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Tuesday 24 October 2017

Comments branded as racist were 'slips of the tongue' - McGregor

McGregor and Floyd Mayweather square off at the final press conference before the bout. Picture: Sportsfile
McGregor and Floyd Mayweather square off at the final press conference before the bout. Picture: Sportsfile

Gavin White

Conor McGregor has said he suffered some "slips of the tongue" while promoting his showdown with Floyd Mayweather.

McGregor has been accused of racism for comments he made while drumming up publicity for the fight.

"Dance for me boy," he told Mayweather in one incident that gained notoriety.

But the fighter appears to have regretted the comments.

"We are only human, we all have slips of the tongue, we all misread things and that's it," he told RTÉ in Las Vegas.

He was speaking following the last press conference, on Wednesday night, ahead of the fight.

The much-anticipated showdown looks set to be worth around €216m to the entire betting industry.

McGregor will face Mayweather in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The bout is expected to blow the record set by Mayweather's previous fight at the box office.

A spokesperson for Paddy Power said it was their "biggest ever boxing event" for their customers taking a punt and is "comfortably" three times bigger than Mayweather's fight with Manny Pacquiao.

Not only that, but it is 20 times bigger than any other previous McGregor fight in mixed martial arts.

Bets

The bookmaker also decided earlier this week to pay out on Mayweather outright bets, while more than 85pc of outright bets have been placed on McGregor.

Bookmakers are fearful of a McGregor win against Mayweather.

A win for the Dublin fighter could see bookies around the world pay out up to €271m, according to William Hill bookmakers.

"We are fearing a McGregor win because people are backing him like he can't lose," said William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly.

Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy expressed his hope that the fight is a real contest.

"We are all buying into it and they are like, can you believe these people believe this. I just hope it doesn't turn into it and I hope it's not in any way fixed," he said.

An online ad featuring McGregor has also gained traction with the Fingal Youth Choir at the heart of it.

The 'Beats by Dre' ad has reached three million views online so far.

The ad, which was shot in St Teresa's Gardens, Dublin 8, follows a young Dublin boy named Liam preparing for a fight and features footage of Conor McGregor training in the ring.

The choir sing a version of Notorious BIG's 'Juicy', which Donal Kearney, head of the Fingal Academy of Music, said they had to learn and record in a day.

The actors used in the ad were all aged five to 13 and are based in north Dublin.

Irish Independent

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