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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Floyd Mayweather Jr and Conor McGregor share compliments, rather than insults, in final meeting before their showdown on Saturday

After weeks of animosity, there was a more respectful tone from both fighters ahead of their clash in Las Vegas.

Floyd Mayweather and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor get in the ring to face each other on Saturday. Steve Marcus / Reuters / Las Vegas Sun
Floyd Mayweather and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor get in the ring to face each other on Saturday. Steve Marcus / Reuters / Las Vegas Sun

Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr declared a truce after weeks of vicious verbal attacks, offering praise instead of profanities at the final press conference ahead of their much anticipated fight.

Since the fight between undefeated boxer Mayweather and mixed martial arts champion McGregor in Las Vegas was announced in June, the two men took part in a profanity laced world tour to hype a bout that has been met with both skepticism and excitement.

The final press conference ahead of Saturday's fight, however, was closer to a mutual appreciation society than a battle field with Mayweather, in particular, complimenting his opponent.

"Conor McGregor had a hell of a career, he's still got a hell of a career," said Mayweather. "He's a hell of a fighter, he's a stand up guy, a tough competitor.

"It's not going to be an easy fight. There will be blood sweat and tears Saturday."

McGregor was far less effusive in his compliments but after months of mercilessly attacking Mayweather said he welcomed the pause in hostilities.

"There's been a lot of crazy press conferences, this is a lot more subdued, a lot more business like the way I like it ... sometimes," said McGregor.

McGregor did save some venom for a member of Mayweather's team who taunted him from the audience, telling him he was going to be knocked out.

"Not by you, whoever you are," countered McGregor.

The restrained tone of Wednesday's media conference underscored the high stakes of what is expected to be the richest fight in boxing with McGregor in line for US$100 million (Dh367.3m) payday and Mayweather as much as $200m.

While boxing purists and pundits have denounced the fight as nothing more than a cash grab it has nonetheless captured the fascination of fans.

Showtime executive Stephen Espinoza said the fight, which will be distributed in more than 200 countries, is on pace to break pay-per-view records.

While the fiery rhetoric was toned down, both remain confident of the outcome.

"I will go forward, I will put the pressure on him and break this old man," said McGregor, who said he expected to end the 12-round bout inside two rounds. "Trust me on that.

"I am going to out box this man at his own game."

The only message Mayweather had for McGregor was his record reminding him that he was trying to do something that no one has ever been able to do; beat him.

"I know one thing I can do I can fight," said Mayweather. "I can give it and I can take it

"But for me to be 49-0 it is obvious I have been giving it and not receiving it.

"Anything and everything in boxing that can be done, I've done it. I was born a fighter, I will die a fighter."