Las Vegas - Conor McGregor vowed to destroy Floyd Mayweather
here on Wednesday as the two fighters faced off ahead of their money-spinning
boxing duel that could become the richest fight in history.
In stark contrast to their lurid, trash-talking global press
tour last month, a subdued McGregor and a stern-looking Mayweather spoke
respectfully as they looked ahead to Saturday's 12-round boxing contest at the
Mayweather, who bombarded McGregor with expletives and
homophobic slurs during last month's frenzied publicity blitz, did not swear
once during Wednesday's news conference.
McGregor, the massive underdog for this weekend's bout,
restricted himself to verbally abusing a heckler in the audience who predicted
he would be knocked out.
McGregor faces his first ever professional boxing contest
against Mayweather, the undefeated former welterweight king who has come out of
a two-year retirement to take on the Irish mixed martial arts star.
However McGregor, the 29-year-old from Dublin, insisted he
was ready to stun the world of combat sports by upsetting Mayweather, who would
improve his record to a perfect 50-0 with a win.
"Been to a lot of these crazy press conferences,"
said McGregor, a two-time UFC world champion. "This is a lot more subdued.
More business-like, the way I like it.
"We are prepared for 12 three-minute rounds of non-stop
pace. We are prepared, I will put pressure on him and break this old man. Trust
me on that.
"I don't see him lasting two rounds. I feel I have the
decision to end it inside one.
"Keep your hands up, keep your hands down, I don't
care, I'm going to break through whatever's in front of me."
Mayweather, 40, looked relaxed throughout, even taking time
to quietly admonish members of his entourage shouting at McGregor.
And rather than the abuse of last month, Mayweather praised
McGregor as a "helluva fighter, a stand-up guy and a tough
"It's not going to be an easy fight," Mayweather
said. "It's going to be blood sweat and tears. "He's the best at what
he do, I'm the best at what I do. It comes down to the two competitors going
out there and displaying our skills."
But Mayweather's words came with a warning for McGregor.
"After 21 years I've been hit with everything and I'm
still right here," Mayweather said.
"And if you give it, you must be able to take it.
"Anything and everything in boxing that can be done,
I've done it. I was born a fighter, I will die a fighter. He's going to bring
his best. But it's not going to be easy, Conor."
McGregor is hoping his punching power can catch Mayweather
out on Saturday. But the American veteran warned he had faced plenty of hard
"Manny Pacquiao got bombs, Canelo (Alvarez) got bombs,
Shane Mosley got bombs. But remember this - I got a great chin. And the same
way you give it, you've got to be able to take it."
The showdown between Mayweather and McGregor was confirmed
in June after a protracted guessing game about whether the two fighters from
different sports would meet.
Saturday's bout could become the most lucrative fight in
history according to Showtime Sports television executive Stephen Espinoza.
Mayweather could add another $200 million to his career
earnings depending on pay-per-view sales while McGregor, who only four years
ago was a struggling former plumber's apprentice living on welfare, could
collect $100 million.
This will be the most widely distributed pay per view in
history," Espinoza said.
"That's not hyperbole that's fact. We are well on the
way to a record-setting event."