Today the Nevada Athletic Commission (NSAC) approved of a “one-time” waiver to allow Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor to wear lighter gloves than stated in the boxing rule book for their bout on Aug. 26 in Las Vegas.
Not only was the waiver passed for potentially the biggest fight in combat sports, but it passed unanimously. Since the fight was announced, nothing surrounding this bout has been within the ordinary; this improbable news only strengthens the point that much like they did in their own careers, Mayweather and McGregor have once again broken the mold.
The original argument surrounding the gloves first surfaced on social media when Mayweather posted on Instagram that he wanted to give McGregor an advantage in the fight by dropping the glove size to 8oz. The UFC lightweight champion – who wears 4-ounce gloves in MMA – was quick to respond expressing that it did not matter to him what size the gloves were.
Both fighters had representatives who went before the NSAC today as both camps set out to explain why their fighter intended to fight in 8-ounce gloves instead of the protocol 10-ounce. As they stood before the commission both representatives explain how neither fighter was concerned that the change in size would leave them at risk.
On behalf of Team McGregor, we believe it’s fine,” said Michael Mersch, McGregor’s representative and a former UFC executive. “We don’t have any health and safety concerns on the behalf of our fighter.”
The outcome of the commission hearing gave clear indication of their stance to bend the knee and the rules to make sure this is the most extraordinary fight combat sports has ever seen.
Commissioner Skip Avasino, the NSAC’s most tenured member, said due this being somewhat of a hybrid fight with an MMA fighter coming in and facing a boxer; they were willing to grant a waiver for this bout. Despite this Avasino was quick to recommend a scientific study that was first supposed to be done in 2006 regarding glove size.
In the Nevada and regular boxing rule book, fights that happen at 147-pounds and below can use 8-ounce gloves, however, anything above the 147-pound mark the fight usually has to be contested with 10-ounce gloves. Mayweather vs. McGregor is a 154-pound fight but both fighters will be strapped with 8oz gloves at their disposal come Aug 26.
On Tuesday the Association of Ringside Physicians (ARP) wrote a letter to the Nevada commission warning them to not change their rules unless they had a scientific reason for their decision.
“Unless there is scientific evidence to support the view that such a change might improve the safety of the bout, we should strongly caution against allowing current regulations to be over-ruled.”
Hall of Fame referee Robert Byrd was appointed as the Mayweather vs. McGregor referee by the commission Wednesday.