BOX­ING

May­weather, McGregor clash over racism dur­ing me­dia tour

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Conor McGregor cel­e­brated his 29th birth­day by de­fend­ing him­self against ac­cu­sa­tions of racism dur­ing a me­dia tour to pro­mote his fight with Floyd May­weather in Lon­don on Fri­day. The Ir­ish mixed mar­tial arts fighter went on the de­fen­sive at the fourth press con­fer­ence in as many days with Amer­i­can May­weather at the SSE Arena, Wem­b­ley. The pair meet in a light-mid­dleweight box­ing con­test at the TMo­bile Arena in Las Ve­gas on Au­gust 26 in what could be box­ing’s rich­est ever fight. But the event has re­ceived some neg­a­tive pub­lic­ity since McGregor said to May­weather at a press con­fer­ence in Los An­ge­les on Tues­day, “Dance for me, boy”. “If he feels dis­re­spected he’s an id­iot and **** him as well,” McGregor told re­porters at a press con­fer­ence.

“I think it’s **** ing ridicu­lous. I don’t un­der­stand it. I know who I am as a per­son. Most re­al­is­tic peo­ple can see that. He’s try­ing to sway some­thing by (say­ing I’m) dis­re­spect­ing women.”

Be­fore go­ing on stage in Lon­don, Amer­i­can May­weather crit­i­cised McGregor for what he per­ceived were racists com­ments made by the Ir­ish­man. “Racism still ex­ists,” said May­weather. “I’ve got a di­verse team. It’s all about treat­ing peo­ple how you want to be treated. You have to give re­spect to give it back. “He to­tally dis­re­spected black women, he called black peo­ple mon­keys and he was dis­re­spect­ful to my (13year-old) daugh­ter.

“I’m not go­ing to stoop that low to talk about his wife or child. There’s cer­tain lev­els and you don’t stoop to or cross. I love ev­ery­one.”

But May­weather, 40, was just as guilty as McGregor in us­ing in­sult­ing terms for women on Fri­day. Their lat­est trash-talk­ing ex­change was full of pro­fan­i­ties and in­sults, just like the pre­vi­ous events in New York, Toronto and Los An­ge­les. Both claimed vic­tory in the war of words.

“I smoked him in all four rounds,” McGregor said. “In the first round, they set me up with no mu­sic or any­thing. The **** you suit I wore went vi­ral. Toronto was a wipeout, a 10-7 round, and New York was al­right, and tonight I smoked him so it’s 4-0, or 3-1 if you want to be gen­er­ous.”

But May­weather, who has not fought since Septem­ber 2015, be­lieves he got the bet­ter of McGregor. “I’m the best at it, when it comes to trash talk­ing,” May­weather said. “He’s not able to push my but­tons. He can­not out talk me. “There has been a lot of trash talk­ers (through his ca­reer) and at the end of the day, he’s not bad.

“We will rate him num­ber two, I’m num­ber one. He’s got heart. You need more guys to be more ag­gres­sive to each other, do more trash talk­ing to each other.” By day four in Lon­don, some of the lines had al­ready been heard, but not that the es­ti­mated crowd of 10,000 at the SSE Arena cared much. They lapped it up and cheered, but only for McGregor. May­weather, a five-weight world box­ing cham­pion who knocked out Bri­ton Ricky Hat­ton in 2007, was booed loudly by the fans, many of whom were Ir­ish, and he could barely be heard.

The pair met on a makeshift stage, a box­ing ring, in the mid­dle of the venue. “This is my first time in a box­ing ring, and in six weeks I run box­ing,” said McGregor. “Four years ago I fought in front of 400 peo­ple. Now I get to quadru­ple my met worth for half a fight.”—AFP

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