Sunday 25 February 2018

'It's official' - Floyd Mayweather confirms fight with Conor McGregor

Floyd Mayweather v Conor McGregor takes place in Las Vegas in August
Floyd Mayweather v Conor McGregor takes place in Las Vegas in August

Sasha Brady

It's official!

Former multi-division boxing world champion Floyd Mayweather has announced he will fight UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor.

After months of speculation, both athletes confirmed the news on social media on Wednesday.

The much-hyped boxing match is set to take place on August 26 in Las Vegas.

UFC boss Dana White confirmed the venue as the T-Mobile Arena when speaking with US network Sport Centre and it will be a pay-per-view event through the premium cable channel Showtime.

White revealed McGregor will weigh-in at 154 pounds and said that the Irish sports star is "100 percent positive he will win this fight".

White, in whose organisation Irishman McGregor has become a world champion, told Fox Sports: "It's definitely the biggest fight ever in combat sports history, and probably going to be the biggest payday ever.

"Let's just put it this way - all sides involved are pretty happy with their deals!"

The 40-year-old Mayweather announced his retirement after winning his 49th straight bout against Andre Berto, also in Las Vegas in September 2015.

Three months later McGregor won the UFC featherweight title. After splitting two high-profile bouts with Nate Diaz, he then knocked out Eddie Alvarez to add the organisation's lightweight title in December last year.

The fight was first mooted in a series of exchanges on social media, in which McGregor urged Mayweather to step up and sign.

Given McGregor's non-existent boxing experience and Mayweather's reputation as one of the finest fighters in history, many observers are already predicting a mis-match but White told ESPN: "(McGregor) is absolutely 100 per cent positive that he wins this fight, and I stopped doubting Conor McGregor a long time ago.

Floyd Mayweather is 40 years old, he's always had problems with southpaws. Conor McGregor is 27 and he is a southpaw. Whenever Conor hits people, they fall.

"I'm not saying Conor McGregor's going to win. I'm not saying Floyd Mayweather's going to win. But the reason Conor McGregor's as big as he is is he'll fight anybody, anywhere, anytime. He will go after Floyd Mayweather and he will try to knock him out."

White said the fight would be at 154lbs - light middleweight - telling Fox: "It's going to be 12 rounds, they're going to wear 10oz gloves, 154lbs, a boxing ring, Mayweather Promotions will build the undercard - it's going to be a boxing event."

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Mayweather will not be the first boxing champion to take on challenges from opponents steeped in other combat sports.

Muhammad Ali fought a 15-round draw against Japanese professional wrestler Antonio Inoki in Tokyo in 1976, in which each man was allowed to use his own respective talent.

On Tuesday, the Nevada Commission confirmed they will sanction a professional boxing event hosted by Mayweather promotions in late August, - hinting that an official announcement from both parties was iminent.

False rumours suggesting the improbable showdown would be announced have surfaced on numerous occasions in recent months.

But now it's official, fans can breathe a sigh of relief and gear up for the biggest sporting event of the year.

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