They’re calling it The Money Fight for a reason. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is coming out of retirement to face UFC Lightweight champion Conor McGregor on August 26, in a boxing ring in Las Vegas, and there are no titles to fight for – just money. Lots of money. It’s believed McGregor will make $75 million for taking his lumps, while the former 11-time boxing champ will earn north of $100 million.

The Money Fight looks like a mismatch on paper, but there was considerable early betting action on McGregor. He opened as a +950 underdog when this superfight was proposed, then moved to +500 once it was officially announced; after the two combatants went on their promotional tour, McGregor’s odds were cut even shorter at +375. However, at press time, the Irish sensation has been bumped back up to +400, with Mayweather checking in at –600.

Performance Bonus

There could be more where that came from. McGregor may have “won” the promotional tour, but approximately 10 out of 10 boxing insiders expect Mayweather to win this superfight, hands-down. Even with so many fans on McGregor’s side, an ESPN poll showed only 25% of over 200,000 respondents picking the underdog to win as of Thursday afternoon. It’s a given that most of the big money will be on Mayweather between now and August 26.

With (most of) the talking done, McGregor is now in Las Vegas, where he has resumed training for The Money Fight after starting off his camp in Dublin. At his disposal: the UFC Performance Institute, where the Lightweight champ has access to a cryotherapy chamber similar to the one Mayweather famously uses. McGregor has also enlisted the services of Paulie Malignaggi, a former two-time titleholder in the junior welterweight and welterweight divisions, to act as a technical advisor and maybe do some sparring. The recently-retired Malignaggi didn’t get to fight Mayweather, but he does hold a victory over Zab Judah, and he’s been in the ring with Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton and Amir Khan.

While McGregor is upping the intensity of his workouts to more closely match what we’ve already seen from the Mayweather camp, there’s another obstacle to overcome: the weight cut. Checking in at 154 pounds won’t be much of a challenge, but McGregor is used to putting another 15 pounds or so back on before his UFC fights; for this bout, he’ll be asked to stay within a couple pounds of his weigh-in. This could be even more of a problem for McGregor than it was for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. when he had to cut all that weight before his recent fight with Canelo Alvarez. As if McGregor needs more hurdles to clear.


*Odds as of July 21, 2017