Mayweather-McGregor press tour takes a turn for the worse, flops in New York
After two straight days of solid back-and-forth, the two put on their worst show yet
NEW YORK -- What a difference 24 hours can make in the life of an international world tour.
Just one day after Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor nearly brought the house down in Toronto during the second helping of their four-day promotional circus, cementing the belief that their Aug. 26 boxing match could shatter financial and pay-per-view records, Round 3 was a rousing dud.
After both fighters forced 13,165 fans inside Brooklyn's Barclays Center to wait 90 minutes before arriving fashionably late (after altogether skipping a scheduled scrum with reporters), Thursday's press conference left a bad taste in nearly everyone's mouth.
If Wednesday's visit north of the border was part rap battle and comedic roast, lighting social media on fire with the creativity of each verbal jab, this one was simply crude and profane for the sake of it with both fighters noticeably out of new material.
The crowd was so annoyed by the late start that (with the exception of UFC president Dana White) anyone not named Mayweather and McGregor who stood in front of the microphone was booed mercilessly. Once the fighters were finished trading crass insults -- typically centered upon sex, race and money -- it genuinely felt as if the already carnival fight had jumped the shark.
This one was more about props and deafening noise (made worse by an arena sound system which produced an annoying echo making it difficult to hear). In a fight already criticized as a money grab, this was a showcase of excess for all the wrong reasons.
McGregor (21-3 in MMA) eschewed the designer suits he wore to the first tour stops by entering the arena shirtless with a white mink coat (featuring a serpent on the back) and multicolored paisley pants. Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) wore jeans and his self-branded TMT sweatshirt and hat while draped in the Irish flag. Both fighters kicked things off with arguably the most intense staredown thus far in the tour.
But despite Mayweather making it rain with $1 bills and McGregor gyrating his hips in a sexual manner, it was pointless to choose a winner. While media members had fun Tuesday "scoring" their comedic face off by giving Mayweather a mythical victory in Los Angeles before McGregor rallied resoundingly the following day, this one was a draw.
Let's look at the six quotes which made the most noise.
1. McGregor on race: "Let's address the race [controversy]. A lot of media say I'm against black people. That's absolutely f--ing ridiculous. Do they not know I'm half-black? Yeah. I'm half-black from the belly button down. And just to show them that's squashed, here's a little present for my black, beautiful female fans. [He dances]"
2. Mayweather puts everything in perspective:"All y'all doing is putting money in my account," Mayweather said to McGregor after another crass interruption. "That's what I like."
3. McGregor explains wearing mink in the summer: "The coat is polar bear. I'm a cold c---. [Fans start booing.] F--- you. Do something about this polar bear I got on. Somebody stop me from walking around this place like I own it. I don't give it a f--- how hot it is outside. I'm still wearing this shit." McGregor turns to Showtime's Stephen Espinoza: "Hey weasel, tell those f--ing Showtime bitches to turn the air conditioning up. The champ's rocking polar bear tonight."
4 . Mayweather on McGregor's three losses by submission: "Twenty-one years. Five weight classes. And you choose a quitter? They say if you quit once, you'll quit twice. But three times? Oh, man. But I love my guy Dana White. He's a smart mother---er. Dana White pimping this bitch."
5. McGregor presents Mayweather with a musical gift: "I got Floyd a gift. This is Jay Z's new album '4:44.' I want you to take this, listen to it and learn. Learn how to build and maintain a real empire, not a fake empire. And when you're done with it, send it on to 50 [Cent]. And when you do, tell him Blanco sent ya."
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