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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Conor's fight will be the biggest pay-per-view boxing battle of all

Conor McGregor in Las Vegas. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile
Conor McGregor in Las Vegas. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile
Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile
Irish fans getting into the party mood. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile

Conor McGregor's megabucks clash with Floyd Mayweather on Saturday night is set to be the biggest pay-per-view event of all time.

With many expected late subscriptions on the day, it is estimated ticket and TV sales for the fight will break the $72m (€61m) mark.

Some 50 million people in the United States alone are expected to tune in for the "fight of the century". Millions more will be watching worldwide as fans discover a variety of ways to tune in to the bout.

Although Sky says it cannot reveal the full number subscribing until after the pay-for-view event, it confirmed it has been selling "phenomenally well."

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McGregor and Mayweather came face to face last night for the final pre-fight press conference ahead of the big showdown.

Crumlin star McGregor (29) remained defiant as he vowed to form his own hybrid sport combining UFC and boxing once he defeats Mayweather.

When asked if he can take Mayweather's punches, the UFC star was not mincing his words.

"I have been through shinbone," he said. "We are prepared for three minute rounds of non-stop pace, I will break this old man.

"When it is done I will have 20 seconds where I will relish victory and then I'll be like 'who's next?'. That's the way I have always been."

The lacklustre press conference saw Mayweather heap praise on McGregor, calling him a "hell of a fighter".

Mayweather even turned on one of his own fans who had heckled the Irishman throughout the press conference, telling him: "I told you if you can't conduct yourself you shouldn't be in here." Back home, there are plenty of options for those planning on an early start.

Sky has worked with some commercial outlets, like Vue Cinema in Liffey Valley, Dublin, to allow a special screening of the fight on a massive screen.

The doors at Vue will open at 11.45pm with the show advertised to finish at 7.10am on Sunday morning. Tickets cost €20 (standard ticket) for an adult and €17.50 for teens and students. By comparison, ordering the fight at home through Sky will cost €24.95.

The fight will be also shown at Crumlin Boxing Club, where McGregor laid down his first sparring sessions.

Local football club Bluebell United will also be showing the fight with Leeson Street nightclub Buck Whaleys also opening its doors.

Several Dublin nightclubs will also be showing the fight live - including The Wright Venue in Swords and Sin Nightclub.

While millions will be tuning in to the battle, there are a number of tickets for the showdown at the T:Mobile Arena in Las Vegas still available.

Some 7,000 tickets were still up for grabs for the bout last week, according to reports.

However, that figure is now expected to be down to around 1,000 left with ticket sales picking up quickly over the last week. There are plenty of tickets left in the arena itself, where prices originally ranged from $2,500 (€2,116) in the upper sections to $10,000 (€8,465) at ringside.

Ticket prices have been dropping in the resale market, with some available for less than $1,300 on Tuesday, and are expected to decline more in the days before the fight.

Promoter Dana White said last week that around $60m (€51m) was already in the pockets of the promoters, but that figure is likely to be much higher. Although ticket sales have been slow in Las Vegas, largely due to the astronomical prices, the fight is shaping up as must-see TV at a price of $99.95 (€85).

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