The Wildest Conspiracy Theories About the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor Fight

Even if you're actively trying to avoid the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor, chances are you've developed a firm stance on the bout by now. There are very few people out there who are thinking to themselves, “You know what, I think I need more information before I take the plunge on the pay-per-view fee.” And if you are still thinking that, I'd have to ask you what the rock you've been living under is like.

Every possible angle has been exploited. We've talked about Mayweather's domestic violence, McGregor's history of racism, their sparring partners, sexual habits, even the damn suits the fighters have worn to press conferences. And now all that's left to debate is one simple question—who's going to win?

The odds are heavily in Mayweather's favor, and why wouldn't they be? He's 49-0 and one of the best boxers of all-time, facing a near amateur in a new sport. That should be the start and end of it, but to keep themselves interested in the fight, a lot of observers are clinging to crazy beliefs, hoping the fight will somehow live up to their expectations. I get it, because you're not going to drop $100 on a pay-per-view if you're just expecting a mundane win from Mayweather.

So for those of you trying to search for a reason to care about the fight, here are a few conspiracy theories people have. They might make it worth tuning in!

Mayweather will throw the fight to make more money

From Mayweather's perspective, this might make the least sense of any theory, because he has everything to lose going into the fight. Though it has been overshadowed by the trash talk, Mayweather has a chance to pass Rocky Marciano's mythical 49-0 record and go to 50-0, a number that is revered within boxing circles. Several prominent fighters have fallen just short of equaling or passing that number, including heavyweight great Larry Holmes, who lost his 49th fight in a controversial decision to Michael Spinks. It's a number that matters deeply to boxers, even if it doesn't to casual fans.

And yet, this might not be the biggest thing on Mayweather's mind. Should he lose to McGregor, it would set up another huge payday in a subsequent fight. Mayweather will reportedly make a minimum of $100 million for this fight, and that number could multiply depending on how the sales for the bout play out. Would you be able to turn down making a sum of money like that a second time, knowing all you had to do was lose once?

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There's reason to believe Mayweather has motivation to extract as much money out of this as possible. He has had to issue denials that he's in trouble with the IRS, and he will reportedly have to use a big chunk of the McGregor fight money just to pay off his past tax liabilities. It would stand to reason that these issues might keep popping up, since at this point they seem to occur no matter how much income Mayweather generates.

Assuming Mayweather would win the second fight, throwing the first one would likely set up the pair of fighters for a third bout way down the road, and trilogies tend to be huge draws, because you see a real rivalry build over time. These are big assumptions—but again, you just have to follow the money, and both fighters would be set for life if they brought in the sort of revenue they're about earn for just the three potential fights.

Mayweather might not even have to do this on his own. He tends to fight for decisions, and any time you can put the outcome in the hands of just a few people, there's a chance for shenanigans. 

McGregor has only been pretending to be a bad boxer

Yes, some people truly believe that McGregor hasn't actually shown what he can do. The belief is that the guy who is a professional fighter and constant trash talker actually wants you to believe he's unequipped to be a boxer, and will use that reputation to surprise Mayweather on Saturday night.

You really have to believe in this to think McGregor has a realistic chance against Mayweather. Sparring partners of McGregor's have shared footage of them working out with the converted MMA fighter, and McGregor looks pretty bad.

The footage looks so bad, in fact, that Mayweather's camp even sort of believes it's not legit. That's what the fighter's team said during a radio interview in June, claiming their camp would not slack in their fight preparation even if McGregor looks bad on the tape.

“I looked at it, but to me it looked [like] it’s a possibility it could be staged,” said Mayweather's trainer, Nate Jones. “We don’t fall for that, we prepare for anything. Please believe me, I looked at it and I came up with my opinion that it could have been for real but it could have been staged. I don’t know. His style is a different style from Floyd. I don’t want nobody messing with Floyd. He may be more difficult than Floyd’s gonna be for him.”

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That's exactly the problem with believing the footage is staged: Mayweather's camp doesn't really care what it looks like one way or the other. He didn't amass a 49-0 record by taking his opponents lightly, and Mayweather has consistently noted McGregor will be a threat when interviewed about the fight. He's confident in his ability, but he has given no indication of slowing down or easing up on his opponent.

The styles comment from Jones is interesting, though, because of one theory a lot of fans seem to have about the fight.

McGregor will use an MMA move at some point during the fight

As the old saying goes, you can't teach an old dog new tricks. McGregor deserves respect for his accomplishments as an athlete in his sport, but that doesn't mean he can break the habits that have been built into him over years and years of training.

Sports books are banking on the expectation that McGregor reverts to MMA tactics, and are taking bets on whether he'll throw a kick or an elbow during the fight. It makes a degree of sense, because while he has been exclusively training as a boxer for months now, you can't truly plan for how you'll react once you start to get fatigued. Should he get desperate in the later rounds, maybe he lashes out with a kick at Mayweather's ankles.

This idea has popped up repeatedly among fight fans, who have discussed the possibility for months.

The big reason this probably won't happen? It would cost McGregor a fortune. UFC boss Dana White has said from day one that any sort of MMA moves are strictly forbidden.

“There is no way that will happen. That is absolutely in the contract, number one. Number two, this is a boxing match under the rules of the Nevada State Athletic Commission,” said White. “When you talk about a guy like Floyd Mayweather, the lawsuit if that ever happened… You all know how much Conor likes money. Conor would depart with a whole lot of money if that ever happened.”

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No amount of laughs McGregor would generate by busting out a kick would fill the hole in his bank account. This isn't happening, but there's one more wrinkle to consider.

Mayweather and McGregor might be in on this whole charade together

If Mayweather throwing the fight on his own isn't crazy enough for you, boy do we have a conspiracy theory for you! There are people out there who believe the fighters may be working behind the scenes to set up the best possible outcome for their futures, which would necessitate Mayweather taking a proverbial dive. But it would need to look real for it to not be an obvious fix, so it would necessitate both guys planning for the possibility ahead of time.

Other world-class athletes are worried about that exact possibility. Golfer Rory McIlroy was asked about the fight over the weekend, and his concern is that we're all being fooled by the circus.

“I just fear that they do all this trash-talking and they go behind the scenes and they are having a laugh and thinking: I can’t believe we are talking all this public for a ride,” said McIlroy. “We are all buying into it and they are like, can you believe these people believe this? I just hope it doesn’t turn into it and I hope it’s not in any way fixed.”

Count Terry Crews in the fix camp too. He told TMZ that he believes the two fighters are “trying to get another one,” and believes McGregor will ultimately get a decision victory to set up more fights in the future.

Boxing is a sport with a reputation for shady dealings; in early July, Manny Pacquiao lost a controversial decision to relative unknown Jeff Horn, despite most boxing analysts believing Pacquiao had won the fight easily. There have been countless examples of similar shady decisions over time, and this is a real possibility in a fight with hundreds of millions of dollars on the line.

Never, ever rule out corruption in the boxing world. Mayweather may give McGregor the beat-down most expect, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll walk away with a victory on the scorecards. 

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DMX Placed on House Arrest After Failing Four Drug Tests

The latest development in DMX's tax evasion case finds the rapper finally catching a break. After pleading not guilty back in July, X was let out on bond but faced strict conditions, including travel restrictions. However, he violated that last part with a trip to St. Louis—a trip that might have landed him in jail.

However, on Friday morning the judge took it easy on DMX, keeping him out of jail despite his travel violation—and despite the fact that the Ruff Ryders icon failed four separate drug tests for marijuana and cocaine, according to TMZ.

Instead, X was placed on house arrest and ordered to wear an ankle bracelet. TMZ reports that the conditions are so strict that he can't even go outside to mow the lawn.

DMX is accused of hiding millions of bucks in income from the government in order to avoid taxes. In all, the U.S. attorney's office says the alleged “multi-year scheme” had X skipping out on a $1.7 million tax bill.

“For years, Earl Simmons, the recording artist and performer known as DMX, made millions from his chart-topping songs, concert performances and television shows. But while raking in millions from his songs, including his 2003 hit 'X Gon' Give it to Ya,' DMX didn’t give any of it to the IRS,” wrote Joon Kim, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, who was probably working on that joke for weeks. “Far from it, DMX allegedly went out of his way to evade taxes, including by avoiding personal bank accounts, setting up accounts in other’s names and paying personal expenses largely in cash.”

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Floyd Mayweather’s Ex Rips Conor McGregor for Using Domestic Violence Incident to Promote Fight

Conor McGregor has found all kinds of different ways to troll Floyd Mayweather in the months leading up to their Aug. 26 superfight. From painting a mural of him knocking Mayweather out in his gym to accusing Mayweather of being broke after a report emerged about him owing the IRS a bunch of money, McGregor has gone above and beyond to try and get under Mayweather’s skin. But did he cross the line with his most recent troll move earlier this week?

By now, you’ve probably seen that McGregor got into it with Warriors star Draymond Green on Instagram on Sunday after Green posted a photo of McGregor wearing a No. 23 Warriors jersey—which is his jersey number—and told him not to wear it anymore because Green and his Golden State teammates are going to be rooting for Mayweather to beat McGregor.

McGregor responded by telling Green that he wasn’t wearing his No. 23 jersey. Rather, he said that it was C.J. Watson’s old No. 23 jersey, and if you know the history between Mayweather and Watson, then you know why McGregor was wearing the jersey. Watson was reportedly at the center of a 2010 domestic violence incident involving Mayweather and his ex-girlfriend Josie Harris. Mayweather allegedly accused Harris of secretly texting Watson, and it led to a violent altercation between the couple, which eventually led to Mayweather serving jail time. So by wearing Watson’s jersey, McGregor was, once again, trying to get a rise out of Mayweather.

Mayweather never responded to McGregor wearing the jersey, but early Friday morning, Harris did—and she revealed that she is not happy with McGregor for using her domestic violence incident to try and promote his fight. Harris had her lawyer release a lengthy statement to TMZ Sports, and in that statement, Harris and her lawyer ripped McGregor for alluding to the incident by wearing a Watson jersey. She also ripped him for posting this to Twitter back in January:

Others may have celebrated McGregor for using Watson as a pawn in his ongoing feud with Mayweather. But Harris and her lawyer clearly weren’t amused and think McGregor went too far by doing it.

“Conor McGregor’s exploitation of the events surrounding Mayweather’s violent beating of Josie Harris, for the sole purpose of promoting an upcoming boxing match and taunting his opponent in the ongoing media-driven feud between the two fighters, demonstrates not only an insensitivity toward the emotional wellbeing and privacy of the victim of Mayweather’s domestic violence, but also a general disregard for the physical and emotional trauma and long-lasting psychological impacts suffered by victims of domestic abuse,” the statement said.

Harris and her lawyer also called out Mayweather in the statement and ripped him for refusing to take responsibility for his actions in 2010.

“In the aftermath of the events of September 9, 2010, Josie Harris, like many other victims of domestic violence, continues to endure the emotional and psychological trauma, shaming, humiliation, blaming, and embarrassment caused by Mayweather’s violence and further perpetuated by his continued public denials, disclaimers, excuses, and deferrals of responsibility for his actions, including Mayweather’s defamatory statements against Harris made during a 2015 interview with Katie Couric leading up to his fight with Manny Pacquiao,” the statement said.

That portion of the statement was in reference to this interview Mayweather did with Couric:

And at the end of the statement, Harris and her lawyer asked McGregor not to bring up Watson or the 2010 domestic violence incident again.

“On behalf of Josie Harris, her and Mayweather’s three children, and all victims of domestic violence, we ask that Conor McGregor refrain from capitalizing off of the trauma suffered by her and other victims of domestic abuse,” the statement said.

You can read the full statement here.

Will this get McGregor to apologize for bringing up Watson and the domestic violence incident? Doubtful. McGregor has pretty much refused to apologize for anything he has said and done while promoting his fight with Mayweather. But he’s used this particular reference point several times now, so for everyone’s sake, let’s hope he moves on from it moving forward.

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DMX Has Been Arrested for Tax Evasion

Things aren’t looking too good for DMX.

Nearly three months after reportedly checking into rehab, the 46-year-old is now facing 14 counts of tax evasion. He surrendered to federal authorities Thursday and is scheduled to appear in federal court Friday in Manhattan.

According to Billboard, the rapper has been accused of concealing millions of dollars of income from the IRS to avoid paying $1.7 million in taxes. Joon Kim, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, released a statement outlining DMX's “multi-year scheme.”

“For years, Earl Simmons, the recording artist and performer known as DMX, made millions from his chart-topping songs, concert performances and television shows. But while raking in millions from his songs, including his 2003 hit ‘X Gon’ Give it to Ya,’ DMX didn’t give any of it to the IRS,” Kim wrote. “Far from it, DMX allegedly went out of his way to evade taxes, including by avoiding personal bank accounts, setting up accounts in other’s names and paying personal expenses largely in cash.”

Prosecutors also accused DMX of providing false information on bankruptcy court documents. He allegedly listed his 2011 and 2012 earnings as “unknown,” and listed his 2013 income as $10,000; it was later revealed he had earned hundreds of thousands of dollars each of those years.

The indictment also states the rapper refused to film the reality show Celebrity Couples Therapy until he was reissued a $125,000 check that had no withholding taxes.

“Celebrity rapper or not, all Americans must pay their taxes,” Kim wrote, “and together with our partners at the IRS, we will pursue those who deliberately and criminally evade this basic obligation of citizenship.”

If convicted, DMX could face up to 44 years in federal prison.

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Floyd Mayweather Responds to Report About Him Owing IRS Significant Amount of Money

On Monday, a report emerged indicating that Floyd Mayweather currently owes the IRS a large amount of money ​due to a lingering tax liability from back in 2015. According to that report, Mayweather has filed a petition in a tax court asking for a reprieve from making any payments to the IRS until after he fights Conor McGregor on Aug. 26, at which time he will have more than enough money to pay Uncle Sam back. The report made it seem like Mayweather would need to liquidate some of his assets in order to pay the IRS right now, which wouldn’t make sense when he can pay them in cash following his fight with McGregor.

Mayweather’s lawyer Jeffrey Morse did a lengthy interview with Fight Hype shortly after the IRS report came out, and he attempted to explain why Mayweather has a tax liability dating back to 2015. According to him, Mayweather “always pays his taxes,” but he also takes advantage of certain regulations that “allow taxpayers to defer their tax liability in certain circumstances.” Morse argued that Mayweather isn’t putting off paying his tax liability because he can’t pay it, but rather, he’s putting it off because the IRS allows it and it allows Mayweather the chance to make more on the money he’s earned by investing it elsewhere instead of simply handing it right over to the IRS. There are people who are skeptical about whether or not that’s actually the case, but you can read Morse’s interview here to get his side of things or listen to his interview below to hear him explain the situation.

Very early Tuesday morning, Mayweather himself also responded to the IRS report by taking to his Instagram account to reveal that he paid $26 million in taxes back in 2015. He told his followers to “believe half of what you see and none of what you hear, especially when it comes to the media in this country,” and he also made it seem as though he doesn’t have any issues with the IRS from back in 2015. It appears to be a slightly different story than the one his tax lawyer told, but it’s clear Mayweather isn't going to lose any sleep over the stories about him that have been circulating over the last 24 hours:

In addition to putting up that post on Instagram, Mayweather did an interview with Fight Hype from his private jet early Tuesday and said that Donald Trump and Bill Gates are the only ones allowed to question his money. He talked about it at around the 2:10 mark of this clip:

McGregor weighed in on the situation late Monday as well, and he, of course, used the IRS report to help add fuel to the fire as far as the upcoming Mayweather/McGregor fight is concerned. McGregor was spotted shopping on Rodeo Drive, and the paparazzi asked him to respond to the report about his opponent. And McGregor was more than happy to use it to take a couple shots at Mayweather.

“That’s gotta sting,” he said. “He shoulda paid his taxes and stayed retired and kept my name out of his mouth.”

It’s hard to tell what the truth is here, but if nothing else, all of this chatter about the IRS and deferred tax payments should make the Mayweather/McGregor press conference on Tuesday afternoon in Los Angeles even more interesting than it was already going to be. Look for McGregor to try and use it to his advantage during the war of words that’s sure to ensue, and look for Mayweather to try and use it to remind everyone that he’s got way more zeroes in his bank account than McGregor does. It should be…something.

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