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Mayweather, McGregor still trying to hype their fight
By TIM DAHLBERG
LAS VEGAS (AP) It's a fight (or at least an event) born and bred by social media. There is really no reason for Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor to meet in a boxing ring Aug. 26 other than a lot of UFC fans think it's a great idea and it will make the two fighters a great deal of money.
So it's little surprise that both are trying their hardest to find something - anything, really - to kick start a promotion that has floundered after a four-city preview tour last month was met with mixed reviews.
If you haven't been paying attention, here's a condensed version of the latest from As The World Turns, Mayweather-McGregor style:
SMALLER GLOVES: Mayweather began the week by declaring on social media that he is not only willing but eager to fight with smaller gloves than the 10-ounce gloves used in 154-pound boxing matches in Nevada. That isn't terribly significant, except that UFC fighters use four-ounce gloves and UFC fans believe McGregor would be able to knock Mayweather out easier with smaller gloves. The only problem is Nevada boxing officials would have to make a rule exception to approve the smaller gloves, and Mayweather hasn't asked them to do that. Chalk this up as nothing more than a promotional smoke screen.
MONEY IN PLAY: The second episode of Showtime's All Access series promoting the fight opened with Mayweather showing off stacks of money while talking about how he will make even more against McGregor. Later, he bought shoes for his son and a $20,000 purse for his teenage daughter. It's an old act, one Mayweather has used since he fought Oscar De La Hoya 10 years ago, and a tired one.
SPARRING SPAT: In what Paulie Malignaggi sees as Fake News, McGregor's camp put pictures out online showing him on the canvas in a sparring session with McGregor. Malignaggi tweeted his disgust and claimed he had whipped McGregor in both of their sparring sessions, then announced he was leaving the McGregor camp. The real news here is Malignaggi, a Showtime analyst who will work the bout, is nothing more than a shill for the fight. It's in his network's best interests to promote it as much as possible, and his reasons for sparring with McGregor are suspect at best.
STRIPPED AWAY: If the fight business doesn't work out for Mayweather, he's still got a stable of women working for him at his strip club. Mayweather took time off training to put pictures online promoting his Girl Collection club that opened earlier this year just a short drive from where he and McGregor will meet at the T-Mobile Arena.
NEW JOB: McGregor is also getting in the entertainment business. He announced this week he signed to be a host at the Beach Club at the Encore hotel for two years, beginning the night of the fight.
LOTS OF TICKETS: There are still tickets - and lots of them - available for the fight. For some reason (embarrassingly lousy sales perhaps?) Ticketmaster has disabled its interactive screen that would show all the seats in the arena, but original tickets - not resale - are available from $3,500 in almost every part of the arena. There are also still plenty of closed circuit tickets left to watch at various MGM Resorts hotels at $335.41 for two seats and the MGM Grand has cut its room rates for the weekend.
BETTING: A staggering 95 percent of the tickets (and 85 percent of the money) are on McGregor (now at the William Hill chain of sports books). If Mayweather should somehow lose, the chain's Nevada books will suffer their worst loss ever, more than a million dollars.
UPCOMING: Both fighters will hold separate media days this week. Expect lots of F-bombs and pontificating, but little about the actual fight itself.
Updated August 5, 2017