midget, I’mma make that motherfucker make me a sushi roll and cook me some rice…you know how it is baby, we gonna cook that motherfucker with some cats and dogs.”
Conor McGregor is equally vicious and comical when there is a microphone in front of him, stating, “The only weight I give a fuck about is the weight of the checks and my checks are super-heavyweight,” “I am cocky in prediction. I am confident in preparation, but I am always humble in victory or defeat,” and said of José Aldo “if this was a different time, I would invade his favela on horseback, and would kill anyone who wasn’t fit to work, but we’re in a new time, so I’ll whoop his ass instead.”
The winner: This one is as close as it gets, but McGregor has proven that he can even do a press conference in Gaelic and still prove to be adept at talking smack, while also lobbing threats at José Aldo in his native Portuguese.
Better on social media
If you’re talking pure numbers, Floyd Mayweather’s social media presence completely dwarfs that of Conor McGregor with 13.8 million Instagram followers, 12,990,231 Facebook likes and seven million Twitter followers to the Irish champs 8.7 million Instagram followers, 4,842,658 Facebook likes and 3 million Twitter followers.
The winner: To view Floyd Mayweather’s instagram is to view all the different ways you can pose with stacks of cash. You can fan it out, you can place it in neat rows, you can sleep on it, or you can bring it on a private jet.
In 2015, Mayweather showed off his latest automobile acquisition – the $4.8 million USD Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita. Boasting 0-to-62 mph acceleration at just in 2.9 seconds, the Trevita has a top speed of 254 mph.
The Swedish import joined a confirmed collection that year which also included a McLaren 650S, Ferrari 458 Spider, Ferrari Enzo, Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4, Porsche 911 Turbo S, Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, and the $3.2 million USD Bugatti 16.4 Veyron.
Following his victory against Jose Aldo at UFC 194, McGregor celebrated by dropping $500,000 on a Rolls-Royce Phantom Drop Top Coupe that he boated around Los Angeles while listening to Mariah Carey and joined other notable purchases like the BMW i8, BMW 730 M Sport, Rolls-Royce Ghost, and a Lamborghini Aventador Roadster that could spit flames from the exhaust pipes.
The winner: When you’re still the 16th highest earning athlete in the world despite being retired – pulling in $44 million USD in 2016 – Floyd Mayweather certainly has the means and personality to have one of the best car collections in the world. But does his Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita outpace McGregor’s Lamborghini Aventador Roadster?
There have only been two Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita’s produced since 2009.
In advance of his UFC 189 fight against Chad Mendez, Conor McGregor moved himself and his training staff into a seven-bedroom, 12,000-square-foot mansion on 1.5 acres not far from The Strip in Las Vegas with notable attributes like a stunning 50-foot infinity pool and panoramic views of the Sunrise Mountains.
In June of this year, Mayweather paid $7.7 million USD for a 5,200-square-foot, five bedroom and five bath, ultramodern Miami Beach home with clean lines, vaulted interiors, Ipe wood siding and floor-to-ceiing windows that look out at the Intracoastal Waterway.
The winner: The Mac Mansion comes equipped with quality house rules: Rule 1: Don’t ever talk about fight club. Rule 2: Whatever you touch you clean, and of course Rule 5, stating, “This is the rule that has to do with the fridge. No processed processed sugars, treats, desserts. ‘I don’t want to come down here and open up my fridge and see a big cake staring at my face to tempt me because then I’ll eat the whole damn thing.”
The Final Verdict
While it’s close, Conor McGregor narrowly pulls it out. But don’t feel too bad for Floyd. He sleeps on stacks of $100 dollar bills.
- Featured/Main Images: Showtime/Advanced Graphics