The lead Showtime boxing broadcaster last month worked on Bellator MMA’s pay-per-view card in New York and previously called fights for the now-defunct Strikeforce organization, where Ronda Rousey and current UFC champion Daniel Cormier once fought, while adding his voice to Glory kickboxing.
Most appropriately, with this novelty fight between two showmen in the unbeaten boxer Mayweather and UFC champion McGregor, Ranallo is currently employed by WWE after a brief hiatus that kept him sidelined through Wrestlemania.
Ranallo doesn’t expect McGregor to violate boxing rules and revert to an MMA kick, knee or elbow — even when the frustration in trying to land a punch on Mayweather likely arrives.
“The more money that’s at stake, the more I feel McGregor will do exactly what’s under the Marquis of Queensberry rules, unless he wants to lose a lot of cash,” Ranallo said. “That [possibility, however,] is one of the things that’s resonant with a lot of the casual fans.”
Ranallo said McGregor’s widespread fan base is driving interest in the fight, which has been amplified during the first two stops on a four-city, three-country promotional tour that came to Staples Center on Tuesday and Toronto on Wednesday. Thursday’s event is at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
“They’re drinking the Conor McGregor Kool-Aid in regard to what he’s been able to do in MMA, but I’ve called way more MMA fights than boxing matches and, unfortunately, there is no way that a guy like Conor McGregor or anyone with a limited professional experience of none — other than some amateur boxing — can beat Floyd Mayweather,” Ranallo said.
“We’re talking about a guy … who’s done nothing but boxing since he’s been 4 years old, and the muscle memory alone will serve Floyd Mayweather very well.”
Still, Mayweather and UFC President Dana White have said they believe this pay-per-view will surpass Mayweather’s 2015 victory over Manny Pacquiao that generated a record 4.6 million buys.
And Ranallo is thrilled to be part of it.
“I’m happy it’s happening for what it means for pop culture, for what it means for entertainment,” Ranallo said. “I didn’t have my Wrestlemania moment, so this will be my Wrestlemania moment.
“And when you look at these two personalities, this is stripped right from something like that. So people who are down on it — a lot of boxing people, and I can understand the point that it’s a boxing match being sanctioned by the Nevada Athletic Commission, which is a bit of a head scratcher — but, my friend, we live in a capitalist society. We’re all here to collect a paycheck.
“We have Floyd and Conor on the marquee, but Aug. 26, it’s all about the Benjamins.”