The super-fight between boxing legend Floyd Mayweather and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor doesn’t take place until August 26 but Showtime Networks is already suing to prevent piracy.

In a lawsuit filed in California, the TV network demands that 40 sites are subjected to a pre-emptive injunction, forbidding them from streaming the event.

Despite being labelled a ‘freak show’ by boxing purists, it is set to become the biggest combat sports event of all time.

Mayweather is undefeated in his professional career and faces brash Irishman McGregor, who has gained a reputation for accepting fights with anyone – as long as there’s a lot of money involved.

It’s been dubbed ‘The Money Fight’ and some predict it could pull in more than 500 million dollars (£338m).

Fight fans attending the much-hyped and highly-anticipated boxing match will have a chance to rub shoulders with the stars in Las Vegas - but it won't come cheap.

The least expensive ticket listed on reseller website StubHub is going for an eye-popping £1300 ($1675).

The fight hasn’t sold out yet, with high face values and a lack of access seeming to have slowed down demand.

The fight is being shown on Sky Box Office in the UK and Showtime Sports in the US.

American fight fans will have to pay £69.85 ($89.99) to watch in standard definition and £77.60 ($99.99) for HD.

The fight will cost viewers £19.95 in the UK.

Of course, not everyone will be handing over cash to watch the event officially on Sky or Showtime.

Large numbers of viewers will turn to the many hundreds of websites set to stream the fight for free online, which has the potential to reduce revenues for all involved.

With that in mind, Showtime Networks has filed a lawsuit in California which attempts to pre-emptively tackle this piracy threat, reports TorentFreak.

The suit targets a number of John Does said to be behind a network of dozens of sites planning to stream the fight online for Free.

Defendant 1, using the alias “Kopa Mayweather”, is allegedly the operator of LiveStreamHDQ, a site that Showtime has grappled with before.

Showtime says that LiveStreamHDQ is involved in the operations of at least 41 other sites that have been set up to specifically target people seeking to watch the fight without paying - each site uses a .US ccTLD domain name.

The TV network also highlighted various statements on the sites in question which demonstrate their intent to show the fight without permission, including the highly dubious “Watch From Here Mayweather vs Mcgregor Live with 4k Display.”

Showtime says that a Google search for “Mayweather McGregor Live” results in four of the target websites appearing in the first 100 results, i.e the first 10 pages.

None of the sites are currently carrying links to the fight, because the fight is yet to happen.

Nevertheless, Showtime is convinced that come fight night, all of the target websites will be populated with pirate links, accessible for free.

Showtime previously applied for and obtained a similar injunction to cover the Mayweather v Pacquiao fight in 2015. In that case, websites were ordered to be taken down on the day before the fight.