The Weird Sex Thing Floyd Mayweather Is Doing To Prepare For His Boxing Match Showdown With Conor McGregor

Photo: showtime
mayweather is abstaining from sex

Mayweather's abstinence should increase his testosterone... right?

The "biggest" professional fight of all time is set to take place in Las Vegas between undefeated American boxer Floyd Mayweather and brash Irishman Conor McGregor on August 26th. And "Money" Mayweather is abstaining from sex until after the bout.

Any time a big fight is in the offing, we eventually run out of questions about training, the opponents, and where the whole shooting match lands in the history of its sport. This fight had the added benefit of also including a Great White Hope and one athlete moonlighting from a different combat sport (UFC to boxing), yet we still managed to make our way to the old will they/won't they abstain from sex before the duel

Dating back to the Greeks, fighters, wrestlers, and athletes of all ilk have been instructed by older men to lay off sex and even masturbation while preparing for their big event. The rationale ranges for the misogynistic ("women make you weak") to the faux-psychological ("you'll be madder!") to the quasi-scientific ("it saps testosterone!").

But no study has been able to prove that abstinence has much of an effect on performance. However, one study, in particular, did notice a major spike in testosterone on the seventh day of abstinence.

My friend and author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, John Gray often discusses the week-long cyclical nature of male hormones in his prescription of weekly sex. And per the study published in the Journal Of Zhejiang University, men will have the presence of 146 percent baseline testosterone following six days of abstinence. 

And then there's McGregor. He has as much sex as possible before a fight. You'd guess that his wife has a particular tolerance for being sweated upon but in typical "the science is still out!" fashion, McGregor is also right. A number of studies suggest there may be a slight upward bump in testosterone immediately after ejaculation.

How valuable is exogenous testosterone in a fight? Not to over-glamorize people beating one another up but professional fighting does have a three-dimensional chess quality to it. While an athlete is clearly acting and reacting to a potentially lethal opponent, he's also at odds with the limitations of his body and ego.

For instance, trained fighters not only can get punched without flinching, the best fighters don't blink. Given the plethora of variables, it's likely impossible to tell if abstinence affects an athlete's performance other than if he (or she!) thinks it does. 

What else to know about this fight: Floyd Mayweather has won all 49 of his professional fights, is regarded as the best defensive fighter of all time and has been incarcerated for domestic violence. Not to mention the use of homophobic language during his media tour with McGregor.

Conor McGregor is a colorful, fashion-obsessed Irish mixed martial artist (think John Wick sans the firearms) and is making his first foray into professional boxing. And lest you think he's the good guy in this one, his trash-talk included phrasing that can at most-generous be described as racially misguided.

The match, barring a pair of tennis ball-sized meteors striking their training facilities, is scheduled to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The fight is set to begin around 11 PM EST.

Mayweather is a prohibitive favorite at -400 (you have to bet $400 to win $100), but the two men are fantastic self-promoters and have made what will make a floor-mopping by Mayweather into a racially-motivated circus which ought to convince more than a few of us to part with $94 or, ironically, pack ourselves into an Irish pub that happens to be pumping hip hop between rounds.

Given their Barnum & Bailey routine, both McGregor and Mayweather are the only winners as the loser of the fight is rumored to be taking home $150 million. So, do you think the fact that Mayweather is abstaining from sex will affect his performance? Only time will tell.

Check out the highlights below from Floyd Mayweather's career:


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Tom Miller is a writer and performer based in New York. He's been a mechanical engineer and a banker. He's been the general manager and coordinating video producer at YourTango for 11 years. He's probably listening to Bryan Adams' "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" as we speak.