After a hectic first leg of the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor world press tour last night in the Staples Centre, Los Angeles, we barely have time to reflect before the fighters hit Toronto tonight.
The presser itself was entertaining for what it was worth. McGregor seemed to draw the charismatic ‘Pretty Boy’ character out of his 40-year-old opponent, famed for his trash talk when rising up in the boxing game. In recent years, we had seen a more mellow Mayweather, appearing laid back, content with what he has achieved, in the lead up to the later fights in his career. That all changed when ‘The Notorious’ unleashed his barrage of pops in Floyd’s direction, making for great viewing.
After the press conference, there were more media obligations to be fulfilled for the fighters with media scrums and questions from the press to be answered.
Top MMA journalist, Ariel Helwani caught up with Conor to get his immediate reaction to what went down before delving into deeper questions about the fight and the Irishman’s preparations between now and August 26th.
The Irishman appeared realaxed, in a joyful and proud to be a part of such an historic event.
When Helwani probed McGregor on his potential return to the UFC octagon, the 28-year-old had an interesting response. He stated that what was driving him to return to fight in the UFC before 2017 is out was the number one spot on the Forbes richest athletes list. However, the Dublin native mistakenly was under the impression that the Forbes list was calculated on a January to December basis, when in reality the athletes incomes are measured on a July to July timescale.
In addition, the UFC champion was asked about the prospect of bringing Paulie Malignaggi into his training camp as a sparring partner. Conor revealed that the idea behind this was perhaps different to bringing any other partner in to asssist in preparation.
Malignaggi had been extremely vocal in his stance against the fight ever taking place and on top of that, was nothing short of condescending in expressing his opinion on McGregor’s ability as a boxer.
The now retired former world champion is widely regarded as one of the finest analytical minds in the game with a vast knowledge of the game of boxing. However, the real reason that McGregor wants Paulie to step into his gym is not to learn any of the valuable lessons someone with Malignaggi’s experience inn the game could teach him, but the MMA star wants to get his hands on the outspoken pundit. Or, in his own words, “have a knock in the gym.”
Malignaggi revealed on the live Showtime coverage of the event that he is still in preliminary talks with Team McGregor and one would wonder if he is under the illusion that he will be going to help Conor in his attempt to overcome the undefeated master technician that is ‘Money’ Mayweather, or if he understands he will be entering the SBG camp to simply fight and back up his public criticism of Conor.
Check out the clip below which was taken in the direct aftermath of the explosive kick off to the press tour: