No sellout but Mayweather, McGregor have Sin City buzzing

The showdown between undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather and mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor on Saturday may be poised to become the richest fight of all-time but despite the hype had yet to generate a sellout.

Just hours before the fighters were to step into the ring, the T-Mobile Arena website had tickets available in every section except one in the upper bowl and the floor with prices ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 for ringside.

While Sin City was buzzing with anticipation on a sizzling hot Saturday, ticket prices have proven too much for the taste of McGregor fans, many of whom are young millennials who grew up watching UFC not boxing.

The big price tag, however, has not stopped legions of Irishman's supporters from flooding into the U.S. gambling capital for an event that has also caught the attention of A-list celebrities and highrollers.

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The party shifted into high gear after Friday's weigh-in as thousands of fans, many wearing emerald green or wrapped in Irish flags, spilled from the arena on to the Strip for night of booze fueled revelry that carried on into Saturday.

"We've no tickets, said one young fan in his twenties wearing a green Irish soccer shirt and drinking a beer in the hot sunshine.

"We're going to hit the black jack table and see if we can win enough money to buy some."

While T-Mobile Arena might not sell out months of hype and a profanity laced world tour to drum up interest in the bout has promoters predicting the fight will surpass the 2015 Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao title bout in 2015 as the biggest pay-per-view event of all-time.

McGregor, who will be making his professional boxing debut, is according to reports guaranteed a $30 million payday that could reach $100 million while Mayweather (49-0) could pocket as much as $200 million.

Experts picks on Mayweather-McGregor fight -- BI
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Experts picks on Mayweather-McGregor fight -- BI

Manny Pacquiao, former Mayweather opponent

Prediction for the fight: Floyd Mayweather

Quotes: "McGregor has no chance in this fight. In fact, it could be very boring."

"There is no way he will be able to land a meaningful punch on Floyd. How could he? He has no professional experience in boxing."

Mike Tyson, former undisputed heavyweight champion

Prediction for the fight: Floyd Mayweather

Quote: "Conor McGregor is going to look really ridiculous boxing [Floyd Mayweather]. But if he goes in there with the UFC stuff [mixed martial arts], then it could be pretty interesting."

Tyson Fury, former heavyweight champion

Prediction for the fight: Conor McGregor

Quotes: "I think Conor McGregor will knock him out in the first 35 seconds, much like he did to Jose Aldo to be honest. Come on, McGregor!"

"It would be great for boxing if McGregor chinned him… it would be great for the real people of the world."

Teddy Atlas, trainer and ESPN boxing analyst

Prediction for the fight: Floyd Mayweather

Quote: "He has no chance in a traditional boxing match. His only chance would be with MMA rules, where he could try to bring Floyd to the mat where he could — of course — easily be the victor."

Daniel Cormier, former UFC light heavyweight champion

Prediction for the fight: Floyd Mayweather

Quotes: "Floyd kills him."

"Conor McGregor can't box Floyd Mayweather. Let's be real with ourselves. Neither one of these guys can do the other guy's sport."

Dana White, president of UFC

Prediction for the fight: Conor McGregor

Quote: White went on Conan and gave four reasons he believed McGregor could win the fight.

  1. "Conor McGregor is huge."
  2. "McGregor is in the prime of his career and 27 years old. Floyd Mayweather is 40 years old."
  3. "Conor is a southpaw and Floyd has problems when he fights southpaws."
  4. "McGregor hits hard. When he hits people, they [get knocked out]."

Joe Rogan, UFC commentator

Prediction for the fight: Undecided, leaning Mayweather

Quotes: "Mayweather is just a way better boxer. There's no doubt about it. He's one of the greatest boxers, if not the greatest boxer who ever lived. And even though he's smaller, we're talking about a completely different level of skill and understanding of the nuances in boxing."

"But Conor McGregor is not incompetent. He's incredible. McGregor is dangerous as f**k. And he has a deceptive ability to move in and move out. He can cover distances very quickly."

Jose Aldo, former UFC featherweight champion, lost to McGregor in 14 seconds

Prediction for the fight: Floyd Mayweather

Quote: "There is no comparison. It is not similar. Totally different. There is no way McGregor can defeat Mayweather. Mayweather has done this his entire life, and it's a different sport."

Seth Rollins, former WWE World Heavyweight Champion

Prediction for the fight: Floyd Mayweather

Quote: "I guess Conor's always got a puncher's chance, right? But that's about all he's got in a boxing match against Floyd. I think Floyd is going to dance around him. I'll be surprised if Conor lands one punch on Floyd. But to say that, if he does land that one punch, he's got some real power, so you never know. But if I'm a betting man, my money's on Floyd, all the way."

Andre Ward, world's best pound for pound boxer

Prediction for the fight: Floyd Mayweather

Quote: "I think McGregor will be wild for the first three rounds, but when he starts to tire, Floyd will take over and we could see a big knockout."

Demetrious Johnson, UFC flyweight champion

Prediction for the fight: Conor McGregor

Quote: "I'm riding with Conor. I think Conor, he can probably get it done sooner if he goes out there being ferocious, but I'm going with Conor. I think Conor's gonna get the job done. It's hard to say. I'll tell you what: He ain't gonna make a big check like that in the UFC. Hopefully Conor goes out there and knocks Floyd out, and then he can go ahead and fight the winner of GGG and 'Canelo' Alvarez. I'd love to see that."

Tony Bellew, WBC cruiserweight champion

Prediction for the fight: Floyd Mayweather

Quote: "If these two guys were to get in a cage, it would be over within a minute. But these two guys aren't going to get in a cage. They're going to get in a ring and it will be over whenever Floyd Mayweather sees fit."

Ronda Rousey

Prediction for the fight: Undecided

Quote: "I think they’ll both make a lot of money."

Nate Diaz, only UFC fighter to ever beat Conor McGregor

Prediction for the fight: Undecided, but McGregor has a shot

Quote: "I fought Conor for 25 minutes, I believe he's definitely going to have a chance. Fighting and beating the best boxer pound for pound in the world right now? That's another story but a fight's a fight and we’re going to have to watch and see what happens. Hopefully it will be a hell of a fight."

Max Kellerman, ESPN personality and boxing analyst

Prediction for the fight: Floyd Mayweather

Quote: "Mayweather would literally be a tremendous value at 50-to-1."

Conor McGregor

Prediction for the fight: Conor McGregor

Quotes: "My fist is just going to break his whole face and that's it."

"Let's not kid ourselves here who the big star is of this show," McGregor says. "[I'm] a slick, Irish, handsome kid who has climbed to the top of the game quicker than anybody else has ever done it."

"I'm always looking to make history… and here we are again, more history."

Floyd Mayweather

Prediction for the fight: A knockout

Quote: "One hundred percent, it will not go the distance. One hundred percent chance this fight won't go the distance."


Gamblers are also looking to cash in.

McGregor, who was on social welfare from the Irish government as recently as four years ago, is the blue collar populist champion but the bulk of the money being wagered is all in Mayweather's corner.

Smaller bets are going on McGregor with UFC fans backing up their loyalty with their wallets.

But the Las Vegas smart money is all streaming towards Mayweather with reports of several $1 million bets being laid on the "Money Man."

"Fifty and oh! Fifty and oh!" shouted one Mayweather fan, trying to drown out the "Olés!" and chants of "There's only one Conor McGregor!" from the green-clad hordes of Irish fans.

"One punch! one punch!" he said. "Floyd been fighting all his life man, and ain't nobody can get close to him."

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