MAYWEATHER-MCGREGOR MEGAFIGHT IS "GOING TO HAPPEN"
Negotiations are heating up for a megafight between unbeaten boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., and UFC superstar Conor McGregor and “it’s going to happen,” said a source close to the dealmakers. “It’s a sure thing. There’s too much money on the table not to do it,” said the source. “It would be the biggest fight of all time.”
The ultimate boxing versus MMA showdown would be held at the new T-Mobile Arena.
Mayweather, who turns 40 on Feb. 24, retired 16 months ago with a 49-0 record that tied heavyweight great Rocky Marciano’s record, set in 1956. Marciano, 31 at the time, ended his career as the only heavyweight champion with a perfect 49-0. That mark has been the gold standard of boxing.
McGregor, who turns 29 on July 14, became the first simultaneous two-weight UFC champion in 2016. McGregor’s trash-talking has helped him become the biggest draw in the MMA.
Mayweather, no shrinking violet when it comes to trash talking, has generated record pay-per-view payoffs. His May 2, 2015 fight with Manny Pacquiao shattered the previous PPV record, doubling it, with 4.6 million to 2.4 million sold for the May 5, 2007 Mayweather fight with Oscar De La Hoya.
McGregor has demanded $100 million to meet Mayweather, who last fought on Sept. 12, 2015, an easy decision over Andre Berto, who complained afterwards, “I didn’t know I was going to have to wear track shoes” against a champion who wasn’t taking any chances.
Meantime, Mayweather, who has turned to promoting fights, has come up with a doozy: he’s reportedly offering $1 million to the winner of a grudge match between volatile R & B crooner Chris Brown and rapper Soulja Boy in March.
“It’s going down!” Soulja Boy said in an Instagram post. “Signed my contract I’m leaving the fight with $1,000,000.” He indicated Mayweather was going to be his trainer.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
Hakkasan, one of the megaclubs in Las Vegas or put another way, one of the largest in the world, charged $500 to get in the door and sold out on New Year’s Eve. A source tells me the MGM Grand’s mammoth party venue did about $2.5 million in sales, boosted by the bumped-up prices for bottle service. The main attraction, Drake, was reportedly paid $400,000. Demand was so strong they opened the doors at 8 p.m., hours earlier than usual.
Las Vegas resident Nicolas Cage starts shooting his latest film this week in British Columbia. He has a starring role in an action/sci-fi film titled “The Humanity Bureau,” according to Deadline Hollywood. Set in 2030 when global warming ravages the American Midwest, Cage plays an “ambitious and impartial” caseworker who investigates a case appealed by a single mother, played by Sarah Lind. The storyline, according to Deadline Hollywood: “In its attempt to take hold of the economic recession, a government agency called The Humanity Bureau exiles members of society deemed unproductive and banishes them to a colony known as New Eden.” Enter Cage’s character.
An all-celebrity team from Las Vegas competes in the first ever HD digital drone race Friday at the Westgate pool area. Sponsored by Vuzix, a smart glasses company, the race is part of a three-day competition. The contestants include Paris headliner/hypnotist Anthony Cools, who owns Avian Cinema, which is billed as Nevada’s largest aerial production company. Also competing: comedian The Amazing Johnathan, DJ and electric violinist Lydia Ansel, and comedian Jeff Civillico.
Richard Zoglin, now a senior editor for Time magazine after 20 years of covering entertainment for the publication, has been in town interviewing Las Vegans about the entertainment scene here in the 1960s. In 2014 he did a biography on Bob Hope titled “Hope: Entertainer of the Century.” In 2008 he came out with “Comedy at the Edge: How Stand-up in the 1970s Changed America.”
KTNV-Channel 13 weatherman Greg Bennett is heading back to his home state of Florida after four years at the ABC affiliate. Today (Thursday Jan. 5) was his last day. He told me that, while he “loved every minute of working in Las Vegas,” he’s hoping to land a position closer to the east coast.
Former Channel 3 reporter and weekend anchor Chera Kimiko has returned to TV after taking a year off to start a business. The Denver native left Las Vegas in 2001 to co-anchor at Tulsa’s KOKI, where her career took off. She’s now at Tulsa’s NBC affiliate KJRH.
The latest pro sports star to settle in Las Vegas is Dexter Fowler, the leadoff hitter for the world champion Chicago Cubs. Fowler, 30, signed with the St. Louis Cardinals last month. The reported five-year deal pays $82.5 million, which comes out to $14.5 million a year. He follows former Colorado Rockies teammate Troy Tulowitzki. Fowler and Miami Heat star Chris Bosh are on a CES panel titled “Life Off The Court” at The Sands Convention Center.
Celebrities scheduled to appear at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) this week include: Slugger Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals, Olympics swimming star Michael Phelps, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Shaquille O’Neal, consumer advocate Ralph Nader, comedian Tommy Davidson, animal and nature conservationist Jeff Corwin, NBA sports analysts Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith, and Chris Bosh, NASCAR executive Brian France, soccer star Landon Donovan, actress Octavia Spencer, Dr. Oz, Pro football Hall of Famer Joe Montana, and Dallas Mavs owner Mark Cuban. For the full list and information on where they are appearing, go to Celebrity Sightings at norm.vegas… Light-middleweight boxer Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 48-1-1, dining at La Cave Wine Food Hideaway (Wynn) on Sunday.
THE PUNCH LINE
“Health officials say there’s a new trend of women using marijuana during their pregnancy. Which explains why this year’s most popular baby name is Funyuns.” – Conan O’Brien, TBS late-night host.