Will Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. be headed to a rematch?
Even before Saturday’s fight-of-the-decade kicked off, there was growing speculation that the two may be planning a second bout. There would be plenty of reasons for a rematch, but the money may be the biggest one. While it will take a while for the final numbers to be in, the fight on Saturday night could generate half a billion dollars in revenue, the Telegraph predicted.
That has many boxing commentators wondering if there could already be seeds planted for a rematch between McGregor and Mayweather. While Mayweather has said publicly that this will be his last bout, he said the same after defeating Manny Pacquiao only to return for McGregor.
USA Today speculated that a rematch between McGregor and Mayweather could be even bigger than the first fight.
“There is only one event in the immediate future of boxing and mixed martial arts that could possibly be bigger than Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor.
“That would be Mayweather vs. McGregor II, a rematch at some point next year and an outcome that almost certainly hinges on the Irishman from the world of the Ultimate Fighting Championship somehow producing a boxing miracle en route to a shock for the ages.”
The prospect of a McGregor-Mayweather rematch could depend largely on how the fight ends, Fansided noted. The report speculated that there would be little chance of a rematch if Mayweather were to knock out McGregor or crush him on points. Mayweather comes into the fight as a huge favorite over McGregor, the UFC star making his professional boxing debut, and a big win would reinforce the notion that McGregor doesn’t belong in the same ring as Mayweather. Any chance of a rematch will be shot in this scenario, the report added.
But if McGregor can keep the bout close, or even fight his way to a split decision loss, there could be a big market for a second fight, the report noted.
“In this scenario, McGregor would prove to the world that a highly skilled MMA fighter can compete against the highest level boxers and find success,” Fansided noted. “It would show that an MMA fighter’s expertise doesn’t reside in their ground game, but that it extends to their striking as well.”
Sports Illustrated noted that it is not too early to start speculating about a possible McGregor-Mayweather rematch, and the fighters have even talked publicly about a second bout — even if jokingly. During one exchange, McGregor challenged Mayweather to a fight inside the UFC octagon.
“A rematch might be unlikely,” the report noted. “But it’s certainly possible: After all, it seemed unlikely that McGregor and Mayweather would fight in the first place. The biggest factor? The potential payout from a second fight could very well be too massive for either fighter to turn down.”
There have also been some conspiracy theories floating around this week that the very public jawing between Mayweather and McGregor is all staged, part of a plan to get as much attention as possible and lead up to a rematch. That was a point raised by golfer Rory McIlroy, Conor McGregor’s fellow Irishman.
“It’s amazing, like we were talking about, imagine McGregor knocks him out in the first couple of rounds,” McIlroy said, via SB Nation. “They would get even more for the rematch. The rematch would be even bigger. So it’s just — I just don’t know what that zero on Mayweather’s record is worth, and that’s the thing. That’s his legacy. If he goes down and lies down for ten seconds at some point in that, you know, is that worth making an extra few 100 million? That’s sort of up to him.”
If there is a rematch between McGregor and Mayweather, it likely won’t be announced anytime soon. There were months of buildup and speculation before McGregor and Mayweather officially agreed to Saturday’s fight, and the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight took even longer — years, in fact — to come together. So any word of a second fight would likely be a ways off, experts predict.
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]