LOS ANGELES — An oral sparring session between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor never truly materialized onstage Tuesday at Staples Center during the first stop on the world tour of news conferences to promote their Aug. 26 boxing match at T-Mobile Arena.
Between the format and McGregor’s microphone apparently being shut off during Mayweather’s rants, the cross-talk was limited.
But the undefeated boxer’s father was willing to fill in for his son backstage during McGregor’s individual session with reporters.
He continually interrupted the UFC star’s answers, much to McGregor’s delight.
“You’re a fan, senior,” McGregor said. “Come on, admit it. I can spot a fan a mile away. It’s in your eyes.”
The tirades from the peanut gallery in the back of the media room gave McGregor a chance to launch into a line of attack he probably had planned to use during the televised portion of the news conference had the format not been as awkward.
“Your boy is in trouble.” McGregor told Floyd Mayweather Sr. “He’s too small. I’m just telling you. You got greedy. He could’ve been 49-0 and ridden off into the sunset. This was a big mistake. You misadvised him. You should have kept him retired. It’s your fault. Your boy is going to sleep, and he’s going to look so good asleep. I’ll tell you this, though. He’s going to wake up a better man.”
Confidence is one aspect of the fight game that might transfer over from MMA to boxing.
“This kid believes in himself like nobody I’ve ever seen,” UFC president Dana White said. “It’s almost whatever he thinks he can manifest into reality. It’s incredible. He will play the mental warfare game throughout this whole thing. You never know how a fight’s going to play out, but he will go in there and try to knock Floyd Mayweather out.”
One of the main reasons McGregor is so confident is because of his power, but that might not translate with the 10-ounce gloves that will be used. It became a source of contention when Mayweather said he would use whatever size gloves McGregor chooses.
When asked a follow-up after the event, Mayweather said he abides by the rules and a 154-pound fight calls for 10-ounce gloves.
McGregor wasn’t surprised by the backpedal.
“I was like, ‘Hold on, you were crying the gloves had to be 10-ounce,” McGregor said. “They couldn’t be Mexican-made gloves, and they couldn’t be gloves made of horse hair. I didn’t even know there were gloves made out of horse hair. We’ve only been wearing gloves a couple of years in our game. I don’t even need gloves to have a fight. So it was all just amusing to me while it was going on.”
McGregor predicted a knockout within the fourth round. He also promised to stay within the rules of boxing as long as Mayweather agreed to speak his name with respect.
White isn’t actively promoting the fight, but he did bring the sides together and is part of the promotional tour.
His company also is making an undisclosed sum for the fight, which he thinks will break the record of 4.6 million pay-per-view buys from the bout between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in 2015.
“I think globally this is a much bigger fight,” White said. “With Conor’s popularity in Europe, Australia, Brazil and Canada, I think it’s just a much bigger fight.
“I don’t think anyone is going to be bummed out by the results of this fight.”
Ticket information released
Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe said ticket prices for the fight will range from $500 to $10,000.
Tickets will go on sale July 24.
Contact Adam Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-277-8028. Follow @adamhilllvrj on Twitter.