LAS VEGAS (AP) — Floyd Mayweather Jr. will come out of retirement to satisfy UFC star Conor McGregor in an Aug. 26 boxing match that may function two of the highest-promoting fighters on the earth.
The 2 fighters each introduced the struggle Wednesday, after months of hypothesis about whether or not Mayweather can be lured again to the ring on the age of forty to face a combined martial arts fighter who has by no means had a professional boxing battle.
Oddsmakers instantly made Mayweather an enormous eleven-1 favourite in a battle that may happen in a boxing ring and be ruled by boxing guidelines. It’s going to happen at 154 kilos.
“It’s official,” Mayweather stated on Instagram subsequent to a video poster of each fighters.
“THE FIGHT IS ON,” McGregor tweeted a number of minutes earlier, posting an image of himself subsequent to considered one of Mayweather’s father, Floyd Sr.
Mayweather, who retired in September 2015 after profitable all forty nine of his professional fights, will face the Irish UFC celebrity on the T-Cellular area on the Las Vegas Strip. He had tweeted an image of himself sparring in current days to point out he was already preparing for the bout.
“That is actually an unprecedented occasion,” stated Stephen Espinoza, who heads Showtime Sports activities, which can deal with the pay-per-view. “Actually we haven’t seen something in trendy historical past that resembles it, it’s unattainable to foretell what number of gross sales it will do.”
Espinoza stated the battle got here collectively shortly after McGregor and the UFC reached settlement final month on their finish of the deal and Mayweather’s staff pushed for the battle in current days.
“All events have been motivated and affordable and thrilled we might get all the things completed,” he stated. “The sky’s the restrict on this.”
McGregor, the wildly widespread UFC star, is 21-three in UFC fights, and is coming off a win in November towards Eddie Alvarez by which he turned the promotion’s first two-division champion. Although he hasn’t boxed professionally, McGregor did field whereas rising up and is understood for his hanging experience in UFC.
“The unimaginable deal is now occurring,” UFC chief Dana White stated on ESPN.
The 2 fighters are anticipated to do a press tour shortly earlier than going into last coaching for the battle. The price of tickets and the worth of the pay-per-view has not been determined, although the pay-per-view is predicted to be at or close to the $ninety nine.ninety five charged for Mayweather’s 2015 struggle with Manny Pacquiao that drew a document four.four million pay-per-view buys.
Mayweather will come off a two-yr retirement in a bout that McGregor has been pushing for almost that lengthy. It lastly got here collectively and Nevada boxing officers on Wednesday authorised the date for a Mayweather Promotions bout.
Mayweather final fought in September 2015, beating Andre Berto after which saying his retirement. His struggle earlier than that, a choice win over Pacquiao, was the richest in boxing historical past and reportedly made him greater than $200 million.
Although oddsmakers make Mayweather an enormous favourite, the considered the struggle has excited many within the MMA world. It has additionally intrigued some in boxing, although most dismiss McGregor’s possibilities underneath boxing guidelines towards one of many biggest defensive fighters in historical past.
Oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich, who set the eleven-1 line on the William Hill chain of sports activities books, stated the chances can be much more lopsided if it wasn’t for the deluge of small bets anticipated to return in from UFC followers on their fighter.
“Realistically if we have been simply placing up a quantity and didn’t need to take bets on it, Floyd can be one hundred-1,” Bogdanovich stated. “However this shall be a really, very huge betting battle for positive, one of many largest ever.”
Including to McGregor’s problem, the fighters shall be utilizing 10-ounce boxing gloves as an alternative of the smaller UFC gloves and he won’t be allowed to make use of the leg kicks or takedowns which are utilized in combined martial arts.
Even when the precise bout might not form up as an ideal matchup, the run-as much as the battle will. Each fighters are famous for his or her capacity to promote their fights, and each have exchanged in trash speaking and extra to advertise their bouts.
“As with each Mayweather and McGregor struggle a part of the attraction is the spectacle and outsize personalities who’re collaborating in it,” Espinoza stated.
The pay-per-view income for the occasion would doubtless gross tens of tens of millions of dollars. It comes lower than a month earlier than Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez meet in a extremely anticipated battle Sept. sixteen that would rival it for pay-per-view buys.
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