Daryl Bell: Mayweather-McGregor: Who will be the big winner?
Something is going to happen in Paradise, Nev. Saturday when Floyd Mayweather Jr. puts his perfect career record on the line against Mixed Martial Arts champion Conor McGregor.
The question is what?
Will Mayweather, who is 49-0, continue to defy Father Time? Can the pretty boy avoid a hard left from McGregor, a southpaw, and retire with enough loot to bail out Puerto Rico?
Will McGregor, who is 21-3 and been dubbed the Great White Hope, stun the boxing community and record the biggest upset in the sport since Buster Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson?
For those reasons, and many more too numerous to mention, the fight is projected to be a big payday. It’s believed more than 50 million people will watch the fight in the the United States. Globally speaking, those numbers should be even higher. Estimates for the pay-per-view battle have Mayweather pocketing $200 million while McGregor could walk away with $100 million.
The projected total take for the Mayweather-McGregor tilt is $606.1 million. That won’t beat the record-breaking total of $623.5 million the Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight achieved but, hey, what’s a few million in Monopoly money?
The hype for this megafight has been farce-like from the beginning. Comedian and talk-show host Conan O’Brien put the idea that this could be a great match when he had McGregor on as a guest.
From there, the barbs began to fly faster than the insults. Mayweather retired in 2015 but he remained the subject of many McGregor jokes. On March 7, Mayweather announced he would come out of retirement to fight McGregor. On June 14, it was officially announced that McGregor and Mayweather would fight at T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nev.
For the curious, Paradise is an unincorporated section of Clark County, Nev. It is adjacent to Las Vegas and according to the 2010 census, has a population of 223,167. Paradise contains McCarran International Airport, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, most of the Las Vegas Strip and many the the area’s tourist attractions.
On Thursday, it was announced that the winner of the fight, which will be fought at 157 pounds and the combatants using 8-ounce gloves, will receive the WBC Money Belt, encrusted with 3,360 diamonds, 600 sapphires, 300 emeralds, 1.5 kilograms of solid, 24-karat gold and alligator leather from Italy.
The high-rollers will be in the Greater Las Vegas area for this one. On Monday, a McCarran International Airport spokesperson said aircraft owners and operators must make parking reservations ahead of the fight. Airport officials are also offering an internet portal for corporate and private jet crews to share arrival and departure information to avoid congestion at the airport. The airports in nearby Henderson, Nev., and North Las Vegas, Nev., are expected to be busy as well.
So who wins? Overall, it will probably be Mayweather who has an opportunity to reach a level financially that is almost unbelievable. Win or lose, the fight seems secondary to the loot that he will receive.
McGregor, should he win, will continue to boast about how great he is. A loss would humble him greatly.
As for the fans, well, here’s hoping you enjoy the entertainment.