The long-touted fight between UFC star Conor McGregor and the former five-division boxing champion Floyd Mayweather is set for 26 August at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The two fighters confirmed the news with posts to social media. On Instagram, Mayweather said: “It’s official!”. McGregor was similarly to the point: “THE FIGHT IS ON,” he wrote on Twitter. As a barb, the 28-year-old Irishman added a picture of Mayweather’s father, Floyd Sr, a presumed joke at the expense of his 40-year-old rival’s age.
The bout will be scheduled for 12 rounds at the junior middleweight limit of 154lbs with 10-ounce gloves, Mayweather’s longtime confidant, Leonard Ellerbe, confirmed in a conference call on Wednesday night. The Mayweather Promotions CEO added that the financial details including the purse split will not be disclosed and are protected under a confidentiality agreement.
Terms for the event have not been confirmed but the August date had been talked about as a fight between Mayweather and McGregor for some time. When the two meet it will be a boxing rather than mixed martial arts match-up. McGregor has already applied for a boxing license in Nevada, although he has never boxed professionally. Mayweather retired undefeated in 49 professional fights and is widely recognized as one of the greatest boxers of all time. Mayweather is a huge favourite: early Las Vegas odds had him at 1-10 to win the fight with McGregor 7-1.
Bob Bennett, the executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission, confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday that Mayweather Promotions had pulled out of a request for the fight before reapplying. “I got a call [on Tuesday night] from Mayweather Promotions that they wanted to be put back on the agenda, so I put them back on the agenda,” Bennett told the broadcaster. “They pulled the request but then decided to put it back on.”
Both men stand to make tens of millions of dollars from the bout, which will be more about making money than treating the public to a display of athletic skill. It would also prove a lucrative platform for Mayweather’s stable of fighters. The former champion has said he would like two of the fighters he promotes, Badou Jack and the talented junior lightweight world champion Gervonta Davis, to appear on the undercard. Mayweather made around $250m from his fight against Manny Pacquiao in 2015 and would expect to draw a similar sum for the McGregor fight. The Irishman is likely to make less but any earnings would outstrip anything he has made during his UFC career.
There has been no shortage of critics of the fight between UFC’s biggest star and a 40-year-old who hasn’t fought since September 2015. Last month Mayweather’s former rival in the ring, Oscar De La Hoya, said the fight would harm boxing.
“With each passing day, it looks more and more likely that the circus known as Floyd Mayweather v Conor McGregor will be coming to town in the near future,” said De La Hoya. “As undercard fights start to take form, athletic commissions give their blessings in exchange for millions of dollars, and the fighters start counting, even more, cash, one group will eventually be left to make sure this farce doesn’t occur – we, the fans, who are the lifeblood of our sport … Our sport might not ever recover.”