After the wild, crazy, profane and totally over-the-top four-city media tour that Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor embarked on last month to promote their megafight -- in which they berated, insulted and cursed at each other stop after stop, whipping huge crowds into a frenzy -- the final prefight news conference at the MGM Grand was for media only and as low-key as it gets.
Gene LeBell still shakes his head when he hears how the most infamous cross-sport fight in combat sports history — at least until Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor go at it Aug. 26 — was supposedly fixed. “I remember looking at (Muhammad) Ali’s legs,” martial arts icon LeBell, who refereed the fight and is now 84, told USA TODAY Sports via telephone Monday. “There were marks and hematomas all over them. Ali ended up in the hospital.”
The Nevada State Athletic Commission will at least entertain the possibility of Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor wearing lighter boxing gloves in their highly anticipated fight later this month in Las Vegas. NSAC executive director Bob Bennett confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday that both fighters have submitted official requests to wear 8-ounce gloves for their junior middleweight fight on Aug. 26 inside T-Mobile Arena. Per Nevada regulations, any fight contested above the weight of 147 pounds must utilize 10-ounce gloves. The contracted weight for the Mayweather, McGregor bout is 154 pounds.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. has returned to the boxing gym after nearly two years away and says his preparation for an Aug. 26 fight against Conor McGregor is going smoothly even four months after his 40th birthday. “You can’t touch me,” Mayweather said late Wednesday night following a training session in front of a large crowd at Ten Goose Boxing Gym in Van Nuys, where he had encouraged followers of his social media accounts to come watch him. “I haven’t been off two years, really. I’ve been running, working. I’m not rusty; I’m ready.”
When UFC superstar Conor McGregor secured a boxing license in California in February as part of his efforts to land a mega boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, former two-division world titleholder Paulie Malignaggi was one of his biggest critics. Malignaggi ridiculed McGregor on social media, at one point telling him he was "going to knock the beard off you homie. You are going to be apologizing for everything you have been trying to do to get into boxing."
Canelo Alvarez made the first defense of his middleweight championships with a one-punch knockout of Amir Khan on Saturday. Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) now has 15 days to decide whether he will face unified titlist Gennady Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs), the No. 1 contender to his WBC title, or be stripped of his belt.
Carl Frampton, the Pride of Belfast, started slowly but came on strong in the middle rounds, then survived a strong finish by rival Scott Quigg to score a split decision victory and unify the IBF and WBA super bantamweight belts before a raucous, sold-out crowd at Manchester Arena.
Heavyweight titlist Deontay "The Bronze Bomber" Wilder is unbeaten and on the cusp of jumping into legit competition. All he has to do is defeat Artur Szpilka on Saturday night.
WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder (35-0, 34 KOs) was outweighed by 11 pounds by challenger Artur Szpilka (20-1, 15 KOs) at Friday’s weigh-in for their fight on Showtime Championship Boxing this Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.