One of the biggest fights in combat sports history is now just a month away, and now is a great time to discuss how the McGregor vs. Mayweather fight came to be.
Looking back now, Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather have been on a collision course for years. The two biggest stars in their respective sports have essentially hit their ceilings when it comes to fighting other men, and at the moment, nothing else makes sense for both men.
On August 26th, these two fighters will meet inside the boxing ring in what will likely be the highest grossing combat sport event of all time. In part 1 of this series we’ll take a look at how the McGregor vs. Mayweather fight came to fruition, and discuss what needed to be done behind the scenes for them to actually sign contracts.
Mayweather’s rise up boxing
For years, Floyd Mayweather Jr. was seen as a top fighter, but not someone that fans wanted to throw down their money to watch. That all seemed to change in May of 2007 when he took on Oscar De La Hoya under his “money” persona. He entered the fight as the villain, and to the dismay of the majority of boxing fans, won a close split decision.
Floyd Mayweather’s last five fights
- Canelo Alvarez: Win via MD
- Marcos Maidana: Win via MD
- Marcos Maidana: Win via UD
- Manny Pacquiao: Win via UD
- Andre Berto: Win via UD
Over the next decade, he took on some of the best fighters in the sport while taking momentary “retirement” breaks. After years of negotiations, Floyd finally signed on to fight Manny Pacquiao in what was dubbed the “fight of the century.” Many online sportsbooks in the UK were torn as to who would win, but Floyd quickly proved to be the slicker fighter, outpointing Manny for a clear decision win.
One win later against Andre Berto, Mayweather announced his retirement from boxing with a perfect 49-0 record. It was at this time that proved crucial in how the McGregor vs. Mayweather fight came to be.
McGregor takes the MMA world by storm
Conor McGregor was relatively unknown to the MMA community (outside his native Ireland) before his first UFC fight in April of 2013. He was matched up with fellow striker Marcus Brimage in that fight, and proved he was a young prospect to keep an eye on with a first round TKO.
The performance was impressive, but it was his out of the cage personality that drew the attention from MMA fans. His next bout came against Max Holloway, where he won a decision but suffered a devastating ACL injury in the process. After months of rehab, he returned to headline the UFC’s first event in Dublin, Ireland in years and looked better than ever with another first round finish, proving sites like BetVictor Sportsbook correct in listing him as the significant MMA betting favorite.
It was this fight that made Conor a superstar. Fans were already called for “the Notorious” to get a title shot, and even more so after another first round KO over Dustin Poirier. He eventually earned his shot at the title after a win over Dustin Siver, and beat both Chad Mendes and Jose Aldo to earn the undisputed featherweight belt.
McGregor and Mayweather trade shots
In the lead up to the aforementioned fight with Chad Mendes, Conor was interviewed by Conor O’Brien and mentioned he would be willing to fight Mayweather. The seemed to ignite the public interest, and proved to be a critical part of how the McGregor and Mayweather fight came to fruition, but Conor still had plenty to do in MMA.
After a tough loss to Nate Diaz, Conor posted a picture of him and Floyd on his Instagram, with the caption “MMA vs. Boxing.” Floyd soon made UK gambling news by responding to the media by stating “Keep your fingers crossed – it may be a boxer versus an MMA fighter.”
As time would go on, these back and forth barbs would become how the fighters attracted media attention, and how the McGregor vs. Mayweather fight came to get signed.