Mayweather, McGregor easily make weight for big fight

LAS VEGAS — Floyd Mayweather weighed in at a trim 149 1/2 pounds Friday for his boxing showdown with Conor McGregor, who also made weight at 153 pounds.

The undefeated boxer and the two-division UFC champion were comfortably below the 154-pound limit when they stepped on the scales before a raucous crowd at T-Mobile Arena, which will host the so-called Money Fight on Saturday night.

The enthusiastic turnout included thousands of McGregor’s vocal Irish fans, who sang and waved flags. Mayweather was the villain as usual, but his cheering section also appeared to be more robust than normal for the American antihero.

Mayweather had expressed doubt McGregor could make the weight, but the Irishman roared and flexed as he came in well within the mark. McGregor is making his professional boxing debut in Vegas.

“I’ll stomp my foot in the centre of that ring, and I won’t go nowhere,” said McGregor, who expects to weigh around 170 pounds by the first bell.

Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) came in remarkably light, and he is likely to have a noticeable size disadvantage. Although Mayweather had a bulging six-pack, McGregor claimed he wasn’t impressed.

“He looks blown out and out of shape,” McGregor said. “That’s the worst shape I’ve ever seen him in. I’ll stop him in the second round. Let’s see who can take it. I see a man afraid.”

Mayweather expressed no concern about his own weight disadvantage. The 40-year-old champion’s game is built on speed and elusiveness, not brawn.

“Weight doesn’t win fights,” he said. “Fighting wins fights.”

Mayweather also wasn’t bothered by the crowd booing him.

“I’ve been here before,” Mayweather said. “I know what it takes in a fight of this magnitude. He did a lot of (talking). I did a lot of this. Tomorrow, it comes down to the fighters.”

Not everything went perfectly for Mayweather at the weigh-in. His protege, Gervonta Davis, was stripped of his 130-pound IBF title when he weighed in at 132 pounds for his co-feature undercard bout against Francisco Fonseca.

The 22-year-old Davis, who fights for Mayweather Promotions, was due to defend the belt for the second time in front of a vast pay-per-view audience. But Davis also had trouble making the limit for his first title defence against Liam Walsh in May, needing three tries to hit it.

Davis and Fonseca will still fight, but only Fonseca can win the belt.

“My fans and supporters, I apologize,” Davis wrote on Twitter. “I will make it up!”

Tickets were free for the event, and fans got a show from hip-hop star YG beforehand. The building appeared to be essentially full, but that might not be the case on fight night: Ticket prices for Saturday’s show are trending down, with many below the original list price.

Some tickets at the T-Mobile arena could be had for as little as $1,100, while seats closer to the action were being listed on secondary markets for less than they originally cost. A day before the fight, there were also hundreds of tickets left at the box office.

Jesse Lawrence of TicketIQ, a reseller and market analysis site, said promoters misjudged their market when they priced the arena from $2,500 in the upper sections to $10,000 at ringside. He said roughly 10 per cent of the 20,000-seat arena remained for sale.

There were also plenty of closed circuit seats available at hotels owned by MGM Resorts at $150 each.

While ticket sales have been spotty, the fight is still expected to do huge numbers on pay-per-view. Up to 50 million people are expected to watch the bout in the United States alone.

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