Mayweather Jr. Feels Pressure to Hound McGregor in the Ring: 'I Owe the Public for the Pacquiao Fight'

The undefeated boxer plans on coming out more aggressively than usual against "The Notorious," he revealed in an ESPN interview—but is this just another mind game?

Floyd Mayweather Jr. Smiles At Manny Pacquiao
Al Bello / Getty

Crunch time is officially underway for the wildly anticipated showdown between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

We’ve seen videos of Mayweather training, Instagram posts taunting McGregor, and his wild moments from the four-city press tour, but we haven’t seen too much of him speaking about the upcoming bout with any degree of seriousness.

But in his first major press appearance since the press tour, Mayweather was focused on the past.

In an interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, "Money Mayweather" said he felt that he still "owed the public" for what turned out to be a lackluster fight with Manny Pacquiao.

Floyd says fans can expect more from this fight than his last.

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This sounds rather odd coming from a fighter whose calling card has been getting hit so little that he can hit the club after his fight without hiding his bruises with oversized shades. In another part of the same interview he also tried to (uncharacteristically) talk up his opponent—at least on paper.

"He's a lot younger, he's taller, has a longer reach, he's a bigger man from top to bottom," Mayweather said. "He's a lot younger, so youth is on his side."

Mayweather also mentioned his own shortcomings: "And I've been off a couple of years. And I'm in my 40s. So, if you look at everything on paper, it leans toward Conor McGregor."

It appears as though the unretired boxer is playing possum, as he’s forgetting to mention that he often refers to himself as TBE, or The Best Ever. And, on paper, there's one stat that may matter more than all the rest: 0–0, McGregor's boxing record. (Mayweather is, of course, is 49–0.)

Whether Mayweather is being facetious or not, this has been the first time lately that Mayweather, and not his opponent, has dominated the news cycle surrounding the fight. McGregor made headlines recently for his feud with ex-sparing partner Paulie Malignaggi, over a brief spat with Mike Tyson, and the announcement of his upcoming film.

It appears these bizarre stories will continue to be the talk of the fight game until August 26—and that's exactly how these fighters, both talented self-promoters, would like to keep it.

Take a look at the clips below for more of Mayweather's interview with Smith.