There are a lot of reason to be unenthused about Saturday night’s big boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor. There’s Mayweather’s history of domestic violence and proclivity toward casual homophobia. There’s McGregor’s racist comments and general assholishness. And there’s the fact that this is a totally contrived event between two guys who don’t even compete in the same sport.
Most frustrating of all, those ploys have worked perfectly. The immature and offensive epithets incited passion among fans and built hype for the fight, while the absurdity of a boxer fighting a mixed martial artist did nothing to quell the public excitement.
The end result of all this is, of course, Mayweather and McGregor making a crapload of money. The Nevada State Athletic Commission announced Friday night that Mayweather will earn a $100 million purse from the fight, with McGregor getting at least $30 million. Both fighters will take in millions more from pay-per-view sales, which are projected to total around $700 million.
Mayweather also earned a guaranteed $100 million purse when he fought Manny Pacquiao in 2015, with his total payday exceeding $250 million. McGregor has never received a purse of this size.
Usually, it’s nice to see athletes compensated well for events that pad the pockets of organizers and TV executives. But in this case, it’s hard to be too happy for a pair of jerks who used bigotry to promote a fight that has felt like a publicity stunt from the start.