FIGHT SPORTS looks at some of the biggest newsmakers in 2017 in the world of FIGHT SPORTS from December 26th up until January 1st.
Today, FIGHT SPORTS looks at the saga of Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather and the road to the controversial Money fight this past summer.
Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole broke the news, reporting that a “well-placed source” confirmed that the fight was on:
“Unbeaten boxer Floyd Mayweather will fight UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor in a much-discussed boxing match on Aug. 26 in Las Vegas, a well-placed source told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday. Mayweather is expected to make the announcement on social media as early as Wednesday.
Terms of the deal were not available, but it will either be at the MGM Grand Garden or T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The Nevada Athletic Commission on Wednesday approved the request from Mayweather Promotions to put on a boxing card on Aug. 26 at the MGM Grand. The venue could change, however, to T-Mobile.
The bout will be distributed via Showtime pay-per-view. It will an entirely boxing card. Mayweather Promotions will be the lead promoter.
It is a stunning development given that Mayweather, the greatest boxer of his era, had said he was retired after compiling a 49-0 pro record from 1996 through 2015. But with a fight which could pay each man in excess of $100 million, he reconsidered.
Neither UFC president Dana White, Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe or Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza could be reached for comment.
Mayweather is considered the greatest boxer of his generation and among the best of all-time. The fight with McGregor, in addition to paying him in excess of nine figures, will give him the opportunity to improve to 50-0.”
In a different approach to traditional promotions, McGregor and Mayweather went on a world tour, traveling to Toronto, Las Vegas, Brooklyn, and London.
WBC president Mauricio Sulaimán revealed a new wrinkle. Mauricio Sulaimán has unveiled the WBC Money Belt, which will be given to the winner of the 12 round fight at the T-Mobile Arena.
What comprises the Money belt? Per the WBC website.
1.5 KILOGRAMS OF 24 KT GOLD
ONE WHOLE CROCODILE LEATHER
It was a fight where both fighters had their moments, probably better than most people expected. But in the end, Floyd Mayweather, in his final career bout, defeated Conor McGregor via 10th round TKO.
Mayweather got off to a very slow start, while McGregor got off to a few, nice shots, including a key uppercut on the jaw of Mayweather. It was clear through the first two rounds that some of McGregor’s MMA instincts were still in, clinching Mayweather from behind and throwing hammer fists.
Things continued to get dirty throughout the third and fourth, as Mayweather leaned in and threw a bit low, while McGregor continued with the hammer fists.
But things quickly shifted in the fifth and sixth, as Mayweather’s offense began to pick up. Throughout the seventh and eighth, McGregor began to tire out. Mayweather got rocked by McGregor early in the ninth, but Mayweather rocked McGregor got back and nearly got stopped. The stoppage finally came in the 10th, as Mayweather unleashed a flurry of punches, forcing McGregor into retreat until the ref stopped the action.
A complete list of the Mayweather vs. McGregor salaries can be seen below. As always, these figures do not represent a fighter’s total earnings, as sponsorship incomes, pay-per-view earnings or other supplementary earnings are not publicly disclosed.
Floyd Mayweather ($100 million) def. Conor McGregor ($30 million)
Gervonta Davis ($600,000) def. Francisco Fonseca ($35,000)
Badou Jack ($750,000) def. Nathan Cleverly ($100,000)
Andrew Tabiti ($100,000) def. Steve Cunningham ($100,000)
Yordenis Ugas ($50,000) def. Thomas Dulorme ($75,000)
Juan Herladez ($12,500) def. Jose Miguel Borrego ($5,000)
Antonio Hernandez ($7,000) def. Kevin Newman ($7,500)
Savannah Marshall ($5,000) def. Sydney LeBlanc ($3,500)
Even though the 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena was not sold out, during a post fight press conference, Mayweather believes that they’ve broken a record.
“We did break the record tonight for the biggest gate. Me and [Manny] Pacquiao done $72 million, I think we’d done something over $80 million for the live gate,”
The 50-0 champion then claimed that they’d also broken the record for pay-per-view buys. Official numbers won’t be released for at least a week.
Mayweather and Pacquiao currently hold the record for the biggest fight in history. Their 2015 fight drew 4.6 million PPV buys in the United States, with the price tag 89.99 while the high-definition version was $10 more. The total revenue for the fight ended up being over $410 million in domestic TV money alone.
The Bovada sportsbook in Vegas had the Mayweather-McGregor over/under bet at 4.99 million PPV buys, according to Oddshark.com. In comparison, the over/under bet for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight was 3.8 million PPV buys, according to Sports Illustrated.
Online streaming is another huge source of revenue where the fight thrived. UFC president Dana White pushed the streaming option hard before the fight and bragged it would be available to more than 1 billion people in over 200 countries.
“If you are in Manhattan or you are on a desert island somewhere, if you have Wi-Fi, you can buy this fight.”
Showtime released the official number of 4.3 million purchases in North America.
The battle between McGregor and Mayweather, in McGregor’s first professional boxing match, and Mayweather’s return from retirement, was just 300,000 buys less than Mayweather’s unanimous decision victory over Manny Pacquiao in 2015, which did 4.6 million purchases.
Mayweather also is in third place for all-time PPV buys as his Mayweather’s 2007 win over Oscar De La Hoya, which finished at 2.48 million buys.
The publicly traded company said the event produced about $600 million in revenue.
The PPV figures include both traditional cable buys and those who purchased the event over various steaming platforms. Purchases outside the U.S. and Canada are not included.