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FOUR DAYS AWAY: Of Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor, Strip Clubbing, and Why George Foreman Thinks McGregor Can Hurt TBE

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They are two types of men both suited to do their business in Las Vegas.

Floyd Mayweather, repping the “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” POV, talking up his strip club, making sure we know the difference between that and a gentleman’s club…and Conor McGregor, who is what Frank Sinatra would want to be, maybe, if he were reincarnated in this social media age, and were blessed with a bit less golden of a throat, strutting the stage, at today’s grand arrival ceremony which saw the fighters soaking in the adulation and anticipatory chatter four days from answer time.

Most of us residing in the boxing sphere think we will see the pugilistic master tradesman make easy work the Dubliner, proving to the ignorant that no, even a world class athlete with a foundation in the marquis’ art cannot bend that learning curve enough to cram in ten year’s worth of learning in six months.

But most of us also have enough of that mild gnawing in our brain which suggests that maybe on Saturday we’ll see a pig fly. And wouldn’t we feel foolish if that pig sprouted wings and we weren’t there to see the spectacle? After all, who among us thought the guy who bragged about grabbing random vaginas would be elected leader of the free world?

The talk has ceased pretty much…no new beefs are popping up. There isn’t time to properly nurture one, is there? Floyd has continued to imply that McGregor is such an easy mark, that he can be almost a part-time gladiator, and he can hit Girl Collection every day and still get to 50-0. Wait..he said he will be there today, and tomorrow, and Thursday and Friday and Saturday. SATURDAY? The day of the fight!?

Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, clarify for me…Floyd isn’t saying he will hit Girl Collection before the fight Saturday, is he? And surely not DURING fight night? “Exactly,” said Ellerbe, chuckling. “After the fight!”

Makes sense..Sinatra had his haunts…it’s 2017, though, and everyone has more insight into marketing angles. Why not set the after party for the club you own?

Oh and by the way, even some folks in “our” sphere, like big George Foreman, the heavyweight legend for the ages, isn’t one who thinks that it will be purely easy work for TBE.

“Floyd is making us talk and buy the fight,” George told me Tuesday, after I asked what he makes of Floyd’s strip club boast. (Sorry, GENTLEMEN’S CLUB boast…)  ‘I’m in!’ This is why he’s not taking real matches, he is retired. McGregor will hurt him..”

WAIT…you, George, think the Dubliner can hurt Mayweather, one of the best defenders of any era?!

“That he can do! Winning is another thing. But hurt him he can…Conor is nothing to play with. Floyd thinks little of him, great opportunity there.”

Hmmm..seems like George thinks two years off has diminished Floyd?!

“Conor is not a pro boxer…this guy swings like a wild cat,” said Foreman.

Here is the release which went out after the arrival ceremony:

 

LAS VEGAS (August 22, 2017) – Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor officially kicked off fight week events Tuesday with grand arrivals at the Toshiba Plaza ahead of the SHOWTIME PPV event this Saturday, Aug. 26 taking place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

 

Also making an official grand arrival in Las Vegas was unbeaten Francisco Fonseca, who challenges 130-pound champion Gervonta Davis, plus light heavyweight titleholder Nathan Cleverly and former 168-pound champion Badou Jack, who meet in a 12-round title fight on the PPV undercard. The SHOWTIME PPV telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with unbeaten Andrew Tabiti and former world champion Steve Cunningham meeting in a 10-round battle after making their grand arrivals Tuesday.

 

Fighters were greeted by fans at the Toshiba Plaza before making brief remarks onstage. Here is what the fighters had to say Tuesday:

 

FLOYD MAYWEATHER

 

“When there’s a fight of this magnitude, it’s all about keeping composure and that’s what I do. I go out there and do my job and let the rest take care of itself. This is huge, the numbers that we’ve been hearing about, they’ve been crazy.

 

“McGregor is a tough competitor. He’s undefeated standing up. He’s never lost when striking. I know that I’m in for a tough fight. But there is one thing I do know, this fight is not going the distance. No matter what anyone says, it’s not going the distance.

 

“This is work. This is my job. My job is to fight and compete against the best guys. You know when your body has had enough and this is it for me. I gave my word already about this being my last fight. Once I gave my word to my children, and once I gave my word to Al, I knew this was it. This is a great event. What better way to go out than with a bang?

 

“I just go out there and fight. I don’t worry about my record. I’ve been blessed with hands and fast feet and a tremendous mind. It’ll all be on display Saturday night. 

 

“A lot of fighters now only want the money. They don’t want to put in the hard work early in their careers. I took the long route and I’ve been here for a while. I just love the sport and competing against the best guys.

 

“It’s all about the future and building stars. Mayweather Promotions is the future of sports and entertainment. It’ll be a great display this week.

 

“I’m doing this for myself and my family but I want to give everyone a great show. Everyone deserves a good show. The Pacquiao fight wasn’t exciting enough. That was on Pacquiao, but I have to give the fans a great show this time.”

 

CONOR MCGREGOR

Got some Sinatra swagger and gift of gab, no? (Esther Lin pic)

“Floyd can talk about whatever he wants to talk about. He can talk any kind of trash he wants, because he’s talking to the new God of boxing.

 

“I like the move from five to three minute rounds. I feel like I’ve built a solid engine that is going to last me through the rest of my career and help me in the fight.  We’ve put in the work. I’ve fought many 12-rounders.

 

“The Irish are rolling in and whenever we roll in, we take over. It was amazing to see all the Irish fans out today. It’s going to be a great spectacle.

 

“If people are overlooking my size, power and youth, they shouldn’t be. I’m very confident in those attributes. I believe I’ll knock him out early.

 

“If you look at the way I fight, I am a fast starter. I come out and bang people right away. With eight ounce gloves, I don’t see him lasting more than one or two rounds.

 

“I am my own man and I feel I am superior to Floyd. When it comes to Saturday night, he will not be prepared for me.

 

“I cannot wait to get in the on Saturday night and perform in front of my fans and take my place at the top of this sport.”

 

FRANCISCO FONSECA

 

“We are ready for anything Gervonta Davis will bring. We had a great training camp and I’m in optimal condition to go win that title.

 

“I am ready and excited to be here in Las Vegas for this great challenge. It’s amazing to have a chance to fight for a world title.

 

“It’s always been my dream to fight here in Las Vegas. I’m going to start out strong from the first round. If a knockout comes, it comes, but what I do know is, is that I’m going to leave the ring with that world title on Saturday night.”

 

NATHAN CLEVERLY

 

“I just love this place. This is my favorite city on the planet. To fight here in Las Vegas and defend my world title is great. Badou is a top fighter and it’s going to be a tough fight. He’s fighting an established light heavyweight like myself. I’m a two-time champion of the world and he’s going to find out what I’m about.

 

“I just told him welcome to the division. He’s going to find out the hard way. I’m going to give him a rude introduction to the division and show him how a world champion does it.

 

“This is an interesting fight with two world class fighters. I’m going to leave here with the victory on Saturday night.

 

“It’s already a big fight with Badou Jack, but to be part of this event, it’s truly historic. It’s a special feeling.”

 

BADOU JACK

 

“Right now I’m just excited to be here in front of the fans. I can’t wait to put on a show Saturday night. I’m going to knock Nathan Cleverly out.

 

“This is the best camp I’ve had of my career. I have an amazing team and we’ve worked well together. I’m ready to get in the ring.

 

“This is the biggest stage you can be on. All my my teammates have been training hard and the whole Mayweather Promotions stable is ready to fight.”

 

ANDREW TABITI

 

“I’m very excited and I’m thankful to everyone that came out here today. This is a great chance for me to shine.

 

“It’s wonderful to share this card with my Mayweather Promotions stable. We work hard and we’re really up and training hard for this opportunity.

 

“Steve Cunningham has done a great job in his career, but it’s time for a new face of the American cruiserweights. I’m getting the victory, that’s all there is.”

 

STEVE CUNNINGHAM

 

“I feel a lot younger than my age. I feel great and I’m ready to rock. I do my talking in the ring and I can’t wait to get in there.

 

“It’s great to be on this stage. It’s my first time on a pay-per-view and it’s amazing. This is a huge fight and it’s a blessing to be there. 

 

“I don’t make predictions but I come to fight and I come to win. You have a young fighter coming to take me down but I’m going to show him what I know.”

 

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About Michael Woods

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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