When undefeated five-division pro boxing world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. and formidable UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor announced that they were going to face each other in the ring, the reactions to such a super-fight were rather mixed.

After all, mixed martial artist or not, what chance would McGregor (who only boxed in his early teens and never competitively) would have against one of the craftiest sluggers today? Some even remarked that such a match would give the sport a bad name the way Mayweather beat rival Manny Pacquiao in 2015 by “turtling.” Given the way the two opponents kicked off their press tour, there does seem to be a lot of interest in the fight happening, criticism aside.

Surprising turnout

The press tour for the Mayweather-McGregor “Money Fight,” a 154-lb light middleweight card, started off in Los Angeles Tuesday, July 11. What transpired is exactly how followers of the match negotiations expected it, and more so.

All the trash-talking and name-calling in the months leading up to the announcement of the super-fight date (next month) seemed magnified in the press tour at the Staples Center, especially since Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor can physically interact. What was surprising was a number of people in attendance, so many that lines of entry went around blocks and security personnel were out in force.

Showtime executive vice president Stephen Espinoza was profoundly impressed by the near 11,000-strong crowd that showed up for the press conference between Mayweather and McGregor.

“It is unprecedented to think you could get that kind of turnout for an event that would normally take place in a room with a couple of hundred (media) people,” he remarked.

Despite the prevailing notion that the “Money Fight” could only end in an embarrassing mismatch, it has become apparent that regardless of opinion, boxing fans would like to see what will happen when an undefeated boxer and an MMA fighter would come to blows.

Hammy animosity

From the way Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. carried on during the “Money Fight” press con, the audience could be easily forgiven if they were being slated for a pro-wrestling match. The stare-downs and off-color taunting that went on for the photo-op face-offs simply went above and beyond what could be expected from either a boxing or a UFC match-up.

As the tour moves from one venue to another, the same pageantry from the two is now expected.

With regards to which of the two fighters would carry the day on August 26, some bettors who decided to place their wagers early are of the opinion that the more ferocious McGregor can pull off an upset that “Money” Mayweather might not see coming. Boxing 8-division champ and Philippine Senator Manny Pacquiao, on the other hand, scores the match for his longtime rival, reasonably pointing out that in a boxing match the UFC warrior’s attacks are limited.