Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor may not have been the last we ever saw of mixed martial arts (MMA) vs. boxing crossover bouts.
Showtime Sports Vice President Stephen Espinoza was a guest on The MMA Hour recently, and reflected on the amount of success produced by the “Money Fight.” Espinoza noted that a friend of his told him after the event that this could be the “Super Bowl 1” of a huge franchise moving forward (quotes via MMA Mania):
“A friend of mine text me after the event and he said, ‘This could be Super Bowl 1.’ He said, ‘When they did Super Bowl 1, they never thought that this would give rise to an entity like the NFL. It was the uniting of two different business.’ I’m not saying that we’re going to meld all of combat sport into one organization, but, it’s interesting to think about. Is this something that is this more than just a one-off?”
Mayweather vs. McGregor is expected to break numbers all across the board, but if more crossover bouts are expected to happen in the future, Espinoza knows not to expect such ground-breaking numbers each time:
“I think at this level of success, you can take some things from it, but not everything. You can’t expect everything to be at this level of success or even half of that level,” said Stephen.
“You had a perfect storm of a lot of different factors. I do think there a limited number of athletes who have the appeal, desire and the skill to do both. I think it’s a business opportunity on both sides. Now, on some level it’s up to the MMA promoters whether that’s something they feel like that is something that benefits them or their athletes in the long run. But from this side of the table, I think it’s really intriguing and we’d love to do more of them.”