On Tuesday, Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather held the first of four press conferences before they square off at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada later this year. And as expected, there was plenty of trash talk exchanged between the two – both verbally and visually – before and after they shared their first official stare down. There was no shortage of excitement outside of the press conference – between all the taunts and the countless "Fuck You" pinstripes on McGregor's suit.
First and foremost, Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe announced tickets for the fight will go on sale on July 24th and will cost between US$500 to $10,000. According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, however, the US$500 tickets will be "very limited" and a ticket on the lower level will cost at least US$5,000. That's along the lines of what it cost to see the fight between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in 2015 – tickets ranged between $1,500 and $7,500 – yet the average ticket on the secondary market at one point was worth around US$8,000.
The fight could come close to the 4.6 million pay-per-views sold for Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, which almost doubled the previous record for boxing pay-per-views set by Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya in 2007.
Based on the ticket sales and expected pay-per-view numbers, Mayweather could make at least US$100 million from the fight, which is important based on what happened earlier this week. According to a number of reports, Mayweather filed for a reprieve with the U.S. Tax Court over the weekend and plans to use some of the money from this fight to pay off the US$22.2 million he owes the IRS in taxes from 2015. Not only was it a talking point throughout the press conference on Tuesday — "He's in a fucking track suit!" McGregor said. "He can’t even afford a suit anymore!" — Mayweather took to Instagram earlier in the day to give his side of the story.
"Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear, especially when it comes to media in this country," Mayweather wrote. "While everyone is counting my money and assuming the worst, these are the facts... Uncle Sam, received $26,000,000.00 from me in 2015! What else could they possibly want? I'm sure I would have been notified much sooner if there were any real discrepancies right?"
Either way, Mayweather's purse is expected to be higher than McGregor's because he is seen as the "A-Side." Although McGregor's no longer the 7-1 underdog he once was, Mayweather is still the overwhelming favourite to walk away victorious. That's not to say McGregor is the only person who thinks he can actually win the fight, though. Despite this being the first boxing match of McGregor's professional career, UFC president Dana White explained why he has a puncher's chance against someone who is 49-0 in their career while making an appearance on Fox Sports' Undisputed. White didn't make as bold of a prediction as McGregor did in the press conference, but he believes it could take as little as one punch for Mayweather to be in trouble.
"This year, Floyd will be 41 years old. Conor McGregor is 28," White said. "In a fight, one thing and only one thing matters: How hard do you hit. Conor McGregor is a knockout artist. If he hits you, you go. If he hurts you, he will finish you ... If he connects with Floyd Mayweather, I guarantee you he will hurt him. And if he hurts him, he will knock him out."
McGregor might have the advantage on Mayweather when it comes to everything that happens outside of the ring as well, which we caught a glimpse of during the first press conference. The problem is McGregor might have taken it a step too far by saying, "Dance for me, boy!" when Mayweather was shadowboxing onstage. Many were quick to point out on social media why McGregor's comments were racially insensitive, but Floyd Mayweather Sr. told TMZ afterwards that he didn't know what his comments had to do with racism and that this is simply "a boxing match." Mayweather Sr. also crashed McGregor's media scrum to tell him he has no chance against his son before challenging McGregor to a fight of his own.
It's worth repeating all of this comes after one press conference. There are three more to go and the fight is still over a month away. With so much on the line for both sides, this is just the start of what is expected to be one of the biggest sporting events of the year and possibly all time.