Everything you need to know about the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight


In the TV world, everybody loves a good crossover episode, and boxing giant Floyd Mayweather taking on MMA superstar Conor McGregor in an upcoming bout is the sports world equivalent.

If you’re a casual combat sports viewer or have never tuned into a fight at all, this guide will fill you in on everything you need to know ahead of the event, which UFC president Dana White expects to shatter viewership records.

“This is the biggest fight ever. It’s tracking right now to be the largest commercial pay-per-view ever done—in the history of pay-per-view,” White said, per CBS Sports.

“It’s the most distributed pay-per-view event in history. The list goes on and on of records that this thing will break.”

Why the big deal? Well, first, the fact that a professional MMA fighter is taking on a professional boxer in the ring is kind of insane in and of itself.

Mayweather, who is 40, is coming out of retirement for this spectacle. McGregor, 29, is not a boxer. You might think that Mayweather is at a disadvantage given his age and seemingly more limited skillset than McGregor, who is trained in everything from Taekwondo to Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

But this bout will be controlled by boxing rules. And even though he trained as a boxer as a teenager, this fight—this incredibly hyped, high-stakes event—will be McGregor’s first professional boxing match.

If McGregor goes down in flames, there will be millions of eyeballs watching in real-time. White expects more than 4.9 million PPV buys for the event. At nearly $100 a pop for HD, that adds up to a ton, ton, ton of revenue.

By comparison, the last truly huge combat event—Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao in 2015—saw 4.6 million PPV buys.

But that event was so heralded because it was a truly great matchup, billed “The Fight of the Century.”

Meanwhile, it’s tough to find someone who’s putting their money and/or faith behind McGregor straight-up. As of Monday, Mayweather was favored at -450 (bet $450 to win $100) to win with McGregor coming back at +400 (win $400 for every $100 wager), per SBR Odds.

Why is McGregor such an underdog? Let’s break down the two athletes’ careers, as well as their skills, strengths, and weaknesses as they pertain to this match.

How to Watch 

Date: Saturday, August 26

Time: 9 p.m. ET

Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas

TV: Showtime PPV

Streaming: Showtime app

LAS VEGAS, NV – AUGUST 10: Floyd Mayweather Jr. holds a media workout at the Mayweather Boxing Club on August 10, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather will face UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor in a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena on August 26 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images)

Who is Floyd Mayweather?

Mayweather is undefeated in his boxing career, totaling 49 fights and including 15 world titles.

In 2012, he was statistically the best active defensive boxer, with opponents landing only 16 percent of punches thrown at him, as opposed to Mayweather connecting on 46 percent of his own shots, per CompuBox and via ESPN’s Igor Guryashkin.

Mayweather’s father sold drugs and his mother was addicted to them, and he has said that he knew from a young age he would have to box to earn a living, per Tim Smith of the New York Daily News.

And earn a living he did, finding early success in his professional career against world No. 1 super featherweight Genaro Hernandez, winning his first world title.

He would go on to win world titles against then-undefeated Diego Corrales in 2001. But Mayweather also made headlines at the time for proclaiming that he wanted to beat Corrales, who was alleged to have assaulted his pregnant wife, “for all the battered women across America,” per Smith.

Of course, in the world of professional sports, Mayweather’s name has become inextricably linked with domestic violence.

He was charged with two counts of domestic violence and one count of misdemeanor battery in 2002, convicted of two counts of misdemeanor battery against two women in 2004.

The mother to three of his four children, Josie Harris, gave an exclusive interview to USA Today’s Martin Rogers in 2014 detailing Mayweather’s instances of abuse, which occurred on “six occasions.”

In the same interview, the couple’s son, Koraun Mayweather—now 17 years old—recalled perhaps the most infamous instance of abuse in September 2010, in which his father “rained punches and kicks upon” his mother, and described how he slipped out of the house and asked a security guard for help.

For that incident, a judge sentenced Mayweather to 90 days in county jail, as well as ordered him to complete 100 hours of community service and a 12-month domestic-violence program and to pay a fine of $2,500.

In January 2017, ESPN’s Cari Champion asked Mayweather to speak on the charges and convictions of domestic violence over his career.

Mayweather’s response was long, but basically amounted to “pics or it didn’t happen.” He also said, “For so many years, they tried to defeat me in so many different ways as far as negative things but I couldn’t be defeated inside the ring so they tried to defeat me on the outside.”

As he comes out of retirement to face McGregor, Mayweather is realizing that the world has not forgotten about the transgressions of his past.

Who is Conor McGregor?

At the age of 12, McGregor began training as a boxer at Crumlin Boxing Club in Crumlin, Dublin. Six years later, however, he and his family moved to Lucan, Dublin, and it was there that he met and began training in mixed martial arts with future UFC fighter Tom Egan, per the Independent.

McGregor’s pre-UFC MMA career was brief but decorated.  He won both the Cage Warriors Featherweight and Lightweight Championships in 2012, which garnered him some attention from across the globe.

In 2013, McGregor signed with UFC after meeting with Dana White in Ireland. His overall MMA record is 21-3, with 18 knockouts.

Early in his career, he tore his ACL in a fight with Max Holloway and was out of fighting for 10 months while he recovered. When he did, however, he immediately began making his name in UFC.

McGregor made headlines with the fastest victory in UFC title fight history in 2015, when he knocked out Jose Aldo 13 seconds into the first round at UFC 194.

Another of McGregor’s most notable wins, the UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 205 against Eddie Alvarez, saw him become the first UFC fighter to hold titles in two weight divisions at the same time.

Now, McGregor has become one of the biggest draws in MMA. When he and Nate Diaz fought at UFC 202, the bout broke the record for most PPV buys in UFC history with 1,650,000.

As he came up in UFC, McGregor began challenging Mayweather publicly. Eventually, what seemed like an insane challenge for the two to meet in a boxing match despite Mayweather’s retirement and the fact that McGregor had never boxed professionally gained traction and then approval by White and the UFC.

Why Mayweather Can Win

There’s no question that Mayweather has the edge as far as boxing goes.

The bout will be held at super welterweight (154 pounds).

As established earlier, Mayweather can both land and defend punches like almost no other contemporary boxer. He’s able to block almost anything lobbed his way.

There’s also the not-so-insignificant fact that Mayweather is undefeated in his fighting career, while McGregor has suffered three MMA losses. Of course, McGregor has never boxed professionally, so technically he’s never had a boxing loss, either!

If Mayweather wins, he will surpass Rocky Marciano and extend his professional record to 50-0.

Why McGregor Can Win

McGregor was granted a California boxing license in November 2016. Mayweather’s first professional boxing match took place in October 1996.

Needless to say, McGregor has some catching up to do.

However, all the intangibles are on McGregor’s side. At 29, he is younger than Mayweather (40). He’s also one inch taller, at 5’9″, and and he has a wider wingspan, at 74″ compared with Mayweather’s 72″.

McGregor has great footwork, which his UFC training has provided, and his hands have been an asset on more than one occasion in his UFC matches. To win, McGregor will have to call on his power, which may be his biggest edge over Mayweather.

However, without being able to call on any of his other UFC skills, it’s hard to imagine him besting Mayweather at straight-up upright boxing.

Next: Mikaela Mayer could be the gamechanger for women’s boxing in the United States

Feel like you’ve got a better handle on what’s going down Saturday night?