Crossover bouts in professional sports have never fared well, but Saturday’s bout between boxing champion Floyd Mayweather and UFC titleholder Conor McGregor promises to be different. There is plenty of hype, and both men are stars in their own field. While the bout could wind up one-sided, it does not seem to be boring.
Mayweather, who has won titles in five divisions and is 49-0, is pay-per-view gold; this match should bring in plenty of cash. More than 4.9 million customers are expected to buy the Showtime pay-per-view event. The left-handed McGregor is a stand-up fighter and presents an interesting challenge for the older Mayweather. McGregor, 29, did box as a youth and was an All-Ireland champion at age 16.
Topps, which has a partnership with UFC, announced Tuesday that it has produced a limited edition trading card set featuring the road to the fight. It’s available exclusively on Topps.com. Each set will contain 20 cards and will feature images from the news conferences, training sessions and other memorable moments leading up to the bout.
The sets are already available carry a $24.99 price tag and will be available for one week. Topps will print only the number of sets purchased.
Topps also will issue separate match preview cards later this week. These cards will be the highlights from the fight weigh-in. In addition, Topps said it planned to release a collectible trading card of the bout’s winner on Monday.
Boxing fans with long memories — and a sense of humor — may recall heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in his June 25, 1976, match against pro wrestler Antonio Inoki. Ali danced around for 15 rounds while Inoki was prone on the canvas in attempt to execute a leg sweep to get the boxing champ off his feet. It didn’t happen, and the bout ended in a draw.
The earlier “fight” on the same card was much better in terms of action, with wrestling legend Andre the Giant eventually tossing boxer Chuck Wepner out of the ring. Wepner was unable to get back into the ring in time and was counted out.
It was all quite a farce. At least the Mayweather-McGregor bout sounds serious.