Floyd Mayweather has insisted that he is giving the people what they want by agreeing to a crossover fight with two-weight UFC world champion Conor McGregor.
Earlier this week it was announced that Mayweather, 40, would come out of retirement to fight with 28-year-old McGregor in a 12-round boxing match, on August 26.
The announcement made headlines around the world and stands to make both man upwards of $100m. But the fight has been ridiculed in boxing circles, with Carl Froch describing it as a “pantomime” and Ricky Hatton declaring he was “not a fan of it.”
However, Mayweather has insisted that he took the fight because people around the world had demanded it.
“McGregor is a tough competitor. People all around the world demanded this fight so I had to give them what they wanted to see,” Mayweather is quoted as saying by sports website BlackSportsOnline.com.
“They asked for this fight. I was in retirement, but they wanted me back and I’m back.”
Mayweather insists he is giving the fans what they want to see (Getty)
Mayweather will be looking to extend his career record to 50-0 when he takes on McGregor, who has never boxed professionally.
“He’s very happy, I’m very happy and I can’t wait,” added Mayweather.
“You’re supposed to stand behind your man. Stand behind the fighter that you believe in.”
Hatton is one of those to have criticised the fight, with the former light-welterweight and welterweight world champion tipping Mayweather to win every single round.
Hatton, who was stopped by Mayweather in the 10th round when the pair met in Las Vegas in 2007, predicts the American could win every round, although he concedes that there could be plenty of entertainment.
“I cannot say I’m a fan of it,” Hatton told BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek programme.
“I’m a fan of UFC, a fan of McGregor – he’s got character, he’s exciting, entertaining, value for money. I hope I don’t upset any Irish fans or Conor, but I can’t get excited about this fight one bit.
“It’s going to be great entertainment – that’s the most complimentary I can be about it. It’s two different sports.
“When I look at some of the people Mayweather has beaten like Saul Alvarez – he’s not going to be as big a puncher as Alvarez, and he couldn’t lay a glove on him.
“I feel embarrassed to say this but I’d be very surprised if (McGregor) wins a round.”