The first leg of the Floyd Mayweather Jr Vs Conor McGregor world tour took place yesterday in Los Angeles, but a backstage verbal sparring match between ‘The Notorious’ and Mayweather’s father that was by far the most entertaining part of the whole day.
Dana White had warned at the UFC 213 post-fight press conference on Saturday night that the presser was likely to be “a sh*tshow” and he wasn’t wrong.
First off, McGregor’s entrance was completely botched, with the UFC champion just suddenly appearing on stage and then having to stand there awkwardly for several minutes by himself while they played through his theme songs.
Mayweather on the other hand was afforded a grand walkout, coming in from the rear of the Staple Center arena to the stage while his music played, before finally coming face-to-face with his rival on stage.
Then came a series of painfully dull, self-congratulatory speeches from various executives that only succeeded in killing the tension and annoying the crowd, who began to loudly boo.
Finally the fighters were given a chance to speak, but rather than the traditional Q&A style pressers that UFC fans are used to, which gives the opportunity for an entertaining war of words to break out, instead McGregor and Mayweather were just given an opportunity to take their turn at the podium to give a speech.
McGregor was first up and informed everyone that he didn’t know he’d have to give a speech until he was up on stage, but he still managed to bring his energy and entertainment into the presser.
Then it was Mayweather’s turn, and given that Mayweather Promotions is running the whole show it’s not surprising that he seemed more prepared for the fact that he’d have to give a speech.
McGregor interjected several times, which spiced things up a bit, but then people behind the scenes opted to cut his mic, showing a complete lack of understanding that this kind of drama is what makes a press conference great.
Showtime then dropped the ball again by not having a mic on the two fighters as they squared off again afterwards, with everything they said during a lengthy exchanges just inches from each others faces going completely unheard.
However, though the McGregor Vs Mayweather Jr press conference felt somewhat underwhelming, the Irish superstar’s backstage Q&A with the media afterwards was far more compelling due to the fact that Mayweather Sr showed up to heckle him.
Before long the two were engaged in a hugely entertaining back-and-forth exchange, and as you might expect, it was the sharp-tongued McGregor who schooled him in the art of verbal badinage.
After Mayweather Senior repeatedly informed him that he’d beat his ass, McGregor jokingly mistook him for his son, saying, “You’ll get your chance on August 26th, Junior.”
McGregor then informed Mayweather’s father that they’d made a big mistake by taking the fight.
“I’m just telling you he’s too small. Too frail,” McGregor told him.
“You made a big mistake. You got greedy. He could have been 49-0, rode off into the sunset. Trust me, he got greedy here.”
McGregor largely kept things light-hearted and appeared amused by Mayweather Sr’s constant interruptions, at one point joking, “take that flip-flip out your mouth” at one of the aging boxing coach’s almost unintelligible replies.
“You’re a fan, senior,” McGregor quipped soon afterwards as the 64-year-old continued to yell obsenities at him. “Come on, admit it. I can spot a fan a mile away. It’s in your eyes.”
There’s still several more stops on the world tour to go, so hopefully the format will be adjusted to afford opportunities for this kind of interaction to occur between McGregor and Mayweather Jr on-stage, as this is what fans are really tuning in to see.