By Keith Idec
The financial rewards will be well worthwhile for Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor once they’re paid for their August 26 fight.
Mayweather figures to make much more money from their pay-per-view extravaganza than McGregor, who’ll still earn more money from this unusual spectacle than he ever could’ve made for a UFC fight. That’s the way it should be, according to boxing’s biggest star, because he is risking everything he spent 20 years building as a professional prizefighter for a fight he didn’t need.
“I truly believe I’m taking the bigger risk,” Mayweather said during a conference call Thursday. “There’s a big reward for both, but I’m taking the bigger risk. You know, I have the 49-0 record. And when a fighter has lost before, if he lose again they say, ‘Oh, it’s nothing. He lost before.’ But when a fighter has been dominating for 20-something years and never lost, everything is on the line – my legacy, my boxing record, everything is on the line.”
Ireland’s McGregor is a two-division champion in UFC and its most popular figure at the moment. But the powerful southpaw, who’ll make his pro boxing debut against Mayweather, has lost three times in MMA matches (21-3, 18 KOs).
The 40-year-old Mayweather, meanwhile, hasn’t even considered the possibility of losing to a huge underdog who has helped him build their fight into what could become the most profitable boxing match in the sport’s history.
“I just really try to focus on being positive and just worry about going out there and doing what I do best,” Mayweather said. “You know, I try not to think about losing or taking an ‘L.’ That’s not really my focus. You know, every day I tell myself, ‘I’m a winner. I was born to be a winner at life. Not just in the ring, but I was born to be a winner.’
“So whatever I do, I try to give it a hundred percent and I try to push myself to the limit. But like [Showtime’s] Stephen [Espinoza] said, it’s all about taking risks. And I wouldn’t be where I’m at if I didn’t take risks. I don’t mind putting the 49-0 record on the line. I don’t mind putting everything on the line for this fight. I feel like it’s worth it.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.