By Dane McGuire
Change in Glove Weight
The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) held a hearing today (August 16, 2017) to rule on a drop in glove weight for the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing superfight set to take place at the UFC’s home T-Mobile Arena on August 26. The motion to go from ten ounces to eight ounces passed unanimously.
However, the gloves of both Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr (49-0 in boxing) and those of “The Notorious” Conor McGregor (21-3 in MMA, 0-0 in boxing) will be thoroughly inspected by multiple parties leading up to the fight and on fight night.
The gloves will also be the subject of a pending post-fight study (replica pairs will be cut up for inspection with the originals eventually being returned to both men.)
The change is a one-time allowance that breaks a rule that has been in place for the last 11 years stating that boxing bouts above 147 pounds must use ten-ounce gloves. Even with the drop in weight, McGregor will still be dealing with a 100 percent increase in weight when compared with the UFC’s four-ounce gloves.
The drop was initially brought up by Mayweather on social media and both sides agreed soon after prior to the hearing. McGregor told ESPN ahead of the ruling:
“If we are in 8-ounce gloves, he will be floored multiple times in the first round,” McGregor said. “I believe first-round KO in 8-ounce gloves. The fact I can’t follow through in MMA and pound the head into the canvas and there’s a 10-count in boxing, maybe I’ll give him second round. But 8-ounce gloves, he will be done in two.”
The reason for this change was not only the magnitude of the event and the agreement made by both fighters, but also a “lack of scientific evidence” for NSAC glove rules.
Referee and Judge Announcements
The NSAC simultaneously announced the appointment of well-respected Hall of Fame referee Robert Byrd to oversee the approaching contest. Popular official Kenny Bayless, who has been a part of a number of Mayweather’s past bouts, was ruled out by the NSAC in the interest of fairness after he publicly shared negative views on the fight.
While Byrd does not have experience in MMA, his wife Adalaide Byrd has overseen UFC bouts as recently as McGregor’s rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 202. Her husband has been a boxing official since 1983 and most recently worked big-name fights like Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Miguel Cotto.
Burt Clements, Dave Moretti, and Guido Cavalleri were announced as the bout’s ringside judges. All have at minimum ten boxing bouts to their credit in 2017 alone. Byrd will be paid $20,000 with judges getting $25,000 each per the NSAC, a record in pay for the roles that ties Mayweather vs. Pacquiao
McGregor’s Next UFC Opponent
The McGregor team have already confirmed the star (and current UFC 155-pound champion) will return to MMA after he faces Mayweather and are eyeing a December date (UFC 219 takes place on December 30.) Although, McGregor has yet to defend the lightweight title and the promotion intend to keep the division moving along.
It was announced by USA Today’s MMAJunkie.com per UFC President Dana White yesterday (August 15) that an interim title fight between Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson (22-3) and Kevin “The Motown Phenom” Lee (16-2) is set for the UFC 216 pay-per-view event on October 7.
Lee is fresh off a controversial submission win over Michael “Maverick” Chiesa (now 14-3) after a perceived early stoppage by referee Mario Yamasaki. Ferguson has long been one of the division’s top contenders and will now move by #1 contender Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov (24-0,) who has failed to fight Ferguson on three occasions and is currently out due to a surgery.
McGregor previously lost his UFC featherweight (145-pound) title to then-interim champion Jose “Scarface” Aldo (currently 26-3) due to inactivity. Aldo was topped by Max “Blessed” Holloway in a UFC 206 bout to declare the undisputed king of the division.
UFC 216 will take place at the T-Mobile Arena.