Time is running out to make your plans for Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather, who meet in a boxing ring in a hotly-anticipated bout on Saturday night.
It’s a fight which looks certain to break all pay-per-view records, and after months of build-up Mayweather vs McGregor will get under way in just over one day’s time.
The talking must stop, briefly, on Saturday night as the the out-of-retirement best boxer of his generation Floyd Mayweather faces the UFC’s biggest star, Conor McGregor, in Sin City.
The T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas will be packed to the rafters but millions more will be watching the fight via TV around the world.
After a long period of speculation about whether the fight would ever take place, the last few months have featured high levels of animosity on both sides, as the rivalry heats up ahead of fight night.
This will either be a boxing bout for the ages or a cross-code money-spinning abomination, depending on your point of view.
Whichever camp you’re in, here’s all you need to know about the fight between the man with a 49-0 boxing record facing and the Irish fighter who has never taken part in a professional boxing fight.
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What date is the fight and at what time?
The fight is happening on Saturday 26 August.
While the times haven’t been announced, it will certainly be a late night or very early start for viewers in the UK, so expect to be up well into Sunday 27 August, and possibly calling in sick on Monday 28.
The main event begins at 4am BST, but the fight itself may start closer to 5am.
Where is the fight taking place?
The bout will be housed in the T-Mobile arena on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada. The venue has held major fights in the past, including UFC 202, in which McGregor beat Nate Diaz on points.
How can I watch it on TV?
Sky Sports Box Office will show the hugely-anticipated clash for £19.95 in the UK and €24.95 in the Republic of Ireland. You can buy the fight online here, through a Sky box or online the telephone – 03442 410 888. If you’re calling from the Republic of Ireland, it’s: 0818 220 225.
Telephone bookings after midnight on Friday will increase to £26.95 (online purchases remain at £19.95) before reverting back at 7am next Sunday. The fight will also be repeated in full at 10am and 5pm that day.
What if you do not have Sky? Can I live stream?
Fear not, with the Sky Sports Box Office app you can watch the fights live via your PC/Desktop/MAC, NOW TV box, iPhone, iPad, Android phone or Android tablet.
It’s simple to sign up, pay and watch – create an account and pay at www.skysports.com/boxofficelive.
Virgin TV customers (with a TiVo® or Virgin TV V6 box) can also watch the fight on Sky Sports Box Office. It costs £19.95 for SD and £20.95 for HD.
Alternatively, a selection of Vue cinemas will be showing the fight on the night too.
What are the odds?
Bookies immediately predicted a Mayweather win as soon as the fight was announced. William Hill initially priced the veteran fighter as 1/11 favourite. He’s now significantly shorter, but still substantially favoured, at 2/9 .
Oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich said the odds would be even more lopsided if it wasn’t for the deluge of small bets expected to come in from UFC fans on their fighter.
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“Realistically if we were just putting up a number and didn’t have to take bets on it, Floyd would be 1/100,” Bogdanovich said. “But this will be a very, very big betting fight for sure, one of the biggest ever.”
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What is the latest news?
Conor McGregor has revealed he first targeted a fight with Floyd Mayweather before he had even established himself in the UFC.
The Irishman on Saturday makes his professional boxing debut when he faces Mayweather at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.
He does so as the UFC’s greatest asset, but enters a fight that could prove hugely uncompetitive even if it pays him his greatest ever purse.
Saturday’s match-up has gradually been building for the past two years as interest grew in the rivalry between the two biggest figures in their respective codes.
However, even though only a year ago a fight between them appeared little more than a fantasy, for McGregor it has almost been part of a grand plan.
As a young, raw, little-known fighter in Ireland he admired Mayweather from afar and was influenced by the American’s criticism of MMA.
The 40-year-old has long been the world’s leading boxer, significantly before his opponent became a professional a fighter, and McGregor said: “Originally that’s what woke me up. I was a young kid listening to him talk down about the sport that I was dedicating my entire life to.
“I’m talking years back, me as a kid.
“Then I realised we’re a similar weight, that was when he first came on my radar. I said, ‘You know what, I’m going to climb up, and I’m going into different disciplines, I will get that fight’.
“Throughout time I rose up – I’m a multiple weight champion – and then it turns out he was the one who came to me. Perfect.”
How has the rivalry developed?
The pair embarked on a four-day tour last month that took in trips to London, Los Angeles, Toronto and New York.
The tension reached a crescendo at the SSE Arena in Wembley, when after trading profanities, the UFC fighter said: “Four years ago I fought in London at The Forum in front of about 500 people. Now here I am about to quadruple my net worth with one half a fight. Sign me up. No one is going to kick, knee or elbow. And it’s against this little
There was also controversy in New York when McGregor was accused of racism after saying “I’m half-black”.
What are their fighting records?
Mayweather retired in 2015 with an unblemished 49-0 professional boxing record.
He is widely regarded as one of the best defensive fighters ever, and prides himself on his ability to evade punishment with his skillful movement about the ring while making adjustments against opponents on the fly.
A win for Mayweather would move him ahead of former heavyweight great Rocky Marciano, who also retired with a perfect 49-0 career record.
McGregor, the UFC’s reigning lightweight champion and former featherweight champion, is known as much for his bravado as for his explosive knockout power inside an MMA octagon.
The 28-year-old Irishman became the first UFC fighter to hold two belts simultaneously when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez in New York last November for the lightweight championship.
The UFC stripped McGregor of his featherweight belt shortly after that fight when he announced he would be taking some time off after he and long-time partner Dee Devlin had their first baby in May.
Known for his devastating striking and highlight-reel knockouts, McGregor is also quick and irrational on his feet, but few would back him to beat one of the most complete boxers of all time.
What are the rules of the fight?
The fight will be held under boxing rules, presenting a huge challenge for mixed martial artists McGregor as he faces off against one of the greatest defensive boxers in history.
Adding to McGregor’s challenge, he will not be allowed to use the leg kicks or takedowns that are used in mixed martial arts.
McGregor will weigh in at 154 pounds, UFC president Dana White told ESPN. The pair will wear 8oz gloves, which you can read more about here.
Who is referee, who are the judges?
REFEREE: Robert Byrd
JUDGES: Burt Clements, Dave Moretti and Guido Cavalieri
Vastly experienced American referee Robert Byrd will be the third man in the ring, with the judges confirmed as Burt Clements, Dave Moretti, both American, and Guido Cavalleri, of Italy, after McGregor’s team had requested an international judge in the trio.
Byrd refereed Mayweather’s unanimous points decision victory against Robert Guerrero four years ago. Mayweather’s last three fights were refereed by Kenny Bayless, but he was ruled out after critical comments from McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh.
Byrd, a veteran of major fights, is seen as a referee who allows the fighters to work on the inside, often keeping a respectful distance, using his voice to command the bout and make boxers break.
Byrd has also recently bossed the high profile contests between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s win over Miguel Cotto and George Groves’ unsuccessful challenge of Badou Jack.
What have they said?
Floyd Mayweather Jr
In the first stop of a four-city media tour promoting the fight, told the 20,000-strong crowd in Los Angeles: “I don’t care if it’s a ring or it’s an octagon, I will kick ass. I don’t back down for anybody.
“You line them up and I will knock them down. On August 26, I’m gonna knock this b**** out too.”
McGregor retorted: “You haven’t knocked anyone out in about 20 years.”
Mayweather added: “We talking about from the nineties to now, world champion 18 years, but it is no problem. I’m not the same fighter as I was years ago, but I got enough to beat you.
“You will wave that white flag. You are going out on your face or your back. Which was do you want to go? All you need to do is show up and I will do the rest.
“God only made one thing perfect, and that is my boxing record.”
The Irishman was the crowd favourite at the opening press event as he made fun of Mayweather’s IRS troubles – a lack of cash prompted him to file an appeal with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) regarding overdue taxes – and promised to flatten an aging fighter.
“He’s in a track suit,” McGregor told the crowd of more than 11,000 people. “He can’t even afford a suit anymore.”
“I am honoured to be here, to give you this spectacle,” McGregor said. “His little legs, his little core, his little head, I am going to knock him out inside four rounds, mark my words.
“I am a young, confident, happy man that has worked extremely hard for this.
“I am just up here embracing everything. No-one can do anything to me. I am just enjoying myself and having a good time.
“He will be unconsciousness in four rounds. He has never faced this. I don’t fear him.
“All these rules, all these restrictions, it doesn’t faze me; it amuses me. It is funny to me all these rules.
“All I need is a gum shield. Line me up to the ring and I am good to go.”
Who are celebrities backing to win?
Here is a selection of big names here.
Who we think will win
In a word: Mayweather. It’s just a matter of when. McGregor will come out hard looking for an early KO, but Mayweather has been knocked down only once in his career. McGregor’s UFC fights do not often last long, so will the Irishman last 12 rounds? We’re going for Mayweather KO-ing McGregor within seven, or a win on points.
And who do you think will win?