More than two years removed from retirement, Floyd Mayweather has been goaded back into the ring by the irresistible call of a massive payday. Making that call was Conor McGregor, the first and only two-division MMA champ, a Irishman with a love of fisticuffs, foul language, and well-tailored suits, a Guy Ritchie character made flesh. The two men will climb into the ring August 26 to face off in an already historic bout, with the run-up to fight chronicled in Showtime’s All Access: Mayweather vs. McGregor. It’s a work of showmanship heavily covered with the fingerprints of Mayweather, who is both star and executive producer.
Floyd “Money” Mayweather is one of the great showmen of his age, a preening, charismatic man of such supreme ability and confidence that he boldly proclaims “it’s obvious God must love me,” believing, as he does, that it’s the only possible explanation for his magnificence and success. The premiere episode follows the combatants on their globe-spanning four-city tour during which they repeatedly compared each other to female dogs, proposed fornication in the most unflattering matter, and boasted about their unequivocal physical superiority. You have to hand it to them: while they could both benefit immensely from a diction coach and a dictionary, they possess a flair that is electric, and are at least smart enough to make it clear that they’re both enjoying being at the center of the circus.
In Episode 2, Mayweather cleverly constructs a narrative wherein he spends the last few weeks before the fight doing hot yoga, riding bicycles through the streets of Miami, racing dune buggies across the Las Vegas desert, horse-riding, and roller-skating, while McGregor trains like a maniac. If Mayweather wins, he’ll point to this as proof that he didn’t even need to train; if he loses, he can admit that he never took McGregor seriously. The latter wouldn’t be great, but by then Mayweather will have cashed his check, which is potentially as much as $400 million. And when your nickname is “Money,” little else matters once the check clears.
And lest you have any doubts, Mayweather sets out to prove in Episode 3 that he’s not just the better fighter and businessman, but the better person, as well, by inviting into his gym (yes, he eventually makes it to the gym) one of his biggest fans, a Las Vegas 10-year-old battling cancer. Mayweather puts him in a pair of gloves, shows him how to work the speed bag, and gives him a pep talk. It’s a camera-ready moment that is as shameless as it is inspiring for the young boy.
Whether this one will go the distance, like Mayweather’s previous seven fights, or end before the fourth round, as McGregor has repeatedly promised, All Access: Mayweather vs McGregor is one show guaranteed to deliver on its promise.
The first three episodes of All Access: Mayweather vs. McGregor are available on-demand on Showtime; the fourth airs Saturday night at 10pm ET. The Mayweather/McGregor bout will be available as a Pay-Per-View event through Sling TV.