More than 50 million viewers were expected to watch the pay-per-view boxing match of Hall of Fame boxer Floyd Mayweather and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor on Aug. 26 in Las Vegas. The much-anticipated event ended as Mayweather’s 50th professional win after a technical knock-out in the tenth round.
The fight, which took place at T-Mobile Arena, followed earlier events at the arena’s for Mayweather/McGregor Fight Week. I attended the grand arrival of both fighters and their official weigh-in: here’s an exclusive look at what I miraculously saw.
The Grand Arrival
The week kicked off with the Grand Arrival, where fans and the press waited outside in the Las Vegas heat for close to three hours waiting for the arrival of the world’s most talked-about rivals.
Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather was the first of the two to show. The press swarmed the 40 year old, with microphones and cameras, making it impossible for fans and opposers to even catch a glimpse of him. Mayweather left the event after sharing brief words with the host and some personal interviews from news media outlets such as ESPN and CW Sports.
Conor McGregor, on the other hand, showed up with much more energy than his opponent. He was more visible in the wave of security and constantly waved his hand to greet fans.
I was in the front of the huge crowd that gathered behind the barriers. As soon as McGregor rushed off the stage to the opposite side of the barriers, everyone focused on the man who was making rounds around the fans.
The Ireland native shocked some when he took a lap around the barriers, giving people high-fives. McGregor then riled his fans up even more after spitting trash talk against his opponent explaining how Mayweather will have no chance because he’s “going to be ruthless in there.”
Limited complimentary tickets were available for the fighters’ official weigh-in, but there were also tickets for purchase ranging from $8 up to the hundreds. This didn’t stop more than 5,000 people from buying access into the T-Mobile arena to watch the weigh-in.
I, unfortunately, was one of the thousands who missed out on the complimentary tickets. I realized this around 12:30 a.m. but thankfully I was able to purchase tickets.
While thousands of people waited for the doors to open at 12 p.m., they were also provided with a “fan experience” featuring activities such as a “Knockout Challenge,” where you would test your strengths against a simulated computer; or a photo booth where fans can take a photo with their pick to win.
As the start of the weigh-in began fans were given the opportunity to win free giveaways while waiting for the event to start. Performances by members of The Money Team, Cardi B, and YG —all of which were on Mayweather’s side—kept the crowd entertained right up to the weigh-ins of the undercards.
There was constant chants of, “F**k the Mayweathers!” that came from the huge section of Irish fans right above me. One of the groups even had an Irish flag that had the phrase spray painted onto it.
The long-awaited weigh-in came around 3 p.m. with Irish fans chanting “Ole, Ole” while Ireland flags waved above their heads. This continued as McGregor entered the arena with the flag draped around him. McGregor weighed in at 153 lbs. Fans were filled with cheers and screams as he flexed and smiled at the crowd.
‘Pretty Boy’ Floyd was welcomed into the arena with incredibly loud boos and profanity as he made his way towards the stage. However, fans to the left of him were able to crack a few smiles and head nods out of him. Mayweather weighed in at 149.5 lbs.—much lighter than his opponent. He was a couple pounds heavier than his last fights against Manny Pacquiao and Andre Berto where he weighed 146 lbs.
McGregor immediately started trash-talking when he came face-to-face with his opponent. Mayweather kept a blank expression on his face and eventually cracking a smile. The trash-talking only got worse when the host did a short interview with McGregor and Mayweather responded with “fans don’t fight for you.”
The arena emptied out immediately after the two fights left the stage. The hallways and stairways were flooded with an overwhelming majority of McGregor fans. Beers were spilling all over the floors and people shoved their way down the stairs and escalators in order to exit the arena.
For those who were able to experience this—fight week, the fight, or both—they witnessed history as Floyd Mayweather continued his perfect record with 50-0 and announced his retirement from boxing.