Carnival hits town as Mayweather and McGregor ready to fight

UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor arrives at Toshiba Plaza on August 22, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 23 August 2017
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Carnival hits town as Mayweather and McGregor ready to fight

LAS VEGAS: The carnival finally hit town Tuesday, with Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. putting on a bit of a fashion show before promising to knock each other out in their highly anticipated boxing match.
Mayweather wore a fedora and gold rimmed glasses while McGregor sported a three-piece suit and tie and aviator sunglasses as they made separate appearances before a crowd of several hundred people in front of the arena where they will fight Saturday night.
The two got into an unplanned verbal confrontation as they moved between the outdoor stage and the arena, though it was brief. Bodyguards kept them apart and both fighters are smart enough not to do anything to jeopardize their immense paydays from what could be the richest fight ever.
“It’s work,” Mayweather said when asked if he was having fun. “My job is to be a fighter.”
McGregor, meanwhile, reiterated his vow to knock Mayweather out within two rounds, and claimed the boxer was getting desperate in making comments about his weight and stamina.
“Let him keep praying about weight and fatigue. All he’s doing is praying,” McGregor said. “But he’s praying to the new god of boxing.”
The crowd for one of the final promotional events was small and not terribly vocal, especially after waiting an hour or two in 100-degree heat to see the fighters. There was no one in line at T-Mobile Arena’s three ticket windows, where plenty of expensive tickets remain for the bout.
The big money for the two fighters will come from pay-per-view sales, and early indications are that it could break all records. Some 50 million people may watch in the United States alone, with millions more tuning in worldwide.
Estimates vary wildly, but Mayweather could pocket $200 million, while McGregor might make $100 million.
The promotion has been more circus-like than anything, but both boxers said they were serious about putting on an explosive show on fight night.
“This fight is not going to go the distance,” Mayweather said.
“I believe I’ll knock him out early, one or two rounds,” McGregor said.
Both fighters seemed relaxed and confident, just days away from a fight that seemed improbable at times and impossible at other times. Yet they will meet under boxing rules in a scheduled 12-round fight that matches a UFC champion who has never boxed professionally against the master defensive fighter of his time.
McGregor said it was just another progression in his fighting career, and chided Mayweather for saying he hopes the referee does his job and doesn’t allow McGregor to try any mixed martial arts moves against him.
“I may make him beg me to follow the rules,” McGregor said.
Mayweather said he expected McGregor to come out wildly and use roughhouse tactics, something Marcos Maidana did effectively when he fought Mayweather in 2014. But he said the Irish fighter can’t keep that up for 12 rounds and doesn’t understand what it is to get hit by a real boxing champion.
“When he gets hit he’ll find out it’s totally different,” Mayweather said.
While looking as fit as ever and insisting he is taking the fight seriously, Mayweather said he will be doing meet-and-greet experiences every night living up to the fight at his new strip club just off the Las Vegas Strip.
“I’ll be at the Girl Collection every day this week,” he said. “Every day.”


Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 to win Champions League

Real Madrid celebrate winning the Champions League with the trophy. (REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach)
Updated 52 min 48 sec ago
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Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 to win Champions League

  • Real Madrid is the first team to achieve that feat since Bayern Munich in 1976. This is their fourth title in five years, and their 13th overall.
  • Jurgen Klopp’s and Liverpool’s own evening was marred by the loss of a distraught Mohamed Salah to injury in the first half, the Egyptian coming off half an hour in having damaged his shoulder.

KIEV, Ukraine: Gareth Bale’s eye-catching scissor-kick helped Real Madrid to a third successive Champions League title on Saturday with a 3-1 victory over a Liverpool side thwarted by a pair of goalkeeping blunders and Mohamed Salah being forced off injured.

Bale’s jaw-dropping overhead kick put Real 2-1 up moments after his introduction, following a dramatic start to the second half in which Karim Benzema gave Real the lead as a result of a Loris Karius howler.

Sadio Mane had briefly restored parity, but Bale put Real in front again and then made it 3-1 late on with a long-range strike that the unfortunate Karius could only punch into the net.

Jurgen Klopp’s and Liverpool’s own evening was marred by the loss of a distraught Mohamed Salah to injury in the first half, the Egyptian coming off half an hour in having damaged his shoulder.

This was not to be Salah’s night, with Real allowing Zinedine Zidane to become the first coach ever to win the Champions League three years in a row.

Madrid is the first team to achieve that feat since Bayern Munich in 1976. This is their fourth title in five years, and their 13th overall.

Cristiano Ronaldo has now won five in his great career, but even he could not argue that this was Bale’s evening.

The Welshman had been tipped to feature in the Real starting line-up but in the end was left out for Isco — just as he had been in the final win over Juventus last year — before making an emphatic impact as a substitute.

For Liverpool, this game will be remembered for the disaster that befell goalkeeper Karius in the second half, and for Salah’s tears as he departed the pitch at the NSC Olympiyskyi.

The Egyptian hurt his left shoulder as he went down in a challenge with Sergio Ramos in the 25th minute. Five minutes later he made way for Adam Lallana.

His presence at the World Cup could now be in doubt, as could that of Dani Carvajal — the Real right-back came off with a hamstring injury before the interval.

Those injuries temporarily took the sting out of the game after an enthralling start, with Liverpool on top.

It had been uncomfortable for Real, but after Salah departed, they sensed their chance. They even had the ball in the net in the 43rd minute, only to be denied by a marginal offside call.

Ronaldo’s header from Isco’s cross was parried by Karius, and Benzema turned in the loose ball, but the Frenchman had come from a fraction ahead of the last defender and the flag came up.

If that was a let-off for Liverpool, they were their own worst enemies at the start of the second half.

Isco struck the bar after Lallana diverted the ball into his path, before Benzema opened the scoring in the 51st minute.

It was a moment of unbelievable carelessness from Karius, who attempted to roll the ball out to the nearest red shirt only for Benzema to stick out a leg and send it trickling into the net.

Klopp’s side really could have let their heads drop, and yet they were soon back level, Mane turning the ball in after Dejan Lovren headed down James Milner’s corner.

But their renewed hope was crushed upon the introduction of Bale.

The Welshman had been on the field barely two minutes when he met Marcelo’s cross from the left with an improbable leap, back to goal, 15 yards out, to send an overhead kick on his left foot arcing over Karius and in.

Such a strike deserved to be the winner, although it was his long-range shot that beat the embarrassed Karius in the 83rd minute that made sure of the victory.

Mane hit the post for Liverpool in between Bale’s strikes, but they will have to wait a while yet before winning their sixth European Cup.