Mayweather: McGregor wins if fight goes the distance

Updated: August 11, 2017, 3:27 PM ET
By Brett Okamoto | ESPN.com

LAS VEGAS -- Speaking to ESPN earlier this week, Floyd Mayweather stated, rather matter-of-factly, what we all know to be true.

This event between him and UFC star Conor McGregor, on Aug. 26 inside T-Mobile Arena, is going to leave all its participants very, very pleased. It wouldn't be happening if that wasn't the case.

"Come Aug. 26, me, McGregor, Showtime and the UFC -- we're gonna be the happiest people on earth," Mayweather said. "We're talking about a billion-dollar fight."

What about the public? The viewers will either pay $99.99 to watch from home in HD or potentially thousands to physically watch in the arena. Will they, too, be the happiest people on earth?

Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) has promised they will. He admits he "owes" fans for what happened in 2015, when he fought Manny Pacquiao in the richest fight in boxing history -- to a dud of a decision.

During a media workout on Thursday, Mayweather, who has said this will unequivocally be his final fight, admitted this is the first time in his career he's felt the need to not only win, but give consumers a show in the process.

"I'll give the fans what they want to see," Mayweather told ESPN. "McGregor said the fight wouldn't go past four rounds, so I'm saying the fight won't go past four. So, I guess it's a four-round fight.

"The goal is always to win. We're looking for the knockout. He's looking for the knockout. I'm pretty sure this fight is not going the distance."

When asked during a media scrum if he agrees McGregor, who has never boxed professionally before, will "win" in some ways if he's able to last 12 rounds with the all-time great, Mayweather quickly agreed.

"It is a victory for him if it goes the distance," Mayweather said. "It is a victory for him -- in my eyes."

John GurzinskiJOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty ImagesFloyd Mayweather worked out in front of media in Las Vegas ahead of his boxing match with Conor McGregor.

Mayweather, 40, has failed to score a knockout in his last seven fights. His most recent came against Victor Ortiz in September 2011, but even that came under strange circumstances, as Ortiz was looking away at the referee.

Despite the fact his fight against Pacquiao, which drew a $72 million gate and more than $400 million in pay-per-view revenue, was widely criticized, this bout with McGregor will generate an obscene amount of money. Mayweather and his longtime advisor Leonard Ellerbe said the expected gate will "blow past" the $72 million record set in 2015.

And for what it's worth, Mayweather says the public will get their money's worth this time around.

"When it's something of this magnitude, this is not just a fight," Mayweather said. "This is an event. A billion-dollar event. I think we both owe the fans, everyone that's tuned in -- I think we both should give them excitement."

Brett Okamoto

ESPN Staff Writer

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