Aside from a 50-0 record, Floyd Mayweather doesn’t have much to gain by fighting Conor McGregor in Las Vegas on Aug. 26.
Well, except for, you know, millions of dollars.
“Money is really the only thing that he stands to gain,” Yahoo! Sports combat sports writer Kevin Iole said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “This is not going to be a triumphant 50th win where maybe he beats Keith Thurman. Keith Thurman looked so great on CBS in March (when he beat Danny Garcia), and that fight drew 5.7 million viewers. It had a great audience for that fight. Or Errol Spence, who beat Kell Brook and won another version of the welterweight title a couple of weeks ago and who some people are comparing to Sugar Ray Leonard.”
Thurman is 28-0 with 22 knockouts, while Spence is 22-0 with 19 knockouts. Both are 27 years old.
“Mayweather is not going to go fight either one of them and have this triumphant win over a great young fighter,” Iole said. “He’s going to beat a guy that, what is he, a 12-to-1 favorite to win? It would be a shock if he got hit more than twice in the fight. So there’s not much there for him other than making money, but that’s what these guys do. They take risks that you and I don’t take when we go to work every day. Even in preparing for their job, they take risks. So, hey, the fight is what it is. It’s not going to be Hagler and Hearns – at least we don’t think so. But if you want to buy it and see that, great. Don’t deny the fighters the money if they have a chance to make it.”
Both fighters will certainly do that, but McGregor has much to gain regardless of the outcome.
“I think Conor has already gained – even if he gets wiped out,” Iole said. “Because he is willingly stepping in there, and he’s taking on one of the greatest boxers of all time. Conor is a guy with no boxing matches, and he’s saying, ‘You know what? I’m going to put myself out there in front of millions of people and I’m going to do all this trash talking’ – and he knows there’s a chance he could get embarrassed. Every fighter knows that. You could have that bad night. You’re (the) only (one) in the ring. There’s nobody else. The spotlight is on you, and the entire world is watching it. So I think he’s already a winner. He’s a fearless guy, he backs up his words, and he’s willing to fight anybody, anywhere, anytime. And so, in MMA when he comes back and says, ‘Hey, I want to pick and choose my opponents,’ I think he’s going to have that. If he were to win, he would be the biggest thing since running water. It would be just incredible if he was able to pull that off. I don’t think he will, but he’s a winner no matter what.”