With Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor almost upon us, it’s time to ask: how does America feel about this fight? Who’s getting the love, and who’s getting the shade? The verdict: opinions are—imagine this—mixed.
Yahoo Sports’ Mayweather-McGregor survey comprised 2,255 adults, who answered questions Aug. 16-17. The results are weighted and represent all U.S. adults, age 18 and over.
Interest in the fight among all adults stands at 39 percent, in line with the percentage of adults who said they were interested in boxing and MMA in general (38 percent). This seems to indicate that the Mayweather-McGregor fight hasn’t broken out of existing fanbases to become more of a cultural phenomenon like the Super Bowl.
However, more than half of all males (51 percent) and barely one-fourth of all females (27 percent) are interested in the fight. Racially, African-Americans (66 percent) and Hispanics (55 percent) are far more interested in the fight than whites (29 percent).
There’s no clear rooting favorite across all Americans; of the 750 fans who expressed interest in the fight, 35 percent are rooting for Mayweather, 31 percent for McGregor and 34 percent are pulling for “neither.” One interesting discrepancy: 37 percent of females are pulling for Mayweather despite his history of domestic violence, as opposed to 27 percent pulling for McGregor.
Mayweather’s boxing background and fighting style are the primary reasons for his support, while McGregor apparently gets support merely because he’s not Mayweather. McGregor’s MMA background, underdog status and Irish nationality were all cited as a reason to pull for him by five percent or fewer of respondents.
In terms of general likeability, both fighters ranked nearly equally, with 41 percent of respondents saying they liked Mayweather and 39 percent liking McGregor. Mayweather’s support among African-Americans stands at 66 percent, while McGregor’s support across all races is within a 38 percent to 40 percent range.
Here’s a visual representation of the one word most respondents would use to describe the fight. It’s clear that one word rises above the rest:
Yes, “money” ranks high, as do “hype” and “exciting.” Less-kind words like “overblown,” “expensive,” and even “fake” don’t quite make the top tier.
Clearly, support for both fighters isn’t as strong as it could be. It’ll be fascinating to see if Saturday night’s outcome swings that support in any specific direction.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at email@example.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.
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• What happens if McGregor beats Mayweather?
• Kevin Iole: Why Mayweather’s biggest bet continues to pay off
• How Ali’s ugliest fight paved the way for Mayweather-McGregor