Showtime Vice President Stephen Espinoza wasn’t expecting fans to be on the side of Conor McGregor as much as they were during his first press conference with Floyd Mayweather.
The first stop on the tour leading up to McGregor vs. Mayweather took place yesterday (July 11) inside the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The two will meet in a boxing ring on Aug. 26.
MMAFighting.com interviewed Espinoza, who described Mayweather’s tone as he’s aged:
“Floyd, as he’s gotten older, he’s definitely mellowed. If you look back at De La Hoya-Mayweather, Floyd did a lot of talking, a lot of needling Oscar throughout that press tour. Floyd is in a different place now. I don’t know exactly what to make of it. It is a little bit out of character. I think if I had to guess, it’s little bit of competitiveness and pride. Conor came out and had a stand-up comedy routine. The crowd ate it up. I think the entertainer in Floyd said I can’t come up here and give a bunch of cliches. He dished it out just like he took it.”
Espinoza was also taken back by how much support McGregor got from the crowd.
“I was surprised. Floyd has a couple of places here. He spends a good amount of time in LA. He’s an LA-Vegas guy. But I think what you saw was the passion of the McGregor fans. He’s really connected with them, on social media and in person. He’s such a big personality that people really, really get attached to him.”