LAS VEGAS — Floyd Mayweather had made a point during the week to suggest Conor McGregor was having trouble cutting down to the 154-pound weight limit for their boxing match Saturday night. He suggested McGregor was “getting IV bags” to keep from getting dehydrated and drained.
No worries. McGregor weighed in at 153 pounds Friday while Mayweather was at 149.5, ensuring the two will meet in a Showtime pay-per-view bout at T-Mobile Arena in what figures to be the richest fight in boxing history.
“I’m a professional. I make weight,” McGregor said after getting off the scales. “It’s sacrifice. It’s dedication. It’s focus, but I make it. Look at me. I’m in peak physical condition. I put in the work as everyone can tell. I’m ready.”
McGregor, 29, said he could be 170 pounds by the night of the fight. Mayweather, a natural welterweight at 147 pounds, doesn’t figure to get much heavier than what the 40-year-old weighed Friday night.
“Weight doesn’t win fights. Fighting wins fights,” said Mayweather, who risks his unblemished 49-0 record.
McGregor was his notorious best during the weigh-in, pumped by an energetic pro-McGregor crowd of about 15,000. When his weight was announced, it was as if he had won the first round against Mayweather, who heard more boos than cheers.
“Look at him. He looks like dog [crap],” McGregor said of Mayweather. “He’s blown out; full of water. He’s not going to keep my pace. Trust me on that. That’s the worst shape I’ve seen on him.”
McGregor has long predicted he will win by knockout. He first said within four rounds and lately has amended it to within two rounds.
“I’m going to breeze through him,” he said Friday.
While McGregor flexed and snarled on the scales, Mayweather was poised and calm even during the traditional face-off in which McGregor, with eyeballs bulging, launched a non-stop verbal assault that drew no response from the pound-for-pound boxing king.
Mayweather, an 11-time world champion, also was undaunted by the boos, knowing he stands to make an estimated $200 million, while McGregor could pocket $100 million for the first professional boxing match of his life.
“I’ve been here before,” Mayweather said. “I know what it takes in a fight of this magnitude. I did a lot of [talking]. He did a lot of [talking]. Tomorrow night it comes down to the fighters.”
Mayweather had been retired for two years before McGregor, the UFC lightweight champion, began challenging him to a boxing match. They came to an agreement in June, went on a promotional tour in July and finally meet in a non-title fight scheduled for 12 rounds that could generate more than the record $600 million set when Mayweather fought Manny Pacquiao in May 2015.
Mayweather, who hasn’t scored a knockout since stopping Victor Ortiz in 2011, is predicting an early end to the fight.
“It won’t go the distance. Mark my words,” he said Friday.
McGregor would welcome a brawl, which would be contrary to Mayweather’s normal style of hit, but don’t get hit.
“I’ll stomp my foot in the center of the ring and I’ll go nowhere,” McGregor said. “So let’s go. Let’s see who can take it. I see a man that’s afraid.”
Tickets remain available, a sign the fight may not be the predicted sellout. T-Mobile Arena was about three-quarters full for the weigh-in. Fans had to acquire tickets in advance to enter. The tickets were initially free, but scalpers were trying to unload them for $80 before dropping the price to about $5 just before the fighters took the scale. It’s clear the crowd that does show up Saturday will be pro-McGregor.
“You’ll never beat the Irish,” McGregor said. “We’re rolling and taking over whatever we want. Las Vegas is Ireland now.”
For now, the boxing ring belongs to Mayweather.
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