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Monday, January 16, 2017

Floyd Mayweather: The only fight I’m interested in is Conor McGregor

The unlikely prospect of Floyd Mayweather Jr. coming out of retirement for a cross-sport fight with Conor McGregor is the storyline that won’t seem to die, and Mayweather continues to do his part to breathe life into it.

In an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take” Wednesday, Mayweather was asked about McGregor saying two months ago that he wants $100 million to fight the undefeated boxer. Mayweather says he would only give McGregor a fraction of that, but he is willing to make the fight happen.

“We tried to make the Conor McGregor fight,” Mayweather said. “They know what my number is. My number is a guaranteed $100 million. That was my number. We are willing to give him $15 million and then we can talk about splitting the percentage — the back end — on the pay-per-view. But of course, we’re the ‘A side.’ How can a guy talk about making 20 or 30 million if he has never made 8 or 9 million in a fight?

“You guys keep hearing all these different rumors about different fighters want to face Floyd Mayweather. Everybody keeps talking about Conor McGregor. He’s blowing smoke up everybody’s a–. Dana White, the UFC — let’s make it happen. Bring him over to the boxing world, and I’ll show him what it’s like.”

Mayweather and his camp have flip-flopped for months about whether they are interested in a fight with McGregor. In fact, Mayweather promotions recently expressed confidence that the bout would “never happen” because the UFC would not allow one of its biggest stars to risk getting throttled in the boxing ring.

“Only thing I’m probably interested in is the Conor McGregor fight,” Mayweather added Wednesday. “I’m a businessman, and it makes business sense. I believe in what me and [adviser] Al Haymon talk about every day — I believe in working smarter, not harder.”

A while back, a report indicated Mayweather has offered McGregor a substantial amount of money to fight him. Floyd’s offer of $15 million makes it seem like that report was way off-base.

There’s still next to no chance the fight will happen. McGregor can talk as much smack about Mayweather as he wants, but the fact is the UFC lightweight champion has very little leverage in negotiations. In addition to the legal hurdles of getting the UFC to allow him to fight Mayweather, McGregor has never made anywhere close to the type of money Floyd got for fighting during his career. An even split is never going to happen.


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