Floyd Mayweather called Conor McGregor a faggot and accused the UFC fighter of racism in an ugly public appearance at Wembley Arena
Floyd Mayweather attacked Conor McGregor with a homophobic slur and accused the UFC fighter of racism in the final leg of a promotional tour that has descended into an ugly war of words.
The UFC lightweight champion was again forced to defend himself against allegations of racism as Mayweather rounded on him at a heated press call in front of 10,000 fans at Wembley Arena.
Racism still exists. Its all about treating people like you want to be treated. To get respect you must give respect, said Mayweather, who then called McGregor a faggot on stage.
He totally disrespected black women. He called black people monkeys. Then he spoke disrespectfully to my mother and my daughter. There are certain levels you dont stoop to and certain levels you just dont go to. I love everybody from all walks of life.
Claims of racism against McGregor were first levelled during the opening two legs of the four-date journey through North America and Europe to generate publicity for their August 26 clash. McGregor told Mayweather dance for me, boy a phrase with racial overtones.
In New York, the UFC lightweight champion had only inflamed the issue, saying he was half-black from the belly button down before appearing to refer to black people as dancing monkeys when discussing the film Rocky III on a chat show.
Irishman McGregor, who has predicted he will win inside four rounds despite never having previously boxed as a professional, vehemently denied being a racist.
You can be fooled by [Mayweather] if you want to be fooled by him. You know the mans character and his history. Hes trying to sway people in his favour and its a cheap move, McGregor said.
I was trying to address something in my own little way but whatever, if he feels its disrespectful then hes an idiot and fuck him as well. Its a dirty play. I think [the accusation] is ridiculous. I dont understand it. I know who I am as a person and I think that most realistic people will look at me and know who I am.
Cheered on by supporters whose spirits were not dampened by a near-two-hour delay, McGregor goaded the 40-year-old Mayweather with taunts about his age, appearance and rumoured tax bill.
He remarked that four years ago he had fought in front of only 400 people at a small venue in London, adding this is my first time in a boxing ring and in six weeks Ill rule boxing.
Mayweather was booed as soon as he took the microphone and endured a hostile reception from the pro-McGregor crowd throughout his performance.
The tour became a verbal battle that people were scoring and I didnt anticipate it being so back and forth, McGregor said.
If we are going to score it then lets do that I smoked him on all four rounds.
While the money generated by the clash in Las Vegas is expected to eclipse the previous record held by Mayweathers victory over Manny Pacquiao, its credibility has been questioned.
McGregor, who turned 29 on Friday, is a boxing novice and is facing a man regarded as the finest boxer of his generation.
They call that jealousy. It comes with the territory. This is big for both MMA and the boxing world. This is huge, Mayweather said.
Every MMA guy is trying to fight a boxer. A fight like this can only happen once in a lifetime. This is a very, very big event. It took more than just myself to make this fight happen, but to make a fight of this magnitude happen I had to be involved.
Originally published at: http://www.theguardian.com/us