LONDON — Conor McGregor insisted that he won the four-round trash-talking battle with Floyd Mayweather after enjoying a raucous 29th birthday party at the London media event on Friday.
Mayweather was drowned out by boos, while McGregor reveled in the support and reactions to his insults on the last leg of a four-stop media tour in front of a crowd of some 10,000 at the SSE Arena, Wembley.
There were no stunts or particularly memorable moments, but the crowd, much of which was Irish, still loved it.
McGregor, celebrating his 29th birthday on Friday, was the crowd favourite, and Mayweather, 40, was happy to play the villain in another foul-mouthed pantomime to promote their light-middleweight boxing contest on Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“It became like a verbal battle and people were scoring me and you don’t envisage that but if you are doing that, f— it, I smoked him,” McGregor told reporters afterward.
“In the first round, they set me up with no music or anything. The f— you suit I wore went viral. Toronto was a wipeout, a 10-7 round, and New York was all right, and tonight I smoked him, so it’s 4-0, or 3-1 if you want to be generous.
“I’m making history here. It will live long after I’m gone, and I’m proud of that.”
Mayweather, naturally, thought he was the winner of the war of words.
“I’m the best at it, when it comes to trash-talking,” he told reporters. “He’s not able to push my buttons. He cannot out-talk me.
“You need more guys to be more aggressive to each other, do more trash-talking to each other.”
As in the previous media stops in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, there were plenty of profanities and insults exchanged between Mayweather, the best boxer of his generation, and McGregor, the biggest star in mixed martial arts.
At one particularly tasteless moment, Mayweather said to Dana White, the UFC president: “You’re a pimp, and this [McGregor] is your ‘ho.”
But the American was drowned out by boos when it was his turn to speak on the makeshift ring in the middle of the venue.
Mayweather will attract criticism for his anti-gay slur when he addressed McGregor at the live event: “You punk, you f—-t, you ho.”
“There has been a lot of trash-talkers [through his career], and at the end of the day, he’s not bad,” Mayweather told reporters before Friday’s live event. “We will rate him No. 2. I’m No. 1. He’s got heart.”
McGregor delivered the more energetic performance. He began by saying: “This is my first time in a boxing ring, and in six weeks, I run boxing. Four years ago, I fought in front of 400 people. Now I get to quadruple my net worth for half a fight.”
Mayweather-McGregor could turn into the richest fight in boxing history, with both fighters expected to make at least $100 million and the fight possibly bringing in more than the $623.5 million that Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao generated.
Mayweather and McGregor also could have made a lot for charity, had they agreed to make a donation for every time they swore during the media tour. London, just like the other news conferences, was a profane back-and-forth between the two on stage.
Mayweather, however, did wish McGregor a happy birthday.
“I’ve got to pay him that much respect before I f— him up,” he said.
McGregor responded by asking the crowd to shout, “F— Floyd Mayweather.”
McGregor, as he has done all week, insulted his rival on subjects from his dress sense to his baldness to his finances.
Mayweather, as he has done all week, teased McGregor for submitting in three of his 24 MMA contests.
“They got greedy. That’s what they did,” McGregor said of Mayweather’s coming out of retirement to fight him.
Mayweather insists that he is not worried about McGregor fouling him during their fight.
“Am I worried about an elbow or knee? I’m going to let the referee do his job,” he said. “He will be extremely fair but firm. Nevada Commission is about treating everybody fair.”
Away from the stage, Mayweather was less dismissive of McGregor.
“He’s a warrior, that’s what I do know about Conor McGregor,” said Mayweather, who has not fought since September 2015.
“He’s going to fight to the end. He’s approaching this fight like I’m approaching this fight. It’s kill or be killed. Believe me when I say this: It’s not going to be a dull fight.
“When you look at the matchup between me and McGregor, everything leans toward McGregor. He’s taller, youth on his side, he’s active, and I’m inactive. We will see how much the layoff matters.”
White believes that McGregor will return to MMA after the fight.
“I do think Conor McGregor will come back,” White said. “Conor McGregor is a huge part of this company, and we are going to make him feel like it.
“We will make him happy. He has done what no other fighter has done. Conor McGregor is the unicorn. Conor McGregor is always willing to lay it on the line.”
Showtime Executive Vice President Stephen Espinoza believes the world tour achieved its goal.
“By every measure, this is bigger than anything we saw for Mayweather-Pacquiao,” he said.