The much-hyped Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight has been scheduled for Aug. 26 in Las Vegas, according to two people familiar with the negotiations.
The two people spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition on anonymity because the date had yet to be released publicly.
Mayweather is the favorite with an undefeated (49-0) record, but he has been retired since September 2015. McGregor, a two-division UFC champ, applied for his boxing license in Nevada recently and would have to adjust to a boxing-only fight.
The hype machine is going strong for this fight. It has been talked about for several months, even before it was confirmed to be happening. That, some in boxing say, is good for the sport.
“Without a doubt boxing is surging,” Stephen Espinoza, executive vice president for Showtime Sports, told the Associated Press recently. “We see that in our ratings and in our digital traffic. What has become clear to those in the boxing industry is that in order to attract attention you’ve got to have signature, high-profile events.”
Not everyone is a fan of this fight. Former champion Oscar De La Hoya wrote a long facebook post recently ripping it. He has called it a circus and said the reason for the fight wasn’t good for fans
“Floyd’s and Conor’s motivation is clear. It’s money,” De La Hoya wrote. “But it’s also a lack of consequences for when the fight ends up being the disaster that is predicted. After this fight, neither of them will need us anymore. Floyd will go back to retirement — presumably for good this time with another nine-figure paycheck — and Conor will go back to the UFC.
“It’s a win-win for them. It’s a lose-lose for us. …We will have squandered another opportunity to bring boxing back to its rightful place as the sport of kings.”