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McGregor vs Mayweather: Why America’s Economy Needs This Fight

After almost a year of rumors and speculation, a boxing match between UFC champion Conor McGregor and retired pound-for-pound boxing great Floyd Mayweather Jr. still isn’t set, but it appears both sides are getting closer to an agreement. Talks between the two have been ramping up, and McGregor has gone as far as saying that his next fight will be against Mayweather.


If the fight does happen, it will be a huge benefit for the economy. Here’s why:


Big Fights Generate Big Revenue for All Involved


A popular fight can make quite a bit of money for more than just the fighters and the promoters. It also has a significant economic impact on the area where the fight takes place, and a smaller economic impact across the rest of the country. The fight location benefits because there’s more people in town spending their money at local businesses. Around the rest of the United States, people go out to bars, restaurants and other locations to watch, which means those local hotspots are making far more money on one Saturday night than they normally would.


For an example of how much money a massive fight can generate for a city, the 2015 fight between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao had an economic impact of over $150 million in the Las Vegas area.


What Kind of Numbers Could Mayweather vs. McGregor Do?


The fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao was obviously huge for the economy, as you’d expect from an event that sold 4.6 million pay-per-views at $100 each. If Mayweather versus McGregor reached those type of numbers, it would have a similar effect, and there’s reason to believe it could go even higher.


Manny Pacquiao is a very popular fighter who has headlined some big pay-per-view events. But besides his fight against Mayweather, Pacquiao’s typical pay-per-view numbers were around 1.1 to 1.2 million, and his two fights before the Mayweather super fight did 800,000 and 475,000 buys, respectively. And that’s in boxing, where the biggest fights tend to sell better than the biggest UFC cards.


Compare Pacquiao’s numbers to McGregor’s. In 2016, McGregor headlined three UFC cards, and while the UFC doesn’t release its pay-per-view sales numbers, estimates have each event selling at least 1.3 million, with UFC 202 in particular surpassing 1.6 million. The numbers show that McGregor is a bigger draw than Pacquiao, and his fame is still growing, whereas Pacquiao fought Mayweather well after his peak years.


Will the Fight Actually Happen?


The $1-billion question is whether this fight will take place or if it’s just a pipe dream. Right now, it’s looking like it will take place at some point. The most important part of making this fight is that both fighters want it to happen, and it’s obvious that they do.


For Mayweather, this fight is an opportunity to make well over $100 million while facing an opponent who has never boxed professionally. This would likely be Mayweather’s first or second-biggest fight and paycheck. The difference is that for all his other fights, he was facing off against highly skilled professional boxers. In this fight, he’d have the opportunity to earn huge money against an opponent that Mayweather likely sees as a cakewalk.


For McGregor, he would be making by far the biggest paycheck of his career, and in terms of the fight itself, he’s in a win-win situation. Sports betting websites have already set him as a huge underdog, so even if he loses, it won’t hurt his reputation, especially considering he’s an MMA fighter, not a boxer. If he does the unthinkable and defeats Mayweather, his fame will skyrocket even more.


It’s looking like a fight between Mayweather and McGregor is only a matter of time. When it occurs, it will be a huge financial boost for all involved, and that includes the United States.

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