News | Jul 17 2017

Will Mayweather-McGregor be a billion dollar fight?

How will Mayweather-McGregor compare to Mayweather-Pacquiao? It could be a whole lot bigger...
Mayweather-McGregor
Undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. (L) of the U.S. and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor of Ireland face off during a news conference in Las Vegas  |  Action Images/Reuters/Steve Marcus

LIKE it or not, Mayweather-McGregor is gargantuan business, as proven by last week’s fiery press tour, and the August 26 clash looks like it will break numerous revenue records.

Though it pits UFC lightweight champion McGregor, who has never boxed as a professional, against Mayweather, arguably the greatest fighter of his generation, insiders are predicting the fight will surpass Mayweather’s 2015 fight with Manny Pacquiao when it comes to pay-per-view buys and money generated.

Showtime Sports exec Stephen Espinoza, who was heavily involved in Mayweather-Pacquiao, stops short of predicting that Mayweather-McGregor will become a billion dollar fight, but says all signs point toward it eclipsing the Pacquiao fight.

“We were under the impression Mayweather-Pacquiao was untouchable, it was once in a lifetime. It’s early and not all this stuff can be translated into buys but by the stories, the traffic, you can see by every measure this is far and above anything we saw with Mayweather-Pacquiao.

“We’re six weeks out, it doesn’t necessarily translate all to buys, but it’s a good indicator.

“A billion [dollars]? You start talking about numbers that sound silly, at 600 million [dollars generated] for Mayweather-Pacquiao then you’re looking at a 50 per cent increase on that. I’m bullish, but I’m not that bullish.”

For his part, Floyd seemed surprisingly unenthusiastic about the prospect of creating financial history once again, instead choosing to remind everyone that he is the one who has already set the bar at an eye-watering height.

He said: “The only record I would be breaking is my own. Whether it’s boxing or UFC it’s all the same, it’s combat sports. I hold all the records.”

Mayweather-Pacquiao recorded 4.6 million PPV buys in America, generated more than $600m across all revenue streams and earning Mayweather $250m in the process. According to Forbes, Mayweather-McGregor is likely to hit 4.99 million buys in America though there are many who think it will crack 5 million.

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