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LOS ANGELES – Dana White believes that the much-hyped superfight between and will confound the critics and become the biggest selling pay-per-view event of all time.
White, the president of the UFC, was part of the discussions that got UFC lightweight champion McGregor and former pound-for-pound boxing king Mayweather to agree to a highly lucrative bout on Aug. 26 in Las Vegas.
While many boxing purists have poured scorn on the matchup, insisting it will be a one-sided dud due to McGregor’s lack of experience in the ring, White has been overwhelmingly encouraged by the publicity the contest has received.
“I think we beat the (Manny) Pacquiao fight,” White told reporters on Tuesday, referring to Mayweather’s clash with Manny Pacquiao in 2015. That fight generated 4.6 million PPV buys, far outstripping all previous records. According to White, Las Vegas bookmakers are currently predicting this fight sells 4.9 million.
“I think globally it is a much bigger fight,” White added. “I agree that Mayweather-Pacquiao was a very big fight. But globally, with Conor’s popularity in Europe, Australia, Brazil, Canada, I think this is a much bigger fight. I think we do really well.”
The pay-per-view market has been uncertain in recent times, believed to be partly due to a malaise caused by the disappointment of the Mayweather-Pacquiao clash, which produced little action and entertainment following years of anticipation. White insisted that McGregor’s desperation to cause a monumental upset will ensure far more appeal this time around.
“I don’t think anyone is going to be bummed out by the result of this fight,” he said. “I don’t see Floyd running into the middle of the ring and trading with Conor and trying to knock him out, but I see Conor going after him and Floyd being defensive.
“I hope it is a good fight. I want it to be a good fight. I want people to leave the arena and turn off the TV and they say it was a good fight.
“Anything is possible in a fight when two men go in there and start throwing punches. Conor is going to go in there and try to knock him out.”
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