Mayweather vs McGregor: Time to back up the big boasts from the pre-fight theatrics
By James Dielhenn in Las Vegas
Last Updated: 24/08/17 11:42am
There isn’t much left to say. It’s time to put your money where your mouth is, Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor…
A theatre usually reserved for Cirque du Soleil seemed, strangely, a perfectly ludicrous place to bring together the two protagonists for one of boxing's most unique fights. But Mayweather and McGregor, nor those in attendance, were not in the mood for the type of acrobatics that have filled the pre-fight pomp.
Business-like from their immaculate suits down to their (comparatively) less provocative body language, the usually loudmouth pair seemed aware that the need for insults was largely over. The latest face-to-face was less aggressive. Each man is zoning in on the magnitude of what lies ahead.
There was some baiting, naturally, as McGregor replied snarkily when heckled by one of Mayweather's mob. Even then, Mayweather himself intervened by restoring peace.
The eerie silence that engulfed Wednesday's press conference was in part due to the fans being kept outside - a respectable number of Irish supporters waited patiently but were prevented from greeting their hero's presence on stage.
A power play from Mayweather, whose fingerprints were all over the organisation of Wednesday's event? He cannot stop the expected mass arrival of Irish folk on Thursday.
The verbal exchanges were kept to simple home truths. "You should have left me where I was," McGregor warned. He teased Mayweather's tax issues and gambling habits, and suggested they would lead to his demise.
"Twenty-one years I've been hit by everything but I'm still here," Mayweather replied. "The same way you give it, you must be able to take it. Remember this."
One of these predictions, come Sunday morning, will seem prophetic. Perhaps McGregor is right, and Mayweather should have preserved his 49-0 record. Maybe Mayweather senses that McGregor will not react well to adversity in unfamiliar surroundings.
The revealing of the WBC 'diamond' belt (3,360 diamonds, 600 sapphires, 300 emeralds and 1.5kg of solid 24-carat gold) added some shine but Mayweather and McGregor's eyes never twinkled. The posturing has stopped, and they're a step closer to showing why they have reached the pinnacle of their respective crafts.