The two fighters are set to land a huge windfall when they take to the ring in August in a battle between the cream of boxing and MMA
Some have labelled it the fight of the century so far, while others see it as a joke and a stain on the sport of boxing.
What is certain is that Floyd Mayweather’s upcoming bout with Conor McGregor, who is crossing over from mixed martial arts, will be one of the most hotly debated events of the year.
Mayweather is coming out of retirement to defend his unbeaten record against McGregor, who has become the UFC’s brightest star since unifying its featherweight championship by beating Jose Aldo in 2015.
How McGregor will fare with the bigger gloves remains to be seen, but whatever the result he stands to make a huge amount of money out of the fight in Nevada.
Mayweather, meanwhile, will make even more to add to his already enormous fortune. But how does the duo’s wealth and earning power stack up when compared to the world’s top footballers?
MAYWEATHER vs MCGREGOR: THE FIGHT
Mayweather and McGregor will square off on the night of Saturday, August 26 at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada, on the Las Vegas Strip.
In the US, the fight will be broadcast on Showtime pay-per-view and cost $89.95 for standard definition and $99.95 for high definition. In the UK, a broadcast deal is yet to be agreed.
|Fight||Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor|
|Date||Saturday, August 26|
|Venue||T-Mobile Arena, Paradise|
|US TV||Showtime PPV|
MAYWEATHER & MCGREGOR’S NET WORTH
According to Forbes, Mayweather is worth $340 million. Though more difficult to estimate, McGregor is probably worth in the region of $25m to $35m.
Clearly, Mayweather currently has a significant edge but it should be noted that the 49-0 boxer will turn 41 next year, while McGregor only recently turned 29.
McGregor may have some way to go to boast as glittering a fighting career as Mayweather, who is regarded as one of the all-time greats, but his enormous popularity and outgoing personality should ensure he maintains plenty of earning power into his thirties regardless of his record.
The reigning UFC lightweight champion has bragged that he stands to quadruple his net worth through this fight, and he may not be exaggerating.
This fight should challenge Mayweather’s against Manny Pacquiao as the most lucrative ever, and Floyd took home a reported $240m from that bout.
He could top that total this time and while McGregor will earn less – the exact terms have not been disclosed but it is expected that he will have secured a smaller cut – it could still be in excess of $100m.
Add in all the sponsorship and endorsement deals the publicity will bring McGregor’s way and he stands to make a lot of money.
How does that compare to footballers?
The two most famous footballers in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, are estimated to have a net worth of somewhere in the region of $250m and $330m.
That would mean that Mayweather is richer than them both, but that McGregor has plenty of catching up to do to put himself among world sport’s biggest earners.
According to Forbes, Ronaldo was the world’s highest-paid athlete in 2016-17 with total earnings of $93m. Messi came third, at $80m, and McGregor was in 24th on $34m.
Fighters obviously earn with more peaks and troughs depending on when they take to the ring, however, and McGregor has a chance to beat both of those players over the next year based on his income from the Mayweather fight.
Mayweather was not listed as he has not fought since 2015, meaning this will be his first big – by his standards, at least – pay day in a while. In the year of the Pacquiao fight he would have blown everyone else out of the water.
PRIZE MONEY: BOXING vs FOOTBALL
ESPN estimate that the total takings from this fight – encompassing ticket, pay-per-view and merchandise sales as well as sponsorship deals and betting – will fall just short of the record-breaking Mayweather-Pacquiao bout but still exceed $600m.
If that is the case we are probably looking at prize money of at least $300m, which the consensus suggests will be split around 70-30 or 75-25 in Mayweather’s favour.
To put that into context, Real Madrid as a club ‘only’ earned around $64m for winning the Champions League final against Juventus in June.
Madrid are the highest earners in European competitions since 2010 but the sum they have collected in that time – just over $400m – is likely only to be slightly more than Mayweather and McGregor will share for a maximum of 36 minutes of boxing.
Winning the Premier League is more lucrative than Champions League victory these days in terms of prize money, with Chelsea bagging $200m after claiming the title last season.
That’s a combination of the ‘merit’ payment that depends on finishing position and their cut of the English top flight’s massive TV deal. Every club receives $111m and that is then topped up based on how many games they had televised.
WHO’S GOING TO WIN?
Unsurprisingly, given his vast advantage in terms of actual boxing experience, Mayweather is the heavy favourite. With dabblebet the American can be backed at 1/7 to beat McGregor, who comes in at 9/2.
Many boxers past and present have not given McGregor much of a chance. Mike Tyson, for example, says he believes the Irishman will be “killed” outside of the UFC octagon.
UFC president Dana White, however, has backed his star name to make it a contest. “You don’t know what’s going to happen when two guys start throwing punches, especially a guy like Conor McGregor,” he said.
“He hits like a truck. When he hits people, he hurts them.”