Constant stream of four-letter obscenities, racism, sexism and homophobia at Wembley was a stomach-churning abomination
The only way I can adequately describe the obscene hate crimes perpetrated by Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor at Wembley Arena last Friday is to throw the thesaurus at the pair of them.
Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor exchanged X-rated verbals in London
10,000 fans turned up to Wembley to watch the press-conference
In more than 50 years, I thought I had seen and heard every cringe-making, stomach-churning pre-fight abomination boxing has managed to inflict on the public.
From Muhammad Ali taunting Joe Frazier with a life-size toy gorilla, to Mike Tyson biting a lump out of Lennox Lewis’ leg on a New York stage — and David Haye strutting around with giant posters showing the severed heads of the Klitschko brothers.
But Mayweather and McGregor — who, when they learnt the alphabet, obviously never got past the letter F — found a way to dive deeper into the gutter than anyone else in boxing history.
It was the final destination of their four-city tour and they kept up a constant stream of four-letter obscenities that embraced racism, sexism and homophobia.
What I found distressing was the fact the 10,000 fans who were there loved every minute of it.
Perhaps even worse was that Sky and ITV, showing it live to millions, regarded it as great fun and family entertainment — I never heard a word of criticism.
The boxer said McGregor disrespected black people by allegedly calling them ‘monkeys’
Conor McGregor at one point slapped the boxer on the head
Conor McGregor sparks racism storm after appearing to refer to black people as ‘monkeys’
Mayweather and McGregor take part in their fake-fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on August 26.
What took place in Toronto, Los Angeles, New York and London has been condemned across the Atlantic by sections of the media.
Kevin Iole, an award-winning American boxing writer, said: “What happened couldn’t have convinced a single person to buy the show. It was profane, it was disgusting and appealed to the lowest common denominator.”
I would like to think because of Mayweather and McGregor’s appalling behaviour at least the pay-per-view TV sales would suffer. There’s more chance of President Donald Trump being asked to dinner by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
The press conferences held by the fighters have been explicit and extreme
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PT Barnum, the American showman who founded the Barnum & Bailey circus, said 150 years ago “Nobody ever lost a dollar by underestimating the taste of the American public.” That remark seems also to apply to Britain.
And it was German-born poet Charles Bukowski, who commented: “Bad taste creates many more millionaires than good taste.”
However much we deplore what Mayweather and McGregor got up to this mismatch will smash every financial record for combat sports.
With five weeks to go it has been estimated this punch-up pantomime can gross £800million with up to seven million pay-per-view buys worldwide.
Conor McGregor in on-stage bust-up with Floyd Mayweather’s bodyguards during heated New York press conference
Floyd Mayweather later fired a vile homophobic slur at the Irishman
The show in London was the last of a whirlwind four-city tour
The 20,000 arena tickets go on sale on Monday, priced from £400 in the gods to £8,000 ringside.
They will all be sold within seconds of the box office opening. And touts will no doubt offer them at more than 20 times their face value for starters — and get it.
Next week we should also know if Sky, ITV or BoxNation have bought the UK pay-per-view rights.
In America the PPV will cost £80. As Barnum also profoundly declared: “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
Floyd Mayweather taunts Conor McGregor by throwing dollar bills at the UFC superstar in New York press conference