By Andre Jones
Floyd Mayweather, who is well known for bragging about his money, made a bold prediction for his August 26th fight against Conor “The Notorious” McGregor. “I can do it in 36 minutes. $300 (million) or better. 36 minutes,” Mayweather said on Showtime’s All Access: Mayweather v. McGregor, Episode 1 (A four-part series, the first of which Showtime has released for free on YouTube).
Even for Mayweather, who has secured three U.S.Golden Gloves championships in three divisions, and left the ring undefeated, this is a bold statement. McGregor has no professional boxing experience, but that didn’t stop him from challenging Mayweather to a fight. “There’s only one man I want to fight,” McGregor told All Access. “I’m ready to shock the world.”
Though Mayweather appears to have adopted the “beat em before you meet em” trash-talking tactics of late boxing icon Muhammad Ali, it may take more than braggadocio to beat McGregor. Not only is McGregor a highly experienced UFC signed mixed martial artist but is also the reigning UFC Lightweight Champion. UFC president Dana White told MMAJunkie.com, “I’m not saying Conor McGregor’s going to win; I’m not saying Floyd Mayweather’s going to win. But I’ll tell you this, the reason Conor McGregor is as big as he is, is he will fight anybody, anytime, anywhere. He will go after Floyd Mayweather, and he will try to knock him out.”
Forbes contributor Alex Kay offered another view, “Without the ability to use kicks, elbows and other strikes, McGregor doesn’t have the toolset available that has allowed him to become the king of UFC.” Kay also pointed out, “The MMA star’s training and experience are far too different and leaves him vastly underprepared to do combat in a bout that Mayweather has a lifetime of experience in.”
Even if the jury is out on who will win the fight, from a box office standpoint, Mayweather may very well be making an accurate prediction about his earnings. When Mayweather fought Manny Pacquiao in 2014, 4.6 million people purchased the bout on Pay Per View (PPV), earning Mayweather $250 million. While mixed martial arts (MMA) doesn’t earn nearly as much as it’s more firmly entrenched cousin – boxing – McGregor has established himself as the biggest PPV draw in MMA history to date, having main-evented four out of the six highest selling PPV events in UFC history. With both of these fighters at the top of their respective piles in terms of PPV draws, Mayweather’s prediction may indeed prove to be true.
No matter what Mayweather makes from the bout, McGregor won’t walk away broke. McGregor stands to make somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million from the highly anticipated fight.