IT was first floated in July 2015. The greatest boxer in history against a mixed martial arts machine.
And now there’s no sleeps to go.
The weigh-in is done, the trash talk is over and the Fight of the Century is on.
Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor made weight in front of 18,000 screaming fans at the T Mobile Arena and we’re ready to go.
Las Vegas has never seen anything like it.
They’ve had their boxing blockbusters but nothing of this magnitude or mystery.
Mayweather is a raging hot favourite with the bookies but McGregor brings the unknown to the boxing ring.
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We know he can kick, stomp, elbow and choke but his punch and his fists have never been tested on a stage like this against a boxing legend who is undefeated in 49 fights.
We know he’s a gladiator. We know he’s tough. And we know he’s mad.
Still it doesn’t guarantee you victory in a boxing ring.
A sport that is more about science and ring craft than the blatant brutality of UFC.
The weigh-in was a monster event in itself. An Irish man or woman occupying about 90 per cent of the seats.
They cheered deafeningly for McGregor but somehow booed even louder for Mayweather.
This might be his hometown but the Irish have taken it over for the weekend.
The support for McGregor is astonishing. And he’s lapping up every moment of it.
He weighed in four pounds heavier than Mayweather and then the pair faced off.
McGregor gave it to him. Face-to-face. Eyeball to eyeball.
“I told him that that’s the worst shape I have ever seen him in,” McGregor said. “I am going to breeze through him. Trust me on that.”
Allaying fears he would be overweight, McGregor tipped the scales at 153lbs.
“I am a professional,” he said, “I make weight. It is sacrifice, it dedication, it is focus. But I make it. That’s it. Look at me. I am in peak physical condition. You put in the work as everyone can tell. I am ready.”
The UFC superstar is loving all the support.
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“You will never beat the Irish,” he said, “That is it. You can’t beat us. We role in and we take over wherever we want. Las Vegas is Ireland now.
“I will stamp my foot right in the centre of that ring. I won’t go nowhere but the centre of that ring. So let’s see who can take it. He is over there twiddling his thumbs, twitching away. I see a man afraid. That’s it. We will see.”
And then it was Mayweather’s turn to address the fans. Again more booing.
He was shorter and sharper. Like we expect his punches to be.
“I know what it takes in a fight of this magnitude,” he said “Weight doesn’t win fights. Fighting wins fights.”
Source: sports dailytelegraph