Analysis: A rematch? Diaz? Clothing range? Whiskey? Whatever is next for Conor McGregor it will be all about the money
- McGregor eyes more money fights as Mayweather retires
- Dubliner has never made any secret of his desire for more
- Sipped on new 'Notorious' whiskey as he gave press conference
- Mayweather finds perfect way to say goodbye to boxing
DESCRIBED as the fight the fans asked for by the executives who made it happen, the clash between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor was only ever about one thing -- money.
Having beaten the Irish pretender with a 10th-round technical knockout, Mayweather can retire with a perfect 50-0 record and a payday said to be worth up to 300 million dollars, and the American has promised never to return to the ring.
McGregor, however, is a different story.
His 30-million-dollar purse for the fight is 10 times his previous best disclosed purse from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where, as the mixed martial artist says, he endures "shinbones to the head" as he makes his living.
In the altogether more genteel surroundings of the boxing ring, he made a lot more money with a lot less damage, and his appetite has surely been whetted by the enormous riches on offer.
McGregor has made no secret of his desire for more.
Asked what he liked most about his boxing experience, "Money" Mayweather prompted UFC lightweight champion McGregor to say the cash.
"The cheque is alright. The cheque is not bad," the Irishman laughed as he sipped his own 'Notorius'-brand whiskey on the podium of the post-fight media conference.
"I've already been raising the MMA (mixed martial arts) cheques. I'm still going to be raising the MMA cheques when I go back there," he added.
The 29-year-old has started his own website, a clothing line and a number of other businesses, and he was clearly delighted to see the logo of his latest venture, McGregor Sports and Entertainment, in the ring at Saturday's fight.
The value of his brand, however, stems from what he does in the ring or the octagon and the brash personality he displays as he goes about his sporting business.
UFC president Dana White is keen for McGregor's boxing experiment to end sooner rather than later, and said that he was in a position to offer McGregor similar riches for mixed martial arts bouts.
"If our fights do what the (pay-per-view) buys did here tonight, and the gate, we'll all be good, trust me. Nobody will be bitching about anything," White told reporters.
"It takes two very special people in the right place at the right time to do the freakish kind of numbers and the watercooler talk that these guys had. You've got to have the right people in the right place at the right time."
With Mayweather, holder of a handful of the biggest pay-per-view sales of all time, vacating the stage at the age of 40, there is an opening for McGregor to move in and take over as the biggest draw in combat sports.
The problem is that there are few prospective opponents for him in either boxing or MMA who can generate that kind of interest.
A bitter training-camp row between McGregor and boxer Paulie Malignaggi might provide the kind of intrigue that would get fans to part with their money to see them face each other in the ring, but McGregor is most likely to return to the octagon to fight Nate Diaz.
Diaz gave McGregor his first UFC defeat in a 170-pound matchup in 2016, which McGregor avenged months later with an epic five-round decision victory at the T-Mobile Arena, before going on to win the organisation's lightweight title.
With the teak-tough Californian more than a match for McGregor in terms of trash talk, a trilogy fight to bring that rivalry to a close is about the only thing that would make sense -- and the required amount of dollars -- for McGregor at this point.
Meanwhile, Mayweather did exactly what was expected of him to secure a final victory in an illustrious career that ends with an unmatched 50-0 record.
The 10th round technical knockout not only enabled Mayweather to depart boxing on a winning note but allowed the American to pull clear of heavyweight legend Rocky Marciano's 49-0 mark for most wins without a loss or draw.
The 40-year-old was lured out of a near two-year retirement for the fight and a shot at the record with what could amount to a $200 million payday but Mayweather was adamant that no amount of money would tempt him back into the ring once more.
"Rocky Marciano is a legend and I look forward to going into the Hall of Fame one day," Mayweather said in a post-fight interview. "This was my last fight tonight. For sure. "I didn't have to come back. "We do foolish things sometimes but I am not a dam fool. If I see an opportunity to make $300 million in 36 minutes why not. I had to do.
"But this is the last one, you have my word on it."
The victory over McGregor was the culmination of a 21-year journey that took Mayweather from the grit and grime of Grand Rapids, Michigan to the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, and from childhood poverty to a billionaire lifestyle.
If the pay-per-view projections are accurate and Saturday's fight becomes the most lucrative of all time, Mayweather will pocket $200 million to put him among the world's highest paid athletes like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan.
"I come from poverty, I come from the inner city," explained Mayweather. "Now when I get with my billionaire buddies, I don't get with them and say 'I am happy to hang in your house' or 'I'm happy to ride in your jet'.
"I say 'teach me how you did it so I can have the same thing'."
Now the student is ready to become the teacher with Mayweather saying the next chapter of his life will be as a trainer, like the father who taught him.
Along with his real estate investments and Las Vegas gentlemen's clubs, he will spend time focusing on his boxing business and uncovering the next Floyd Mayweather to groom for super stardom.
"I just want to help young fighters," he added. "My dad is a trainer he taught me the sport. Everything he taught me from day one is still with me.
"Trainers help make fighters better and teach fighters about becoming a superstar, not just in the ring but outside.
"Hopefully I can find the next Floyd Mayweather."