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By TIM DAHLBERG, AP Boxing Writer

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Conor McGregor's improbable challenge of Floyd Mayweather Jr. could be seen by a staggering 50 million people in the United States as fans and the curious gather in small and large parties.

The fight Saturday night threatens the pay-per-view revenue record set by Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao two years ago and could dwarf it in viewership as people use the event as a reason to have friends and family over for a little escapism and controlled violence.

"It's a cultural event that crosses all demographics and all social and economic factors," said Mark Taffet, who formerly ran pay-per-view for HBO. "People are getting together to have a great time and we surely need an excuse to have a great time."

Taffet said that while an average of 5-6 people normally watches a pay-per-view, he wouldn't be surprised if the fight averages 10 people a household. If it sells 5 million pay-per-views as widely anticipated, the fight could be watched by nearly one in six Americans.

The fight will also be seen by millions more worldwide, with promoters claiming it will be available either online or on a TV screen to more than 1 billion homes in 200 different countries.

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