Ex-NSAC head, UFC exec Marc Ratner thinks Mayweather vs. McGregor helps both sports . Former executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission Marc Ratner understands the regulatory challenges involving Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor, but sees no issue with it.
Ratner, who’s currently the UFC’s Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, was responsible for overseeing a number of high-profile boxing matches during his more than 20-year tenure with the NSAC. And he’s fully on board with the polarizing pairing between the boxing legend and the UFC’s lightweight champ.
While he gets that McGregor’s lack of pro boxing experience is certainly a factor in the equation, he believes that circumstances – and historical precedents – make the fanfare a justifiable one.
“It’s tough for the commission to approve this, there’s no question about it,” Ratner recently told MMAjunkie. “And I think Conor maybe did some amateur boxing, but certainly he’s never fought pro. You have to take that leap. I believe that it’s approvable in a lot of ways, because he’s such a good athlete.
“I go back to the late 50s, that I remember that Pete Rademacher was fighting Floyd Patterson. Pete Rademacher was making his pro debut for the heavyweight championship. So have these fights happened before? Sure. Antonio Inoki vs. Cassius Clay – or Muhammad Ali at that time. It’s a spectacle, it’s entertaining. I know a lot of states would say, today, that they would never approve it. If it came to their state, I think they would.”
Mayweather (49-0 boxing) and McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) are set to meet in a 12-round boxing bout on Aug. 26 at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena. While it’s not yet officially sanctioned, NSAC Executive Director Bob Bennett has stated that the commission will have no problem green-lighting it given McGregor’s background.
Ratner, who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame early last year, says he had no active role in the conversations. His first sign that things were actually moving forward came a few weeks ago, when Mayweather Promotions’ Leonard Ellerbe and Mayweather himself hinted at it to him. Not that long after that, UFC president Dana White told him about a press conference,
But Ratner says that White did consult him about the boxing specifics – such as glove size and ring dimensions – that would be in place. The fighters will meet at 154 pounds (super welterweight in boxing) and wear 10-ounce gloves, inside a 20-foot by 20-foot ring – which has been the standard in Nevada for years.
On his end, Ratner is excited to watch both the scrap and its entire promotional process – including the press-conference, which he says may very well end up being a pay-per-view event itself. At the end of the day, Rather says, it’s entertainment.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Ratner said. “I will be excited and we’ll see what Conor can do. I’m a big fan of Floyd. He can do everything. He’s really hard to hit. And he’s been off a couple of years. He never gets out of shape, but he is 40 years old. So we’ll see.
“I think it helps both sports in a lot of ways. There will be a lot of negativity, there’s no question about it. But the more people talk about it, the more people hate it, they’ll still watch it. And that’s what it’s about.”
To hear more from Ratner on the highly-awaited bout, check out the video above.
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