What seemed to be constant back and forth between two bigger-than-life fighters, is now becoming a pay per view reality. Two different worlds of professional fighting will finally meet in the ring.
Former pound-for-pound king and five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. made the official announcement on social media Wednesday, confirming that he will exit a 23-month retirement at age 40 to face Conor McGregor, the UFC superstar, in a boxing match on Aug. 26 in Las Vegas.
UFC president Dana White, appearing on SportsCenter, said the fight would be at the boxing junior middleweight weight limit of 154 pounds, the fighters would use 10-ounce gloves and the card would take place at the T-Mobile Arena.
The fight will be broadcast on Showtime PPV.
The announcement brings to an end rampant speculation that began two years ago when McGregor threw out the prospect of the fantasy match during a July 2015 appearance on Conan O’Brien’s talk show, telling the host, “I would box him if the opportunity arose.”
Ireland’s McGregor (21-3), a 28-year-old southpaw, is the first UFC fighter to simultaneously hold titles in two different divisions and one of the best MMA fighters in the world, but he will be making his professional boxing debut against Mayweather, one of the greatest boxers in history.
Mayweather is a -1,100 favorite at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, with McGregor paying back +700.
McGregor has been outspoken about his desire for a fight that will dwarf his largest UFC payday, while Mayweather, who earned some $250 million for his record-shattering victory against Manny Pacquiao in May 2015, stands to earn a second nine-figure windfall.
Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) also has the chance to finish off his career at a perfect 50-0 in a bout that few expect to be competitive but has nonetheless piqued the public’s interest because of the boxing-versus-MMA angle, not to mention the big personalities and trash-talk ability of both fighters.