How much will the fight make? How can I watch it? - Everything you need to know about McGregor v Mayweather
After months and months of social media posturing and thrash talk, it's finally on.
Here is everything you need to know about Conor McGregor's superfight with Floyd Mayweather.
Where will the fight take place?
Mayweather Promotions have reserved the T-Mobile Arena for the superfight.
When will the fight take place?
Multiple dates had been suggested, but the fight will take place on August 26.
Mayweather's promotional company had also booked out the MGM Grand for July 29, but that date was ultimately unused.
September 16 had initially been suggested as the most likely date for the superfight, but that slot was taken for Canelo Alvarez's middleweight world championship fight against Gennady Golovkin.
The Mayweather v McGregor fight could not be held within three weeks of the Canelo v Golovkin fight in order to avoid infringing on promotional rights: August 26 is exactly three weeks before September 16.
How can I watch it on TV?
Sky Sports Box Office will show the fight for €24.95 in Ireland and for £19.95 in the UK.
The cost of the event will be £19.95 / €24.95 across all forms of booking up until midnight Friday 25 August. From there the cost will still be £19.95 / €24.95 if bookings are made via remote control and online, but will cost £24.95 / €29.95 if booked via the phone. There will be an additional £2/€2 booking fee if bookings are made via a telephone agent. Cable customers can contact their operator for booking information.
What were the legal obstacles?
A number of legal complexities had to be patiently worked out before the superfight was announced.
Earlier this year, Jake Cohen, a lawyer for Mills & Reeve specialising in legal, commercial and regulatory matters in sport, spoke to the Independent about some of the legal issues standing in the way of any potential fight, and how these might possibly be resolved.
A co-promotion between Mayweather Promotions and the UFC was identified as the most likely course of action for both parties and was agreed upon prior to the fight.
"Should the UFC enter negotiations we could potentially see something that we often see with boxing, which would be a cross-promotion, in this instance between the UFC and Mayweather Promotions (MP)," Cohen told the Independent, who explains that MP – the boxing promotional firm Floyd founded in 2007 – has a precedent for this strategy.
MP and Golden Boy co-promoted nine of Mayweather's fights after his 2007 victory over Oscar de la Hoya, while his famed 2015 victory over Pacquiao was co-promoted with Top Rank.
"Co-promotion is a common occurrence in boxing and is often the reason for why there is such a long waiting time before these huge fights, because working out the revenue share between these promotions can take some time."
What does the creation of McGregor Promotions mean?
There was much excitement at the beginning of February when, in an hour-long interview with respected MMA journalist Ariel Helwani, McGregor announced the creation of McGregor Promotions – his own promotional company.
"Everyone's got to know their place," McGregor told Helwani. "There's Mayweather Promotions, there's the UFC and now there's the newly formed McGregor Promotions. And we're all in the mix."
But despite McGregor's positioning of his new venture as a third promotional body, Jake Cohen told the Independent that he was sceptical over the influence it would have had over any negotiations.
"If McGregor's contract is similar to other UFC contracts, it is likely that McGregor will have licensed his image rights – which permit the UFC to exploit the athlete's image, his voice, his signature and even his tattoos for commercial purposes – to the UFC for the purposes of marketing McGregor as a fighter.
"If that is the case, then McGregor Promotions may not be able to exploit those rights beyond traditional individual endorsement and sponsorship deals until the expiration of McGregor's contract with the UFC. Once his UFC contract expires, McGregor, or more likely McGregor's image rights company, will be free to license these rights to McGregor Promotions.
"So, establishing McGregor Promotions now could simply be a forward-thinking move to set himself up for the future."
What are their records?
Mayweather boasts one of the finest records in the history of boxing. After 49 professional fights he has 49 victories, including 26 by knockout. In his 19 year professional career, he was only knocked to the canvas once – by Carlos Hernandez in 2001 – in a fight he won by a unanimous decision.
Mayweather, who was ranked by ESPN as the greatest pound for pound boxer of the last 25 years in 2016, needs just one more win to surpass Rocky Marciono's flawless record of 49-0.
McGregor meanwhile boasts a professional record of 21-3 and a UFC record of 9-1. At UFC 194 he knocked out José Aldo in just 13 seconds to become the UFC Featherweight Champion, and at UFC 205 he knocked out Eddie Alvarez for the UFC Lightweight Championship, to become the first fighter in the history of the company to hold titles in two weight divisions simultaneously.
The Irishman has never been knocked out in his career – with his three professional defeats all coming via submission – and began boxing as a 12-year-old at Crumlin Boxing Club under two-time Olympian Phil Sutcliffe.
How much will the fight make?
The fight is expected to gross almost 5million PPV buys, which would net a cash windfall of $475m. Sponsorship would likely top $20m, while the projected Nevada betting on the fight stands at $30m.
According to Keith Idec of Boxing Scene and Brian Mazique of Forbes, Mayweather is expected to make at least $100 million but his take could balloon to four times that much if the event hits all of its monetary metrics. McGregor will make at least $75 million, which is five times as much as he's made from any UFC event.
Who is fighting on the undercard?
Nathan Cleverly vs Badou Jack - WBA world light heavyweight title
Gervonta Davis vs Francisco Fonseca - IBF world super featherweight title
Shawn Porter vs Thomas Dulorme
Andrew Tabiti vs Steve Cunningham
Juan Heraldez vs Jose Miguel Borrego
Savannah Marshall vs Amy Coleman
Kevin Newman II vs Mark Anthony Hernandez
Have any UFC stars switched sports before?
A number of MMA stars have professional boxing records, including Joe Duffy, who is one of just three men to defeat McGregor inside the cage.
Duffy paused his MMA career after losing to Ivan Musardo at Cage Warriors 44 to embark upon a professional boxing career. He won seven straight fights before switching back to MMA, and eventually following McGregor into the UFC.
"More than anything, I'm a person who doesn't want to have any regrets," he said when reflecting on his move into boxing. "When I'm old I want to be able to say that I gave it a go. That's what it was. I got to fight professionally and I got to spar with some of the best fighters in the world."
Mike Tyson: Floyd Mayweather
"I don't give McGregor a chance. Him boxing Floyd doesn't make it interesting. If he fought with MMA rules and Floyd boxing, now that would have been interesting. Now that would have genuine intrigue and we'd wonder who is going to win but right now it's like this [squashing motion] but with those rules it'd be totally different."
Tony Bellew: Floyd Mayweather
"It's simple: There is only one winner. I'm a huge MMA fan and a massive UFC fan and a big McGregor. I'm also a Mayweather fan. If these two guys were to get in a cage, it would be over within a minute. But these two guys aren't going to get in a cage, they're going to get in a ring and it will be over whenever Mayweather sees fit.
"Don't talk nonsense to me and say 'oh, he could land a punch'. The best fighters of his era have tried to land that punch, never mind the guy from a cage."
Sugar Ray Leonard: Floyd Mayweather
"It will be successful, financially. But it is not a fight which will please the boxing purists. The fact that we boxers deliver punches is so different to what they do. There's more looping and what have you because they also have to be in position to be able to kick and be on balance to deliver that elbow or whatever shot they have.
"It will be interesting. I'm struggling with words. I'm trying to think how best to describe what could and what would happen. Being just boxing, it's Mayweather by a long shot."
Joe Rogan: Floyd Mayweather
"Mayweather is a way better boxer. There's just no doubt about it. He's one of the greatest boxers, if not the greatest boxer that has ever lived. And even though he's smaller, you're talking about a completely different level of skill, a completely different level of understanding of the subtle nuances of boxing.
"But that said, McGregor, is not incompetent. He's very dangerous. Mayweather's a way better boxer, but McGregor is dangerous as f**k and he has a really deceptive ability to move in and move out. He can cover distance very quickly and he can do so in a weird way."
Jose Aldo: Floyd Mayweather
"Mayweather has the experience of competing for years in the sport of boxing, so I don't see how McGregor can win. Of course, it's a fight, but it's hard for us MMA fighters to go to a different world challenging one of the best in the history. I don't see a result different than a win for Mayweather."
Nate Diaz: Conor McGregor…?
"I think it is a publicity stunt but McGregor, when it comes to boxing, is good. He's got a good chance to make something happen in two or three rounds. If anything, he has two or three good rounds.
"He's got an amateur style; he's got good movement and good punches for six or eight minutes... He's got a puncher's chance, if anything."
Floyd Mayweather to win: 2/9
Conor McGregor to win: 10/3