What a difference about 20 hours can make.
Thursday marked the low point of the Mayweather vs. McGregor World Tour for UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. The UFC lightweight champion made a series of racially tinged comments at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in a widely criticized appearance.
On Friday, though, McGregor was back in his element and back on his game. The tour promoting his Aug. 26 boxing match with undefeated boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr. concluded in London.
The sold-out crowd at Wembley Arena included an estimated 5,000 who traveled to England to witness the event, and McGregor, on his 29th birthday, took control of the arena.
“I’m dancing around my boxing ring,” McGregor said while walking around the makeshift ring which served as a stage. “This is my boxing ring. I am boxing.”
McGregor worked the ring during his turn with the microphone, picking apart Mayweather’s entourage one by one. The Irishman ridiculed Mayweather for wearing what appeared to be lifts in his sneakers the previous day. He again referred to Showtime Sports vice-president Stephen Espinonza, a target of his wrath all week, as a “weasel.” He pointed to Mayweather’s bodyguards outside the ring and called them “juicehead monkeys.” McGregor did express admiration for Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe, but then cracked on his chosen attire.
McGregor also recalled the last time he fought in London, which was on a Cage Warriors card in Feb. 2012. He knocked out Steve O’Keefe in the opening round of their bout.
“Four years ago, I fought in London at a place called the HMV Forum, in front of about five hundred people. Four years ago,” he said. “Now here I am six weeks out, about to quadruple my net worth with half a fight. I’m in shock every single day I wake up. Half a fight, I get to quarduple my net worth for half a f*cking fight. Sign me up.”
McGregor turned his attention to fight night before relinquishing the stage to Mayweather, promising to knock Mayweather out in Las Vegas.
“Let’s get it straight: The bulls*it is now over,” McGregor said. “Six weeks, I’m going to sleep this fellow. And when I sleep him, I’m going to bounce his head off the canvas as well.”