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Conor McGregor, Floyd Mayweather offer one last bit of drama before settling it in the ring

Lance Pugmire, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Boxing

LAS VEGAS -- Conor McGregor's ability to visualize and realize the impossible has gotten him to this stage, a place where victory would elevate him to otherworldly status among sporting figures.

Unfortunately for McGregor, the stage is a boxing ring. And there, unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. awaits, planning to knock the UFC champion into dreamland.

The unlikely boxing match inspired by the fighters' verbally artistic exchanges and an international swarm of curiosity arrives Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.

There, the talking that has positioned the bout to become the greatest-selling combat sports event in history will stop, and the boxing will begin.

In a way, that moment already has arrived. Seconds after McGregor weighed 153 pounds, one pound under boxing's super-welterweight limit, and Mayweather (49-0) came in at his usual 1491/2 pounds, they approached to face off for the cameras.

Mayweather remained stone-faced as McGregor roared, embodying the hero many came to see. The pro-McGregor crowd was the majority of the estimated 13,500 people that attended the weigh-in with many waving green, orange and white Irish flags, belting out cheers and songs hailing their brave countryman.

 

Even as McGregor said, "That's the worst shape I've ever seen him. I'm going to breeze through him, trust me on that," in response to Mayweather's weight, the message was clear:

McGregor's words don't matter anymore. Mayweather has the Irishman where he wants him.

"Weight doesn't win fights. Fighting wins fights," Mayweather said after returning from a two-year retirement for a chance to collect in excess of $300 million and retire at 50-0. "It won't go the distance. This will become Conor McGregor's last fight also.

"I've been here before. I know what it takes when it's a fight of this magnitude. The fans cannot fight for you. Forty-nine times I went out there (in the ring), it was one-on-one."

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