Search icon


28th Aug 2017

Sadly, the right people didn’t get to see Conor McGregor’s amazing feat in the flesh

Such a shame

Ben Kiely

Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather may have broken the largest gate record, but at what cost?

A great night for combat sports left a bitter aftertaste in everyone’s mouth. Seeing Conor McGregor land punches and win rounds against Floyd Mayweather in his professional debut was simply amazing, but it’s a massive pity that so many people missed out on witnessing it from inside the T-Mobile Arena.

The announced attendance for the money fight to trump all money fights was 14,623, well shy of the stadium’s 20,000-seat capacity for boxing events and the 16,219 attendance Mayweather vs Pacquiao received for their megafight in the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

The PPV buy sales wasn’t the only record set by 2015’s ‘Fight of the Century’ that Mayweather vs McGregor was chasing. That event generated a record gate of $72,198,500, a figure that ‘Money’ confidently predicted his pugilism swan song against ‘the Notorious’ would surpass.

Mayweather vs McGregor wasn’t the greatest display of the fistic arts you will ever see. It wasn’t even the best boxing bout of 2017, but it was incredibly entertaining and intriguing.

The experiment to see if an elite MMA fighter could implement his skill set to defeat the greatest defensive boxer in a boxing match failed. At the end of the fight, McGregor’s claim that he ‘was boxing’ seemed silly, but his performance most certainly was not.

McGregor had some success with his gameplan early on and even though Mayweather’s master plan was to try to make him gas, ‘Money’ definitely didn’t intend on getting cracked with uppercuts and jabs en route to victory. It was fascinating to see this whole process play out, with Mayweather needing to make mid-fight adjustments to beat the UFC fighter.

Looking around the stadium, you would have seen some familiar faces gazing upon a landmark fight in combat sports. Ozzy Osbourne, P Diddy, William H. Macy, Vanessa Hudgens, Bruce Willis, Charlize Theron and some chap dressed like Chewbacca were among the marquee names in attendance, but the real diehard fight fans were few and far between.

The reason why there was a distinct lack of ‘Ole, ole, ole’ chants and why a lot of those who got a seat seemed to have a net worth greater than the fighters’ purses was that the average Joe Fightpass subscriber was outpriced.

Ticket prices for Mayweather-McGregor ranged from $500 (€420) to $10,000 (€8,400) and once it was apparent that the sluggish sales weren’t going to speed up closer to the event, they didn’t adjust the price range to attract the real fans.

Plane tickets, accommodation and tickets to the event itself were just too much of a financial burden for most McGregor fans to bear. Plenty of Irish traveled over to Las Vegas for the fight, but we didn’t see enough of them inside the arena.

That was a real shame.