Sports

Rolfsen: Mayweather-McGregor nothing more than a cash grab

By Torben Rolfsen

UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor poses on the scale during his weigh-in for UFC 202 at MGM Grand Conference Center on Aug. 19, 2016 in Las Vegas. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor poses on the scale during his weigh-in for UFC 202 at MGM Grand Conference Center on Aug. 19, 2016 in Las Vegas. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

“No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.” – H.L. Mencken

So the lawyers and accountants have reached some sort of accommodation, and the long-rumoured (if not awaited) boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and MMA star Conor McGregor will finally take place Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

One month to the day before the Las Vegas Golden Knights preseason home opener against the LA Kings in the same venue, the bout – un-ironically billed as “The Money Fight” – isn’t about sports at all.

Instead, it’s a spectacle driving the ultimate cash grab.

Mayweather – who burns through money faster than a dotcom company circa 1999 – is set to haul in at least $120 million, with McGregor in the $75-100 range.

According to Forbes, depending on pay-per-view numbers, Mayweather could reportedly top out at close to $400 million, with McGregor around $127 million.

Domestic abuser Mayweather, 40, is “coming out of retirement” (aka “running low on money”) in an attempt to reach a 50-0 career record, a number which would break his “tie” with Rocky Marciano, and to which he has applied for trademarks on.

McGregor, who turns 29 next month, will make more in an hour than he has in his entire UFC career.

The event brings to mind Muhammad Ali’s exhibition against the Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan Arena, shortly before Cheap Trick recorded their iconic live album at the same venue.

The fight also has been compared to a decathlon champion running the 100 metres against Usain Bolt.

Either way, it’s likely McGregor will be singing “Surrender” by the later rounds.

Remember how boring Mayweather-Pacquiao was a couple of years ago?

That dull, waste-of-time gobbled up money at a record rate.

The cheapest tickets (nosebleeds) for Mayweather-McGregor are US$2,750 each (and only sold in pairs), and ringside seats in rows 1 through 11 range from $35,000 up to $100,000.

That’s right: for the same amount as a row 1 ticket, you could get a Golden Knights NHL season ticket for the next 50 years.

Lennox Lewis has termed the fight “ridiculous”, and an oddsmaker has said if they were just putting up a (predictive) number and not taking actual bets on it, Floyd would be a 100-1 favourite.

Save your money for a real boxing match, like the Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez middleweight title bout Sept. 16 in the same arena.

Even UFC President Dana White was quoted as saying: “That’s gonna be a real fight.”

The circus on Aug. 26?

The first 20,000 suckers through the gate should be given a P.T. Barnum bobblehead.