Why Conor McGregor makes most sense for Mayweather’s 50th fight
By: Bryan Fonseca (@BryanFonsecaNY)
I’m starting to believe this is actually going to happen. After initially disregarding the notion of the arguable greatest boxer of all-time taking on the current biggest star in UFC, I think I’ve changed my mind.Sure it seems absurd on the surface.
In one corner you have the polarizing Floyd Mayweather (49-0-0, 26 KOs) who, regardless of what you believe, is the most dominant athlete of the 21st century. In the opposite corner you have the hottest star in UFC and also polarizing Conor McGregor (19-3), whose name is so highly regarded these days that we’re discussing Mayweather vs. McGregor as some sort of fantasy fight even though the McGregor just tapped out to Nate f*****g Diaz this past March.
McGregor can tell you what he wants but Mayweather is the A-side in these negotiations.
Ain’t no way in hell is anyone in the UFC telling Mayweather which rules to abide by, especially after getting choked out by someone with 10 professional losses, and isn’t even the best fighter in his own family (see Nick Diaz).
We should expect Mayweather to compete under his guidelines, which would mean the two superstars would likely square off in a ring with straight boxing rules as opposed to an octagon. McGregor has said in a previous Sunday Conversation with ESPN’s Kenny Mayne that he’s up for it.
While McGregor also demanded that he and Mayweather earn the same amount of money for the fight ($100 million?), and they wouldn’t, I do agree with something else he brought light to in regards to this encounter.There is currently no bigger name in all of combat sports for Mayweather to do battle with than McGregor.
Boxing die-hards will throw around Gennady Golovkin, Keith Thurman, Errol Spence, a Canelo Alvarez rematch, a Manny Pacquiao rematch and so on. I get it boxing fan, I love the sport too but let’s be honest; while each of those names should provide a bigger challenge to ‘Money May’ in a traditional boxing encounter, McGregor’s name just holds more weight at this point in time.
What I’m telling you is, Mayweather vs. McGregor is where the most money is and Floyd knows it, which might be why he’s teasing this on social media in recent weeks.
Behind Mayweather, whose ‘retired,’ McGregor is currently the second biggest star in professional fighting.
Non-fight fans have likely heard of ‘that McGregor guy’ as opposed to Triple G, who just knocked out Dominic Wade. If you haven’t heard of Wade before that last sentence, you’re like 99.9% of America, and about 90% of boxing fans.
In his PPV debut last October, Golovkin’s Middleweight title unification bout against David Lemieux reached over 150,000 buys. His most recent bout against Wade, which was aired on regular HBO as opposed to HBO PPV, drew over 1,300,000 million viewers.
Back when Alvarez engaged in a three-round war with junior middleweight slugger James Kirkland last May, the Mexican star was victorious in a bout which drew a rating of over 2.1 million, which peaked at close to 2.3 million, HBO’s best rating since 2006. Alvarez’s big showdown with Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto did over 900,000 PPV buys, with $58 generated in PPV revenue, and his most recent KO win over Amir Khan reached under 600,000 PPV buys.
For perspective, McGregor drew an audience of upward 2.7 million viewers, which peaked at 3.1 when it was McGregor time when he took on Dennis Siver, on Fox Sports 1 in January 2015.On July 11 when McGregor headlined UFC 189 along with Chad Mendes, whom McGregor KO’d in round one to become UFC Interim Featherweight Champion, the buy number was in excess of 1 million, with a live-gate of over $7.2 million.
When McGregor took on Jose Aldo, who previously withdrew from UFC 189 due to injury, the buy rate increased to $1.2 million, all of whom witnessed McGregor knocked Aldo out in 13 seconds. The total gate? Up to over $10 million.
McGregor’s aforementioned loss to Nate Diaz this past March, for which Diaz was a replacement on two weeks’ notice, drew 1.5 million PPV buys.
We all remember that whole Mayweather, Pacquiao thing right? While I do understand the disappointment surrounding the simple reflection behind that bomb of an actual fight, you bought it, and that’s what this is all about.Why should we care? Because you actually do.
Last year Mayweather versus Pacquiao did 4.4 million in PPV buys while generating over $400 million in revenue, both of which were PPV records despite you complaining about the $100 price tag for the event.If Floyd Mayweather wants a semblance of an actual challenge for his 50th fight then he’ll elect to take on Golovkin, Thurman, Kell Brook, Erislandy Lara, or someone in that vein. Or perhaps he could just take on McGregor under MMA rules but let’s dispose of that notion immediately.
But in terms of generating money, taking on McGregor is a no-brainer. Oh, and yes it should be $100 as opposed to the standard PPV of $49.99, because the numbers would be insane regardless, and a lot of money would be made.
Under sanctioned and standardized boxing rules, the fight would be boring, but people would not be paying for the actual fight, they want to be a part of the event. They want to be there when it happens because that feeling of inclusion runs to a certain level of importance when discussing enormous events such as a potential Mayweather vs. McGregor fight, because something like this has never been done before.
Mayweather could potentially pitch a shutout, but he doesn’t often because, as we’ve seen against Pacquiao and more recently Andre Berto, the TMT captain just takes off rounds why? Because he can.
McGregor might not even touch him the entire time, but regardless as to whether he does or not is overruled by the fact that this once in a lifetime event could potentially bring in monster numbers. Of those millions that would purchase the PPV, a minority of people, for what it’s worth, would actually tune in with a (foolish) belief that somehow, someway, McGregor could be the one in 49-1.