If Conor McGregor was overcome by the moment in his first boxing press conference at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, the UFC lightweight champion quickly took to the scene as he paced the stage confidently, stared down his Aug. 26 opponent Floyd Mayweather, and then gave a nearly five and a half minute speech to the packed house.
“No one’s done this before,” he said with a smile. “You’ve got to give me this.”
He’s right, and though his pro boxing debut at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in a little over a month will be against the best boxer of this era, the mixed martial arts superstar had no issue predicting victory against the 49-0 Mayweather.
“I’m gonna knock him out inside of four rounds, mark my words,” the Irishman said. “The movement, the power, the ferociousness, he’s not experienced this. I don’t fear him. This is a limited set of rules. This makes this a quarter of a fight. If it was a real fight, it would take less than a round.”
And while McGregor looked clearly at ease on stage while enjoying the moment in his blue, pinstriped suit, Mayweather appeared to be all business in a Money Team sweatsuit topped off by a hat with the number 48 on it.
MORE FROM MAY-MAC WORLD TOUR: McGregor and Mayweather Sr. exchange words backstage | Watch the replay here | May-Mac talk trash at faceoff | Dana White's Video Blog
At least until the 40-year-old took to the microphone and began his own speech, complete with audience participation chants, walks around the stage and plenty of jabs at his opponent.
“Twenty one is the number,” Mayweather said. “That’s how long I’ve been kicking ass. I don’t give a f**k if it’s a ring or an Octagon, I’m in there kicking ass.”
And despite not fighting since his 2015 win over Andre Berto, “Money” is confident that McGregor will be his next victim.
“I’m an old man,” Mayweather joked to his 28-year-old foe. “I’m not the same man I was 20 years ago, the same fighter I was five years ago or two years ago. But I got enough to beat you.
“We know Mr. Tap Out likes to quit,” he added, referring to McGregor’s submission loss to Nate Diaz in 2016. “You will go out on your face or your back. Which way you want to go?”
It was the one comment that appeared to get a rise out of McGregor, who earlier fired at Mayweather regarding the Las Vegas resident's recently publicized issues with the IRS. Mayweather, who showed a check for a hundred million dollars to the crowd, had a quick retort when McGregor said, “That’s for the tax man.”
“I’m the IRS and I’m gonna tax your ass,” said Mayweather, seemingly enjoying the moment as much as McGregor during the first of a three country, four-stop media tour. The five-division world champion even had a kind word for his opponent before shutting the door on any niceties.
“I takes two warriors to bring an event like this together,” he said. “But Aug. 26, that’s your ass.”
Let the games begin.