After the high-mark set by the previous stopover in Toronto a day earlier, it was always going to be tough for Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor to surpass that on the next leg of their world tour, and instead the whole spectacle appeared to backfire in Brooklyn last night.
A key component of this was the fighter’s showing up to the presser over two hours late, by which time the atmosphere had gone completely flat, as evidenced by old-school rapper Doug E. Fresh painfully bombing in his attempts to warm up the crowd just prior to the fighters finally being brought up on stage.
Then McGregor finally came strutting into the arena wearing an audacious outfit that consisted of a coat he described as being made out of Polar Bear, bare-chested undeneath complete with garish, multi-colored pants and sunglasses to complete the look.
When it was his turn to speak on the mic, McGregor broke into a mini-rap and then spread out his arms to receive the adulation of the crowd, but he wasn’t greeted with the same reception he’d received in Toronto, not helped by the fact that audio issues meant that there were multiple reports later that people were struggling to hear what was being said up on stage.
McGregor didn’t help matters by clumsily attempting to address criticism that he had been verging on racism by telling Mayweather to ‘dance for me, boy’ during the other two stops on the tour – with ‘boy’ being a term that historically has had racial overtones in the U.S and is generally frowned upon.
The Irishman, who just moments earlier had given the late rapper ‘Notorious B.I.G.’ props attempted to shoot down the talk of him being racist and joked that he was, “half-black from the belly-button down,” then said he had something for his, “beautiful, black female fans,” before repeatedly gyrating his hips.
Things were getting awkward by that stage and an attempt to give Mayweather the latest album from Jay-Z o that he he could learn how to maintain a real empire also didn’t get the response he was hoping for, and so it wasn’t long before he retreated back to his stool.
Then it was Mayweather’s turn and it quickly became clear he was running out of solid material too as he essentially repeated a lot of the material he’d used in the previous two days, doing his “hard work” chant and again bringing up the fact that McGregor has submitted to fighters in the past.
Not having much to say, Mayweather instead relied on pre-planned gimmicks to grab people’s attention, including bringing out his now infamous bag on-stage, which contained money that he then proceeded to rain down on McGregor, who would later mock the boxer by exclaiming, “these are only $1 bills!”
Mayweather then created a moment of real tension when he suddenly informed his large on-stage entourage to ‘form Voltron’, which resulted in them heading over to where McGregor and Dana White were seated and surrounding them.
Members of McGregor’s camp, led by his boxing coach Owen Roddy, Dillon Dannis and Artem Lobov then rushed over, resulting in a tense stand-off as Mayweather skipped away laughing.
McGregor tried to brush that off, making fun of Mayweather’s largest bodyguard by quipping that he would get out of breath running to the end of the stage and back again, but Dana White looked visibily angered by the incident.
Then came the obligatory staredown which wasn’t overly-compelling and overall there was a sense that this format is now wearing thin and it could be argued that it’s offering too much of an opportunity for both fighters to ‘jump the shark’ and turn the fight into more of a farce than some critics were already claiming it to be in the first place.
Still, the UK crowd is guaranteed to be far more fired up than the Brookyln contingent, and with this being the last stop on the whirlwind tour it’s likely that both fighters will be looking to feed off that energy and go out with a bang tonight.