Floyd Mayweather Jnr v Conor McGregor superfight

Conor McGregor sparks melee with Floyd Mayweather Jnr entourage and has heated Paulie Malignaggi exchange

UFC star squares up to his sparring partner from training camp and trades verbal jabs with undefeated opponent in Las Vegas

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 August, 2017, 12:14pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 August, 2017, 4:42pm

Floyd Mayweather Jnr and Conor McGregor traded verbal jabs as the circus-like countdown to their money-spinning superfight cranked into overdrive on the Las Vegas Strip.

Thousands of fans including a sizeable contingent of Irish supporters thronged the heart of the Nevada boxing capital to greet the 40-year-old undefeated former welterweight boxing champion Mayweather and mixed martial arts star McGregor at their separate grand arrival ceremonies.

The two men passed each other after their separate introductions, with McGregor taunting the American with a shout of “Why didn’t you want to face off?” – triggering a melee between their two entourages.

Earlier, Mayweather had taunted McGregor over his fitness, telling the US website FightHype that he believed his opponent would struggle to make the 154-pound limit for Sunday morning’s bout (Hong Kong time), which is tipped to became the richest fight in history.

“Conor McGregor is extremely heavy right now,” Mayweather said. “I think he’s 164 so he’s still got 10 pounds to go.”

McGregor hit back at Mayweather’s comments.

“He needs to shut his mouth,” said the Ultimate Fighting Championship star. “It is a fool of a thing. Let him keep praying, praying for weight, for fatigue, praying for me to take a backward step. All he is doing is praying, but he is praying to the new god of boxing.”

McGregor could face a painful financial penalty if he is unable to tip the scales inside the limit.

Boxers often have the option of cancelling a fight or collecting a larger share of the purse if an opponent fails to make weight.

The UFC lightweight champion also got into a verbal spat at the Las Vegas with Paulie Malignaggi, following their controversial sparring sessions in McGregor’s training camp.

Mayweather has been lured out of retirement to face McGregor in a 12-round contest under boxing rules.

He again insisted he will hang up his gloves afterward.

“I gave my word already. Once I gave my word to my children, it’s the end. It came to an end,” Mayweather said. “This is a great event. What better way to go out than with a bang?

“You just know [when it’s over]. I’m not going to tell you guys how I know. I just know. When your body has been pushed to the limit ... once you’ve competed against everybody, your body has been pushed to the limit.”