Mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor says he has become “the face of the fight game” ahead of his upcoming multi-million dollar boxing match against Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas this month.
The 29-year-old Irishman, who has never boxed professionally, told reporters at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas on Friday that his sole concern was getting the win, and that the cash was a secondary issue.
UFC lightweight champion McGregor is due to face the 40-year old Mayweather, who retied in 2015 with an unblemished 49-0, on Aug. 26 in a 12-round super welterweight boxing bout.
“I am the face of the fight game, period. And I’ll rule over both (boxing and MMA) with an iron fist — an iron left fist,” he told reporters.
The fight against “Money” Mayweather will shoot the brash Irishman into the financial stratosphere, but McGregor said he was not worried about the cash.
“The word (money) isn’t even in my vocabulary. I’m preparing to win, and to win in devastating fashion,” he said. “I don’t care about money. As long as I make my correct decisions and don’t make stupid decisions, I’m set for life.”
Wearing a robe made for him by fashion designer Donatella Versace, emblazoned with his name and “Notorious” nickname in gold on the back, McGregor said he felt in “pristine condition” as he had his hands wrapped for the workout.
“This is a fight that has been in my crosshairs since Floyd’s been opening his mouth, simple as that,” McGregor said of his decision to chase a match-up against one of the greatest boxers of all time.
Both fighters have said that the contest at the T-Mobile Arena will not go the full 12 rounds. Mayweather told the media at his workout on Thursday that the fight going the distance would represent a victory for his 29-year-old opponent.
“You know what I heard him say yesterday? Nothing,” McGregor scoffed when asked about the statement.
“I saw a man scared, that’s what I saw, I saw a lackluster workout, I saw a man trying to talk himself out of it. That’s what I saw.”
McGregor warmed up and then pulled on his boxing gloves, working up a sweat on a selection of punch bags for 12 three-minute rounds.
After a flurry of punches on the final bag, McGregor still had one more parting shot for boxing fans who he says are bored with how their sport.
“I just want to say to all of boxing — it’s OK to love me as much as I love me. It’s OK. Let it go,” a beaming McGregor said.
(Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Peter Rutherford)