Floyd, Conor trade jibes as media tour begins

Boxing great Floyd Mayweather and mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor squaring off at Staples Centre in Los Angeles ahead of their Aug 26 boxing bout in Las Vegas.
Boxing great Floyd Mayweather and mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor squaring off at Staples Centre in Los Angeles ahead of their Aug 26 boxing bout in Las Vegas.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES • Floyd Mayweather has vowed to quit boxing once and for all after he emerges from retirement for next month's cross-combat showdown with Conor McGregor.

The former welterweight king, who retired with a perfect 49-0 record in 2015, said on Tuesday there was no chance of him fighting again after he climbs into the ring with mixed martial arts star McGregor.

The duo are to face each other at Las Vegas' T-Mobile Arena on Aug 26 in what could become the richest bout in boxing history.

Mayweather, who has already made an estimated US$700 million (S$967 million) during his two-decade career, is set for another eye-watering payday against brash UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) champion McGregor.

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But irrespective of the result next month, Mayweather says he has already decided it will be his last fight.

"I'm not the same fighter I was 21 years ago. I'm not the same fighter I was 10 years ago," the 40-year-old told reporters at the Staples Centre in downtown Los Angeles.

WHAT MCGREGOR SAID

He's in a tracksuit, he can't even afford a suit any more.

CONOR McGREGOR, commenting on Floyd Mayweather's outfit and firing a jibe at the American's alleged recent tax troubles.

"I'm not even the same fighter I was two years ago.

"I can't push my body, it's gruelling. Training camp is gruelling. I can't do it any more. Training camp is rough. It has to be my last one. Deep in my heart I know this is it."

The build-up to Tuesday's live face-off event with McGregor saw Mayweather face headlines that he has filed for an extension to pay his 2015 tax bill.

The 0 has got to go.

McGREGOR, referring to Mayweather's 49-0 professional win-loss record.

As is expected in the bout, McGregor was the aggressor, wasting no time bringing up the reports.

"He's in a f*****g track suit," the Irishman told the crowd of more than 11,000 people.

"He can't even afford a suit any more."

However, Mayweather brushed off questions about his finances during the first event of a four-day international tour promoting the bout.

On Aug 26, this man will be unconscious, he's too small, he's too frail. I will come out and paint many pictures. I can fight in my styles. I can dazzle him. ''

McGREGOR, on how he plans to fight his 1.73m rival. 

"We ain't trippin' on that," he said.

For boxing purists, Mayweather risks blemishing an otherwise perfect record with a tawdry final episode that has been disparaged as a cynical circus-like stunt.

WHAT MAYWEATHER SAID

God don't make mistakes, and God only made one thing perfect, and that's my boxing record.

FLOYD MAYWEATHER, still proud of his unbeaten record.

But he waved away suggestions that if he was to win, and retire with a 50-0 record, there would be an asterisk against his last fight.

"The last time I checked he's still a professional fighter," he said of his lightly-regarded opponent.

"He's a stand-up fighter. He never took a loss fighting straight up. I can't overlook that, because one shot can end your whole career.

I've got enough to beat you. He can choose which way he wants to go. Either on his back or on his face.

MAYWEATHER, talking tough.

"He's a tough competitor but it is what it is."

He is also unfazed by the possibility that the 28-year-old brawler may deploy mixed martial arts tactics if he struggles to lay a glove on the American.

"That's the referee's job," he said. "My job is to go out there and be a boxer, be a fighter. I'm pretty sure the referee's going to be fair and fun.

"My job is to go out there and fight against the guy that's across from me.

"August 26, it's going to be blood sweat and tears from the opening bell."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2017, with the headline 'Floyd, Conor trade jibes as media tour begins'. Print Edition | Subscribe