In Depth

McGregor vs Mayweather circus scrapes the barrel in New York

Pre-fight promotional tour flops in the Big Apple as fighters run out of material and class

The Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather roadshow began to show signs of fatigue as it reached New York, with the fighters struggling to find new material and resorting to cheap shots and classless posturing.

Irish UFC star McGregor shaded the opening encounter in Los Angeles and was in sparkling form in round two in Toronto, but he was less dominant in the Big Apple and failed to win over the crowd with a series of off-colour remarks. 

Mayweather attempted to seize the initiative, only to booed too as the fighters attempted to drum up interest in their boxing match in Las Vegas next month.

McGregor took to the stage topless, wearing nothing but a pair of floral trousers, sunglasses and a fur cape, which he repeatedly claimed was made of polar bear and that he needed it because he was a "cold c**t".

But his performance was far less convincing than previously and his attempts to shoehorn rap artists 50 Cent and Jay-Z into the proceedings fell flat.

He also stirred up a racism controversy that began in Los Angeles, when he told Mayweather to "dance for me, boy". Claims the remark was racially motivated were swiftly denied, but McGregor did little to help the situation when he spoke in New York.

"All of the media seem to be saying I'm against black people," he said "Do they not know I'm half black? I'm half black from the belly button down." He then promised to dance for his "black female fans".

Mayweather, for his part, taunted McGregor yet again over the fact he has been beaten in the UFC and then showered him with one-dollar bills over a soundtrack of a song about strippers.

He then ordered his entourage to "form Voltron", referencing a 1980s children's cartoon, prompting his team to surround McGregor and the event briefly threatened to descend into violence.

"Just one day after Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor nearly brought the house down in Toronto… round three was a dud," says Brian Campbell of CBS.   

"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.

"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."

The show was a "debacle" that will have undone much of the good work the two fighters put in during their opening two shows, says Yahoo. "Undoubtedly there was fatigue, but it doesn't excuse the loss of all sense of class or dignity."

Certainly the crowd of 13,000 "seemed unimpressed", says Simon Head of the BBC. That was partly thanks to the "terrible acoustics" and the fact that the event kicked off 90 minutes late, as well as the lacklustre performances from the two main protagonists.

The two fighters will appear at Wembley in London tonight.

McGregor destroys Mayweather: His best lines from Toronto

13 July 

Conor McGregor continued his verbal bombardment of boxer Floyd Mayweather as the pair appeared together on the second leg of their whirlwind world tour on Wednesday night.

The two fighters, who will box each other in Las Vegas next month, took to the stage in Toronto a day after they had entertained thousands in Los Angeles.

And if McGregor, who made his name cage fighting rather than boxing, won the first instalment on points, he took the second by a knock-out.

"McGregor came to the Budweiser Stage spitting pure fire," says Bleacher Report. [] "He verbally mopped the floor with Mayweather in a fashion that probably exceeded even the wildest expectations of those who have been excited about this press tour."

Few people give the Irish cage fighter much of a chance in the ring against Mayweather, but he is dominating the build up.

Conor McGregor's best put downs from Toronto:

"I'm 28 years old and I'm getting fight cheques and promoter cheques. When Floyd was 28 he was on Oscar de la Hoya's under card. Floyd is an old, weak b****."

"His head is too small. One shot is all it takes me. I bounce heads off the canvas and dribble that s***. He tic-tac-toes his way to a decision. He's never even fought a day in his life, he’s a runner, boxing’s biggest b*****."

"What the f*** is he wearing? He looks like a little breakdancer or something. A 12-year-old breakdancer. He's 40."

"You're 40 f***ing years of age. Learn to dress. You're carrying a schoolbag on stage. What do you need a schoolbag for? You can't even read."

Taking on promoters Showtime, who cut off his mic in Los Angeles: "Look at this little weasel, I can see it in your eyes. Cut my mic off, cut the champ's mic off? Hell no, you f****** bitch."

Responding to Mayweather's boasts about how much money he makes: "You owe money."

On his last visit to Toronto: "I was here three years ago, I was also on a world tour, facing the pound-for-pound number one fighter on the planet, Jose Aldo. They said the same things then as they're saying now. They said I had no chance, they said I'm in over my head. The Irish man is going to fall short, they said. It took me 14 seconds."


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