Conor McGregor gets the better of Floyd Mayweather in London as world tour comes to a chaotic and controversial end

UFC star McGregor got the better of Mayweather in the verbal exchanges, but there was yet more controversy as the American used a homophobic insult to taunt his opponent

Luke Brown
Friday 14 July 2017 22:23

The Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor world media tour is over.

Four press conferences, in four days, in four different cities. The circus ended in London, with the Irish UFC star clearly winning the night in front of a favourable home(ish) crowd.

There was a change in format for the press conference after the shambles in New York City the night before, and the switch in style paid off. Both men had a chance to address the crowd separately, before a quick face off followed by a brief Q&A session.

Here, we dissect five of the key talking points from the final presser.

A 10-8 round for McGregor

McGregor came out in top after the fourth and final press conference

It was difficult to tell who won the LA presser. McGregor then got the better of things in Toronto. And Mayweather just about shaded things in New York, but only because his opponent hammered the self-destruct button.

But the London press conference has to be chalked up as an emphatic victory for McGregor. From the moment he appeared from the wings and made his way to the ring, he looked in a far better mood than in New York, and it didn’t take long for the Irishman to have the crowd howling in unison as he methodically insulted just about every man Mayweather has on his payroll.

The highlight of the final presser? Undoubtedly when Mayweather snatched McGregor’s microphone away from him, before turning triumphantly to the crowd. Only for McGregor to rapidly snatch the mic Mayweather had left on his table. “I’m far too quick for you,” McGregor crowed.

Mayweather lets himself down

Mayweather resorted to homophobic language to insult McGregor

Mayweather emerged from the shambolic New York press conference with some credit. He was quick to criticise McGregor’s controversial, racially-charged comments, claiming: “I don’t care if it’s white women, black women, white men, black men, Asian, Latina or Latino, you don’t disrespect people. To get respect, you must give respect.”

What a shame that it took a mere 24 hours for those words to be forgotten. With the crowd loudly jeering him, and with the press conference slipping away from his grasp, an exasperated Mayweather turned to a grinning McGregor and yelled: “You f*ggot!”

This press tour has been entertaining — particularly the events in Toronto and London — but both men have resorted to using problematic and offensive language in an attempt to score easy points. Regardless of whether they meant to offend or not, they have both let themselves down.

So that’s why there wasn’t a Dublin stop…

The crowd were in McGregor's favour

McGregor has enjoyed the lions share of the public support right the way through this chaotic week, but this was something else entirely.

The London crowd cheered his every word, and didn’t even pause to boo Mayweather in the relevant places, instead singing throughout his rambling speech.

The reaction of the London crowd to both men shows why Mayweather was so keen to avoid a press event in McGregor’s home city of Dublin. The UFC star loves nothing more than playing to the gallery and, at times in London, Mayweather seemed genuinely cowed by the strength of the audience’s hostility.

A triumph for London

Mayweather v McGregor: Tale of the tape

After such a successful event in Toronto, the New York press conference was a complete shambles. Two hours late, exceptionally mean-spirited and with serious audio problems to boot. The promoters of this fight needed to get it right in London — and they pulled it out of the bag.

This presser was well organised and had a clear structure to it. There were no problems with the audio and they even got round to inviting questions from the media at the end: the first for this whistle-stop world tour.

The set-up allowed for all of the bombastic stupidity and trash talk that the fans demand, but also allowed both men to speak a little more humbly and candidly at the end, before departing the stage. It was just a shame this was the fourth and final press conference — and not the first.

A concession to the UFC?

There was no getting away from the fact that the success of the London press conference had much to do with its similarity to how the UFC run their press events.

From the moment this world tour was announced, fight fans had hoped that Showtime would take a leaf out of the UFC’s book. Get both men seated at a table in front of a large crowd, and invite questions from the assembled media. The trash talk and the drama will then follow naturally.

It was always unlikely that Mayweather and his Money Team were going to agree to that set up, but the reversion to more of a Q&A format surely indicated that the Showtime bosses realised their prize event tanked in NYC. This was much, much better.