July 13, 2017

Mayweather vs. McGregor: Impressions From Mayweather-McGregor World Tour In Toronto

By Adam Martin

The Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor World Tour started off Tuesday in Los Angeles, California, and most fans were disappointed with the first leg of the four-stop tour. There were a lot of hiccups production-wise in L.A., including McGregor’s microphone getting cut off at one point, and even Showtime’s executives admitted it wasn’t the show they expected, with McGregor seemingly tame compared to what he’s usually like. All in all, Mayweather took the first round of verbal sparring 10-9.
That all changed Wednesday at Budweiser Stage in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, when Mayweather and McGregor exchanged barbs in front of 16,000 screaming MMA and boxing fans in one of the most exciting, hilarious, and thrilling press conferences in combat sports history. Safe to say it was McGregor’s night, and most fans scored the second round of their press conference 10-8 in McGregor’s favor.

Even before the press conference started, there was a massive buzz in the city. On my way down to the venue, which is located near Lake Ontario just outside of the downtown core, I overheard tons of fans on the subway buzzing about the fight, asking each other who was going to win. Even a TTC streetcar operator asked me about the fight, and that never happens.

As soon as I got off the streetcar and started walking towards the venue it was evident this was  going to be a gigantic event. There were so many people headed in the direction of the event and when I got inside the place was already packed, with fans sitting on the lawn in the back in the rain, fans in the seats under the canopy, and even more fans on the floor, waiting for McGregor and Mayweather to make their appearances.

Both the fighters were fashionably late as expected, and fans began to grumble, but that changed when Drake (aka Aubrey Graham) came out and gave a few words before introducing the two biggest combat sports superstars on the planet. And as soon as McGregor came out in his expensive tailored suit and started taking over the mic, you knew this was going to be a special night.

McGregor went to town on Mayweather, his family, and Showtime, going off on an R-rated rant for seemingly ever before Mayweather finally made his way to the stage and then got his rocks off. The two fighters went back-and-forth for like an hour trading verbal blows and getting as close as possible to a fist fight without actually throwing punches. The fans absolutely loved it, with some of the biggest cheers I’ve ever heard at a sporting event being heard in the venue -- if you even want to call this a sporting event, since it was just a press conference after all. Although if you ask anyone who was there, it was much more than “just” a presser.”

This was exciting. Seeing two of the world’s highest-paid athletes going toe-to-toe with verbal jabs just a few feet away from me was pretty incredible. The way McGregor commanded the stage and the presence he had was a sight to see, and Mayweather did a great job pulling off the role of the heel. All in all, it was a terrific press conference and it did its job, which was to get fans (and media) excited about the fight. By the time it was over, everyone was saying how amazing of an event this was and how they were happy to be there.

The Mayweather vs. McGregor World Tour continues with stops in New York and London before the fighters have about six weeks until their fight on August 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Regardless of what you think of the merits of a matchup pitting a 49-0 legendary boxer against an 0-0 MMA fighter making his boxing debut, you have to admit this is exciting stuff. McGregor and Mayweather are doing their best jobs getting everyone hyped up for the fight, and if the buzz continues to grow, don’t be surprised if this fight breaks pay-per-view records.

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