Sunday 18 February 2018

The 19-year-old who brushed shoulders with celebrities after sneaking into $80k seats for the McGregor fight

Jack O'Toole

A total of 14,623 people watched on from Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena as Floyd Mayweather Jr. extended his flawless professional boxing record to 50-0 with a 10th round stoppage of Conor McGregor.

19-year-old LIT student Brían Grace was not accounted for among the 14,623 paying ticketholders, but he watched the fight nonetheless, after sneaking his way into $80,000 seats.

Grace's friends Daniel Forde and Seán Hehir had bought tickets for the fight while Grace was left looking for hapless sellers with the hope of finding a cheap ticket on the day of the fight.

The cheapest ticket he could find among sellers was $2,500, so with that in mind, he decided to dress sharply in the hope that he could sneak his way in to the event.

"I had a feeling it could come down to trying to blend in with someone and somehow I saw his family and slipped through security with them," said Grace.

"I just wanted to see how far I could get, I didn't really plan too far ahead. Even though there was a lot of security guards there, I quite literally just blended into a group of about 40 people.

"I got about halfway there and just decided that I had to keep going but no one said anything to me. You can kind of tell when someone is not in a group, but I tried to walk with them in a way that looked like I didn't try and get in with them on purpose.

"They soon forgot about me and I soon forgot about them. Once I got through I couldn't believe it. I expected to be thrown out within minutes but then after a few hours I figured they had stopped looking for me."

If you're going to walk on ice, then you might as well dance, and once Brian had located Daniel and Seán they had decided to try and get as close to the ring as possible.

After noticing three seats beside each other just behind the ringside section, seats they would eventually find were worth $80,000 each, the trio made a dash for the section while the eyes of security were fixated elsewhere.

"When I first got in there I probably spent about 10 minutes deciding what I would try and do, but eventually I grew a pair and went out and acted like I was meant to be there.

"There was ringside on the floor and then there was like a small metre gap for where the fighters actually come out. There's rows there and we were literally at the front. We got a picture on the railings.

"I thought security would come over throughout the fight but afterwards we jumped the railings and went down to rignside. We didn't have bands or anything but we were just walking around and ended up meeting Gerard Butler and Wesley Snipes. Mike Tyson had passed us, but we didn't get to chat to him as he was surrounded by people.

"We asked for a picture with Gerard Butler but he said 'not tonight lads' and we were chatting away to Wesley, but at the same time, we didn't want to stand out too much either."

Asked if he had any fear or trepidation that he would be approached by security after the fight, Grace said: "The fight was done by that stage, so I couldn't give a rats if they came over."

Security never realised that he had sneaked his way in, but his friends and family did, with Grace waking up to 110 text messages after revealing his exploits on Facebook.

Imagine paying $80'000 for a ringside ticket to one of the biggest fights ever.. I certainly can't.. No ticket no problem, thanks for the cheese

Posted by Brían Grace on Sunday, August 27, 2017

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