Having taken trash-talking to record levels of excess, top fighters Floyd Mayweather Jnr and Conor McGregor now must back up their wild boasts where it counts – in the ring.
This weekend, the pair will do so amid a wave of hysteria and Las Vegas shtick, with DStv’s SuperSport broadcasting the action in the early hours of Sunday morning (from 3 am CAT) on SuperSport 2 and SS Maximo 1.
Mayweather will be aiming for a record 50th successive win as a professional. McGregor, for all the hype, will be engaging in just his first pro contest.
Yet this fight has more to do with marketing smoke and mirrors than boxing. Both will cash in like never before with their superstar status guaranteeing millions of eyeballs on televisions around the world.
Unlike many other broadcasters around the world, such as the US, where viewers must pay $99 to watch the fight, SuperSport’s Premium customers will receive it at no additional cost.
Mayweather is a slick operator who fights by the maxim of hitting and not getting hit. He has fast hands and the best defence in the game, qualities he’ll need against McGregor. The Irishman is bigger and stronger and will be unorthodox given his unfamiliarity with boxing.
He’s vowed to destroy Mayweather inside four rounds, although that is the sort of boast Mayweather has heard many times before. Forty-nine opponents have tried to beat him and 49 have failed.
With Hollywood stars scrambling for ringside tickets and regular fans trying to get their hands on tickets, which range in price from $500 to $10 000, it’s as big a fight as glitzy Las Vegas has ever seen.
The undercard offers more traditional fare with top fighters like Badou Jack and Gervonta Davis appearing.
Big fight fans can watch via their decoders or on DStv Now, online or the app.
Highlights of the fight will also be available on DStv’s Catch Up service in the hours after the event. Catch Up Plus, available on connected Exploras, will carry the full fight later in the day.