The world is still trying to accept the announcement made earlier this week that Floyd Mayweather will take on Conor McGregor this August is actually happening.
After months of talk, the 40-year-old legend will be coming out of retirement as he aims his punches at the reigning UFC Lightweight Champion.
The fight hasn’t been welcomed by everyone, however, and it has received plenty of jibes from fellow professionals such as Oscar de la Hoya who was cynical about the blockbuster showdown between these two titans.
Nevertheless, in a show of rare solidarity with his upcoming opponent Mayweather has taken a moment to hit out at his critics, hinting at respect for his rival despite the trash talk that has preceded the grand event.
“McGregor is a tough competitor. People all around the world demanded this fight so I had to give them what they wanted to see,” he told BSOTV, as per The Sun.
“They asked for this fight. I was in retirement, but they wanted me back and I’m back.
“You’re supposed to stand behind your man. Stand behind the fighter that you believe. He’s a hell of a competitor.”
Not sure he has ever been that complimentary about McGregor before, but it is safe to assume it won’t last though.
Both men will certainly be eyeing the lucrative purses, with Mayweather expected to bank £150 million from the contest, while McGregor will also cash in a monstrous £78.4 million in earnings.
Mayweather, who is 12 years McGregor’s senior, boasts an impressive boxing career with a 100 percent winning record including 26 knockouts from 49 fights spanning 387 rounds. McGregor, on the other hand, has won 21 from 24 bouts with 18 knockouts and became the first UFC fighter to hold two world titles in different weight categories.
Mayweather has been tipped as the overwhelming bookmaker’s favourite with his undisputed record, coming up against McGregor who has never been involved in a boxing match before, at least not professionally, since claiming the All-Ireland champion title at youth level as a 16-year-old.
The event looks on course to become the highest-grossing event in the history of either sport and Mayweather boldly predicted it could generate five million television hits in what he claims will be “the biggest fight in the history of fights.”
Fans in the McGregor camp will be hoping for one of the biggest upsets in the boxing history, while Mayweather’s followers will be expecting him to breeze through the challenge and make it a neat, round 50 from 50.
Who do you think will come out top in this duel? Have your say in the comments section below.