By Allan Fox: UFC star Conor McGregor took a big step towards getting ready for a big money fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. by applying for a boxing license on Thursday with the Nevada Athletic Commission. Mayweather, 40, tends to fight in Las Vegas, and McGregor applying for a license in that state would appear to be a preliminary move to make that fight happen.
Before the Nevada Athletic Commission can green light the 28-year-old McGregor’s boxing license to fight in the state, he’ll still need to submit medical documents. That’s something that they still want in order to grant the Irish fighter his license. However, it’s looking very good for McGregor as far as him getting the license. As long as McGregor submits the medical documents, he’ll almost surely be getting his boxing license to fight in Nevada.
“Conor is very familiar with our licensing procedures, having fought here several times for the UFC,”said Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett to ESPN.com.“When I have time, and all parties have reached a contractual agreement, I am sure he will meet our requirements, and we hope to have him fighting in Nevada.”
It seems like it’ll be just a formality for McGregor to get his boxing license for Nevada. A fight between McGregor and Mayweather will bring a lot of money to Las Vegas and to the state, even though it’s obviously going to be a mismatch. Boxing and MMA fans still want to see the Mayweather-McGregor fight despite it likely being a bad mismatch. The thing is the casual fans don’t realize that McGregor is hopefully out of his league. The fans have seen how good McGregor is in the UFC, and they naturally assume he’ll do well in boxing too.
If McGregor truly believed he could compete with the best, it would be a logical move for him to take on at least one contender to get ready for the Mayweather fight to show the boxing fans that he’ll be competitive when he gets inside the ring with the 40-year-old star. McGregor isn’t going to do that. He’s going to straight into the fight with Mayweather. It’s like throwing someone in an NFL game and telling them to be the quarterback of a team.
McGregor is going to be totally lost out there. It’s cringe-worthy to watch. I hope McGregor’s fans don’t get angry after he loses. They need to have an open mind and understand what McGregor is up against in facing Mayweather without any experience in boxing.
“McGregor is younger, taller, has a longer reach and most of his MMA wins have come by knockout, which shows he’s a talented fighter,” Bennett said. “I think they are both phenomenal fighters with exceptional skills.”
McGregor is younger and stronger than Mayweather, but he’s not skilled in the sport and he has no experience. McGregor is strong and young, but he’s not as powerful as some of the guys that Mayweather has beaten in the past like Saul Canelo Alvarez and Marcos Maidana. Those guys were very big punchers, and Mayweather disarmed them and beat them both. It would be interesting to see how McGregor would do against those two fighters. Maidana is now retired from boxing. You’d still have to favor Maidana to destroy McGregor if he made a comeback and lost all the weight he’s put on since he left the sport.
Mayweather still hasn’t agreed to the McGregor fight as of yet. McGregor reportedly reached an agreement with his UFC boss Dana White for the Mayweather fight under boxing rules. McGregor’s deal with Dana White of the UFC has no bearing to what Mayweather will do. Getting Mayweather to agree to the McGregor fight could take a long time. Mayweather has already said recently that his beginning asking price for the McGregor fight is a cool $100 million. That’s a lot of guaranteed money that someone will need to come up with if Mayweather chooses to dig in his heels and insist on getting at least that much money.
The problem is if the Mayweather-McGregor fight fails to bring in the huge money that it’ll need to in order to Mayweather to get his asking price, it could be a real disaster. McGregor is going to want a lot of money as well. McGregor isn’t well-known with the boxing fans. He’s known to the MMA people only. Those are two different sports. You might as well ask boxing fans to keep up with who the latest golfer is, because it’s pretty much the same thing. A lot of boxing fans only have scant knowledge who McGregor is.
The fans might not be eager to see Mayweather beat up on a guy that they’ve never seen fight before. The fans that will make the Mayweather-McGregor fight a success or not will likely be McGregor’s loyal MMA fans, and he might not be popular enough to bring in the HUGE PPV numbers single-handedly. Mayweather lost a lot of fans with his disaster fight against Manny Pacquiao in 2015. The fans stayed away in Mayweather’s last fight against Andre Berto in September 2015. Only 400,000 boxing fans purchased that fight, which Mayweather had promised would be an exciting fight.
It wasn’t exciting, and in some ways it was even more boring than Mayweather’s dull fight with Pacquiao. It’s hard to know how many fans Mayweather has lost in his last 2 disappointing fights. What we do know is that Mayweather’s last exciting fight was his first match against Marcos Maidana in May 2014. The rematch between Mayweather and Maidana was a very boring one in September 2014, as Mayweather ran around the ring for 12 rounds to keep from getting hit. That last 3 fights of Mayweather’s have been dull fights.
Mayweather said on Thursday that he’ll be ending his retirement and coming back for the McGregor fight only, saying that he’s giving the fans “the fight they want to see.” Mayweather sees himself as doing the fans a favor by fighting McGregor in order to make them happy. Some boxing fans see this as a self-serving move by Mayweather to make a lot of money by fighting an unproven novice in McGregor.
The critics believe that Mayweather is taking advantage of the gullible fans, who don’t realize that McGregor has very little chance to win the fight, which is pretty much what you would call a ‘business fight’ like the one the boxing world saw recently with Saul Canelo Alvarez beating Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in a terrible mismatch on May 6 on HBO PPV.
In that fight, the boxing world had plenty of time to learn that it was going to be a mismatch, but the casual boxing fans still paid to see it in high numbers. The fight turned out to be an even worst mismatch than people thought it would be. Had the fans done their homework, they would have saved themselves the expense of paying to see a noncompetitive fight. Mayweather vs. McGregor likely will make the Canelo-Chavez Jr. fight look like a thrilling fight in comparison.
Mayweather has been clear from the beginning in why he wants the McGregor fight instead of a top boxer like Keith Thurman, Gennady Golovkin or Saul Canelo Alvarez. Mayweather says he’s a businessman and the fans want to see him fight McGregor. The reality is there’s no one else in boxing that can give Mayweather a big payday like he can get fighting McGregor.
Mayweather already beat Manny Pacquiao, and a lot of fans felt burned by the lack of action in that fight. At this point, you can argue that Mayweather has burned his bridges in the boxing world, and he might not be able to bring in more than 400,000 buys no matter who he faces in the sport. But with the MMA fans not being familiar with Mayweather, he has a chance of making good money fighting McGregor.
If that fight turns out to be a dull fight too similar to the Mayweather-Pacquiao match, then it’s likely that Mayweather will be done as a PPV attraction. Mayweather can always come back and fight someone else at MMA and or boxing, but if he expects to get $100 million every time, then I don’t see that happening.
For Mayweather to get $100 million for the McGregor fight, it might require that the PPV be expensive. The PPV prices were hiked to the $100 range for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight in 2015. It’s quite possible that we could see similar numbers for the Mayweather-McGregor fight.