Rumors circulated recently that the best boxer of his generation, Floyd Mayweather Jr, could be fighting UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor. Some thought the rumor was likely floated by McGregor’s camp, as a negotiating tactic in the dispute with the UFC. However, Mayweather revealed that the idea was his.
Now, the retired boxer says McGregor is the ‘only’ figure he will consider returning to the ring to face.
“If I do fight, it’s only against Conor McGregor,” said Mayweather to ESNews, as transcribed by Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting. “That’s gonna be my only fight and not against nobody else because this matchup is just so intriguing. You have a fighter against an MMA fighter, one of the best MMA fighters to do combat and stand up and do it. He’s a strong fighter and when I look at him fight he’s a little faster than I thought he was so if the fight happens I can’t overlook the guy. I’m pretty sure – if we make the fight happen – I’m pretty sure he’s gonna push me to the limit.”
“I’m pretty sure we’re gonna have a master plan to make that fight happen. It hasn’t happened yet, but we locked down some dates. Me and my team, me and Al Haymon, me and Leonard Ellerbe we locked down some dates in different countries, in different cities in the United States. And you already know what my number is, 100 million. That’s just the guarantee. We don’t talk about my number on the back end.”
Mayweather expanded on the remarks in a separate interview with Steve Farhood for Showtime Sports
“He’s tough,” said Mayweather. “He’s a tough competitor. You know every time he goes out there and fights, when he kicks ass he kicks ass in a standup position. So if the fight does happen, I truly believe it’s going to be record-breaking…With my numbers for the Pacquiao fight I know we was at 4.6, I know we’re somewhere around 5 million now. 5 million homes. Pay per view. And even if we’re not at 5 million it sounds good. I know we’re over 4.6 so we gonna say 5 million. We probably can break that number. It’s possible. Anything is possible.”
“Jon Jones is with the MMA but we still gotta communicate and put some things together, me and him. We’d love Jon Jones to be a part of TMT. We steady growing. And it’s not just about us making money it’s about the talent winning. That’s what we believe and that’s why so many promoters hate us and dislike us, because we believe in the talent winning when it’s all said and done.”
“I think it’s gonna be so entertaining if we can do it, if we can put a boxer with an MMA fighter, because I can’t overlook that guy. Me, myself, I’m not gonna overlook him. We haven’t made the fight happen yet but if we can tweak a few things I’m pretty sure we can get him, not a good payday but a great payday.”
And what did McGregor have to say?
This would be a win for Mayweather. He would make over $100,000,000 for a match that is easier than sparring in camp. This would be a win for McGregor. He would make millions, would become more famous, and when he lost, who cares? If the UFC secured co-promotion rights or a fee to step aside, they would make millions. But would that be worth the potential loss to the brand of their biggest star being made to look hapless, and the potential being raised for co-promotion with a star like Jon Jones?
UFC president Dana White has expressed great skepticism, but said repeatedly, that if Mayweather genuinely wants to do this then “Floyd, call me.”
Foyd, call him, and make it worth their while.