If Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor were holding back at Tuesday’s press conference promoting their Aug. 26 fight, they certainly weren’t when the world tour stopped in Toronto on Wednesday.
The event at Toronto’s Budweiser Stage saw a reported 15,000 fans brave the rain to get a glimpse of the two combat superstars in person. After an introduction from Toronto-born rapper Drake, McGregor and Mayweather were brought on stage and it didn’t take long for fireworks to ignite.
The scene was eerily reminiscent of an opening segment of Monday Night Raw when “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson were on top. McGregor gave what was likely a prepared speech and had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. McGregor would pause at all the right times to give the audience time to react, a skill Austin and Johnson spent years honing and one that many never perfect.
McGregor addressed the controversy surrounding his microphone mysteriously being shut off during the L.A. stop of the tour, an allegation Showtime denied having anything to do with.
“Does this mic work?” McGregor asked the crowd while pacing the stage with a handheld microphone. “Well then f— that mic,” he shouted as he slapped the mic mounted on the podium to the floor.
McGregor again showed his pro wrestling inspiration when he chose to lead the crowd in a chant directed at his opponent. Although this chant would have been too risque, even for the foul-mouthed Austin. “When I count to three, I want this entire arena to scream ‘F— the Mayweathers’,” McGregor commanded. He counted, and the crowd complied.
Towards the end of his monologue, McGregor noticed Mayweather had a backpack with him on stage. Without missing a beat, McGregor walked to Mayweather and said, “You’re 40 years of age, dress your f—ing age. What are you doing with a school bag on stage? You can’t even read!”
It was clear from the start that the crowd in Toronto was intensely pro McGregor and hated Mayweather. Mayweather acknowledged this when he got his turn at the mic. “One thing we do know,” Mayweather said, getting in McGregor’s face. “The f—ing fans can’t fight for you.”
Much of Mayweather’s time on the mic was spent hyping up his 49-0 record and, of course, how much money he makes.
At one point Mayweather began posing with an Irish flag that was thrown on the stage. McGregor responded by casually grabbing Mayweather’s backpack left by the podium. He opened it up and was surprised by what he found inside. “That’s it?” McGregor asked in shock. “There’s about five grand in here.”
There was only five grand in there yesterday, but there should be a few million more once this fight is over.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: This stop was highly entertaining and I urge you to check out at the very least the highlight package if not the whole thing. There was some grumbling that the L.A. stop was a little too stuffy and lacked any real fireworks and whether it was by design or, if after hearing the criticisms, everyone stepped up their games in Toronto. Everything is clicking for this fight right now and business should be good. Let’s see what they have in store for Brooklyn tonight.
THURSDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-Even with Conor on everyone’s mind right now, it still wasn’t enough to take the ESPY Award for Best Fighter. The award went to Demetrious Johnson, who beat out McGregor, Andre Ward, and Gennady Golovkin.
-Referee Mario Yamasaki spoke to Combate about his controversial stoppage of the Kevin Lee-Michael Chiesa fight last month. “I’m sure he went to sleep,” Yamasaki said (via Bloody Elbow). “Everyone said he didn’t tap, but there’s no tapping when you go to sleep, otherwise he would’ve moved his arm. I only have to move an athlete when I’m in doubt and there was no doubt. I saw a guy who stopped defending himself and going limp.”
-Joseph Duffy has re-signed with UFC on a seven-fight deal, reports MMA Fighting.
-Bellator 181 is tomorrow headlined by Derek Campos vs. Brandon Girtz in a lightweight trilogy fight. You can watch the weigh-ins today at 6 p.m. ET HERE.
Check out Derek Campos taking on Melvin Guillard from Bellator 149 last February
NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: WEDNESDAY NEWS DIGEST 7/13: Mayweather-McGregor “World Press Tour” kicks off, but did it make news (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)