There’s only one reason the Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor fight made sense: Money.
Mayweather, 40, retired two years ago with nothing left to prove after putting together a 49-0 record in boxing and earning victories over the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Canelo Alvarez, Ricky Hatton, and many others.
McGregor, 29, is on top of the mixed martial arts world after winning the UFC’s featherweight title in 2015 and its lightweight title in 2016. He’s in position to pick and choose between MMA title contenders.
The amount of money the pair will make from Saturday night made the risks going into the fight worthwhile for both.
What is a “purse” and how much is it for Mayweather and McGregor?
The purse is the amount that both fighters make, regardless of the financial success of the fight through ticket sales and pay-per-view purchases. Even if zero fans watched the fight between Mayweather and McGregor on Saturday night, the two already have huge amounts headed their way.
According to documents obtained by MMA Fighting, Mayweather is guaranteed a $100 million disclosed purse for the fight, while McGregor will take home $30 million.
How much will they make total?
Both Mayweather and McGregor have a promotional stake in the fight Saturday. That means their total income from the bout depends on how many people decide to pay $99.99 to watch. The best guess: it will be a whole lot.
Mayweather expects he’ll eclipse $300 million and McGregor is predicted to make around $100 million.
Of course, both are boastful personalities and are likely being optimistic with their projections. But there’s certainly plenty of interest in the fight Saturday, and it’s safe to say they’ll each make a ridiculous amount for a maximum of 36 minutes of work.
Why is Mayweather making more than McGregor?
In 2007, Mayweather Promotions was launched and has been built into a successful promotion that currently has more than 20 boxers on its roster. Among those is IBF junior lightweight champion Gervonta Davis, who will steps into the ring in the final undercard fight before Mayweather and McGregor meet.
While McGregor recently launched McGregor Promotions, it is not nearly as established, and Mayweather has a longstanding relationship with Showtime. Even on Showtime’s All Access that previewed the fight in multiple episodes, Mayweather was listed as an executive producer.
So because the fight is on Showtime, in partnership with Mayweather Promotions, he gets a bigger piece of the pie.
If that doesn’t sound fair, keep in mind that McGregor’s biggest disclosed pay day in the UFC was a $3 million purse for his rematch against Nate Diaz a little over a year ago. He doesn’t seem too upset to be primed to make about $100 million on Showtime.