The criticism of his defeat of Manny Pacquiao has driven Floyd Mayweather to put on a “good show” when on Saturday he fights Conor McGregor.
Mayweather fights for what his insists will be the final time at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, when Ireland’s McGregor, 29, will be making his professional boxing debut.
Those involved in Saturday’s promotion hope it could yet prove a greater commercial success than Mayweather-Pacquiao, which after several years in the making finally took place in 2015 to become history’s richest fight.
Mayweather-McGregor is yet to sell out, suggesting potential buyers are aware of what an uncompetitive match-up it is likely to be, and even that disappoinment at Mayweather-Pacquiao is still felt.
Excelling to convincingly outbox his greatest threat to his status as the finest fighter of the modern era, Mayweather hugely impressed against Pacquiao in a one-sided fight that offered little drama. Numerous observers were disappointed at the absence of toe-to-toe exchanges, when the reality was Mayweather performed too well to need to take such a risk.
Unlike against Pacquiao, the undefeated 40-year-old is also preparing for his final display, and perhaps in the knowledge that McGregor poses so little threat to his undefeated status, he is adamant he will “excite”.
“I’m doing it for myself but I want to entertain everybody, I want to give them a good show, and after the Pacquiao fight I feel like everybody deserves excitement, a lot more excitement,” Mayweather said.
“Even with the Pacquiao fight, like I said before, no matter what way any situation goes, they always point the finger at me. This was a guy that throws a thousand punches, was the fighter of the decade.
“From the beginning, with the Pacquiao fight, if you go back and look at the first round, the first shot I hit him with, he felt the strength was totally different.
“We’re going out there and will get it in from the beginning, from the opening bell. I truly believe (McGregor’s) going to come out like (aggressive past opponent Marcos) Maidana, at the opening bell.
“I dealt with that before, so I know how it is. If he comes out like that, he’s got to realise he’s got to be able to keep that same endurance for 12 rounds, if you’re planning on going the distance.”
Last month when promoting Saturday’s fight Mayweather accused McGregor of racism, something the Irishman has denied, but when asked about that element of Saturday’s fight, he bristled at being described as an African American.
“African American, I ain’t ever heard of ‘European American’,” he said, having also insisted boxing was not under threat from UFC’s growing popularity.
“I’m an American, man. When I go out there and compete in the Olympics they don’t say African American, they say American. I was born on American soil, I’m an American.
“I don’t want you to call me an African American, I’m an American. I’m happy to be black, a black American, but I don’t want to be known as that, you know what I’m saying?
“I love Africa, I’m going to go back to the motherland, I’ve been back there a lot of times, but I’m an American. When I compete on the USA team they don’t say African American, they say American.”