With the promotional world tour finally in the books, Conor McGregor can return to his other domain, the fighting aspect of the fight game.
The gruelling journey with August 26 opponent Floyd Mayweather comprised trips to Los Angeles, Toronto, New York and London in just four days.
The “shitshow”, as UFC president Dana White termed it, entertained and disgusted observers in equal measure. Some old talking points emerged once again (the main one being the race row the two have become embroiled in), and a new one captured the imagination; namely who won the verbal battle.
Many unironically scored each of the four press conferences as if they were fights, and one of the protagonists in McGregor got in on the act in speaking to the media in London.
“It became something different than it originally was”, McGregor admitted.
“A battle almost, a verbal battle with people scoring, I wasn’t anticipating something so back and forth. I smoked him four rounds, I think. I think 4-0 is fair, 3-1 if you want to be generous, but this is a ruthless business.”
The week was also the first time the Dubliner met his opponent in person. The vulgar and heated trash-talk amused McGregor, rather than angering him, if only because he’ll get the chance next month to silence the 49-0 boxing legend.
“I’d never even met the man. He has his childish ways and it’s amusing to see a 40 year old going on like that. We had a great experience this week but the fight’s the fight. That’s the beautiful thing about this game. You can say whatever you want but you’ve got to answer for it.
I’m ready for August 26 to answer that.”
A flashpoint that developed throughout the week is the racism row between the two men. McGregor’s repeated use of the word ‘boy’ towards Mayweather and other perceived slights have had the likes of ESPN’s Michael Wilbon hoping that ‘The Notorious’ is “left an unconscious bloody lump on the mat”.
McGregor again refuted the claims, and accused ‘Money’ of cheap tactics in order to gain an edge.
“You can be fooled by him if you want. You know the man’s character and his history“, said Conor.
“He’s trying to sway people in his favour, which is a cheap move in my opinion. I was trying to address something in my own little way. If he feels disrespected, he’s an idiot… and then fuck him as well.
I think it’s fucking ridiculous, come on. I don’t understand it. I know who I am as a person, and I think most realistic people can look and know that themselves.”
Then the UFC star addressed the elephant in the room; Mayweather’s history of domestic violence. He explained to those present why the charges against Floyd weren’t mentioned on stage as many had expected.
“He’s trying to talk about disrespecting women and I don’t even have to speak on his past and I didn’t speak on his past. Whatever. We had fun too. There was enough for me to have fun with. I’m not here to throw out people’s dirty business.”