Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor deserve every penny they got in Vegas - so stop moaning

Floyd Mayweather overcame the challenge of a brave Conor McGregor on Saturday night

Floyd Mayweather overcame the challenge of a brave Conor McGregor on Saturday night

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Judging by the coverage of Saturday’s super-fight, it seems the standard reaction to its bloated purse has been an unhealthy mix of jealousy and ignorance.

Over the weekend Floyd Mayweather, as widely predicted, earned a record 50th career win by stopping UFC icon Conor McGregor in one of the richest bouts in boxing history at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.

But instead of commending McGregor for taking on the undefeated Mayweather — a fight that could have tainted the Irishman's entire career had it ended as quickly as the know-it-alls so confidently suggested, and hugely damaged the reputation of boxing in the process — it was the financial side that tended to grab the headlines. 

Prior to the bout, Nevada State Athletic Commission confirmed that the minimum each fighter will earn is $100million for Mayweather and $30million for McGregor.

Pay-per-view sales, ticket sales and more could see the fight purse increase to some $300 million, with total revenues at around $700 million (£543.5 million), the Telegraph have reported.

I for one, though, am unperturbed by the figure the two take home. It’s justified. They've been paid precisely what they're worth according to the market and I fully expect that cash to be flaunted, probably instantly.

Just as footballers feel the wrath when it's revealed a player is earning in excess of £200,000 a week for simply 'kicking a ball about', again the jealousy of many blinds the ability to see these individuals are paid the going rate for their job. They are at the very top of their game, striding through the mists of agony and uncertainty to scale peaks barely visible to the rest of us, and are rewarded accordingly.

It is, after all, much easier to compare and sulk over the state of one’s own salary than it is to accept a select few are simply worth a heck of a lot more.

Many have condemned the working-class McGregor for parading his wealth to the world since his rise to fame, watching the 29-year-old strut in his expensive suits, designer watches and array of sports cars with disappointment.

But McGregor is an exceptional character with first-class mental intelligence. He’s battled, figuratively and literally, to become as marketable as he has on a now-global stage and shouldn’t be forced to hide his fame. (For those unfamiliar with his journey, Win or Learn by his trainer and the equally inspiring John Kavanagh offers brilliant insight).

It would be lovely to see him slog it out in a tracksuit from Sports Direct to maintain the poor man's image from his youth, but why should he? So a charming, inoffensive narrative can be played out?

Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, two of the greatest in world football and worth a reported combined net worth of more than £300 million, similarly emerged from a childhood which was as far from the glamorous lifestyles they currently lead as possible. Now they have the luxurious option of being as understated or overstated in their wealth as they wish.

But, like McGregor, you can bet your bottom dollar they haven’t forgotten where they came from.

So quit the envious whining over how much those at the top of their game earn and expend more effort on understanding what it takes to reach the summit.