A Mayweather McGregor boxing bout has been on the cards for some time now, but will it ever happen?
Here’s your one-stop shop for all the rumours surrounding the proposed fight between the undefeated boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr and UFC star Conor McGregor.
Current Mayweather-McGregor fight status
The fight between Mayweather and McGregor has not yet been confirmed.
Mayweather has, however, announced he is no longer retired and is only eyeing off one fight if he is to return to the ring, a bout against McGregor.
UFC President Dana White has said he is willing to let McGregor take the fight and possible date in June or September of 2017 have been thrown around.
Here’s the complete history of the Mayweather-McGregor rumours.
Mayweather vs McGregor rumours
During the UFC 210 pre-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White confirmed that he is willing to let McGregor fight and can see the bout happening after the birth of McGregors child.
“I see this fight happening. Conor wants it, and Floyd wants it. I’ve said many times Conor has done a lot. He’s stepped up for big fights for this company, and for me and for (former UFC CEO) Lorenzo Fertitta. I can’t deny him this fight,” said White.
Talks have been stalled slightly, with McGregor stating he didn’t want to fight or do any business until the birth of his first child with long-time girlfriend Dee Devlin.
“Believe me, we’ve had preliminary talks with Conor and I’m in a good place with Conor and we’re going to meet in New York when he has his baby,” White continued.
A lot of the issues involved now are financially related, with some of Mayweather’s camp coming out and saying they want nothing less than an 80-20 split in their favour of the fight revenue, a revenue that is expected to break records.
White has shut that down though, highlighting the importance of his lightweight champion.
“This fight here, Floyd doesn’t make this kind of money either without Conor so Conor is just as important as Floyd when it comes to this fight. Not to mention, Conor’s actually stepping in and boxing him and not saying, ‘Hey let’s fight in mixed martial arts.'”
The fight is all but confirmed at this stage and it’s just a matter of sorting out the monetary split and pay-per-view deals so they can get into the ring.
“I’m ready to box. I’ve been ready for a long time. The game’s going to be in shock when I step in the ring. Trust me on that,” said McGregor in late March.
Mayweather announced he is coming out of retirement, then further stoked the flames of a potential bout between him and McGregor by saying there was only one fight he was after.
“I’m only coming out of retirement for one person and that’s Conor McGregor,” Mayweather said.
“We don’t need to waste no time. We need to make this… happen quickly. Let’s get it on in June.”
UFC boss Dana White also made headlines by saying he won’t prevent McGregor fighting Mayweather, should the two ever reach an agreement. As McGregor is under contract to the UFC, White and his organisation have a significant say in the Irishman’s fights, so White’s assent to the fight has removed a serious potential hurdle.
A source who is close to the McGregor camp reportedly has told the Irish Sun that a deal between Mayweather and McGregor has been struck for what could be the biggest fight in history.
The Sun reports the pair have agreed to terms for the fight after McGregor cancelled a fan event in Ireland over the weekend (11th and 12th of February) to fly to Las Vegas.
There are further reports that only a third party holdup is delaying the signing of the contract, with the source saying the fight could well be announced within the next fortnight.
Mayweather meanwhile, who has been pushing for the fight to take place has told ESPN that the fight is getting “very, very, close to happening” and said it’s likely to happen sooner rather than later.
Floyd Mayweather revealed he offered McGregor $15 million USD to fight him in the ring, plus an additional split of pay-per-view revenue. However, Mayweather insisted he wouldn’t take anything less than $100 million for his involvement in the fight.
“My number was a guaranteed $100 million, that was my number. We’re the ‘A’ side and I don’t really know how much money Conor McGregor has made. I’m pretty sure he hasn’t even made $10 million in a MMA bout.
“But we are willing to give him $15 million and then we can talk about splitting the percentage, the back end percentage on pay-per-view. But of course, we’re the ‘A’ side. How can a guy talk about $20 or $30 million if he’s never made $8 or $9 million?”
McGregor’s pay packet from his most recent UFC bout was $3 million, however he clearly wasn’t happy with the offer from Mayweather, posting this response on his Twitter feed:
Days after Mayweather’s offer, UFC boss Dana White responded with a counter-offer to the boxing superstar, offering both fighters $25 million plus a split of the pay-per-view revenue.
“I’ll tell you what Floyd, here’s a real offer, and I’m the guy who can actually make the offer, and I’m actually making a real offer,” White said. “We’ll pay you 25 million, we’ll pay Conor 25 million, and then well talk pay-per-view and a certain number. There is a real offer.”
Mayweather was less than impressed with the revised figure, allegedly calling White a “f****** comedian” in response.
Whispers of a fight between the two erupted when it was announced McGregor had been issued with a professional boxing license by the state of California.
However, UFC boss Dana White poured cold water over the rumours.
“It’s fun to talk about this [Mayweather] fight and what might happen, but what commission would let that fight happen? Really, think about that,” White said to Yahoo! Sports.
McGregor claimed he would be happy to take on Mayweather in the ring, although he said he would easily beat the boxing champion if the two were to meet in the octagon.
“If you’re asking would I like to fight Floyd Mayweather — I mean, who would not like to dance around the ring for $180 million?” McGregor said.
“I certainly know he would not want to step into my world. The world of pure unarmed combat where there’s no limitations, but I most certainly would step into his world. I would certainly box him if the opportunity arose. Most certainly.”
Mayweather stoked talk of the fight into life by claiming he was the original source of the rumours.
“It’s possible,” Mayweather said at the time. “It [McGregor] was a name that was shot at me.
“The rumours that you all been hearing is the rumours that I started. It may not be a rumour. Keep you all fingers crossed, it may be a boxer versus an MMA fighter.”
However, UFC boss Dana White quickly dismissed the rumours, claiming Mayweather hadn’t contacted him about the potential fight. With McGregor under contract by the UFC, any of his bouts would have to be sanctioned by White’s organisation.
It emerged later in the month that Mayweather had visited Hall of Fame boxing trainer Freddie Roach, asking him to prepare McGregor for the fight. However, Roach didn’t think such a fight would be fair on MMA star McGregor.
“Mayweather did come by my gym last week and he asked me to take that job if it’s offered to me, because he told me the fight is going to happen and we’re going to make a lot of money,” Roach said to Inside MMA.
“I told Mayweather, it would take me three years at least to get him ready to fight you, I don’t think it’s really possible for an MMA fighter to fight a boxer. I don’t think it’s really fair.
“Mayweather would out-box him all day long. I mean Conor McGregor seems like a tough guy and all that, but being a tough guy doesn’t really help you in boxing.”
McGregor stoked life into the rivalry between him and Mayweather by claiming he would kill the boxer if they ever met in a fight.
“I don’t look at a man who’s expert in one area as a specialist,” McGregor said.
“I look at him as a rookie in ten other areas. If you can box, what happens if I grab hold of your legs? If you put me face-to-face with Floyd Mayweather—pound-for-pound boxing’s best—if I fought Floyd, I would kill him in less than thirty seconds.
“It would take me less than thirty seconds to wrap around him like a boa constrictor and strangle him.”
The rumours about the proposed fight between Mayweather and McGregor started some time in early 2016, and Floyd later went on to claim he was the original source of the rumours.
Such a fight would need to pass a number of logistical hurdles. Any of McGregor’s fights, whether in the octagon or otherwise, would need to be sanctioned by the UFC, for whom the Irishman is currently contracted.
The UFC would also need to work out a deal with Mayweather Promotions, which has an exclusive partnership with Showtime.
The two fighters both have excellent records in their respective codes. Mayweather, for so long the undisputed premier pound-for-pound boxer in the world, retired from the sport with an undefeated 49-0 record from a career stretching back to 1996. Mayweather won 26 of his fights by knockout, with the other 23 coming via decision.
McGregor, on the other hand, has a few more blemishes on his record, which currently stands at 21-3. Just one of those losses has come during his UFC career – a defeat to arch rival Nate Diaz via submission at UFC 196 in March of 2016, a fight for which McGregor jumped up two weight divisions for.
However, McGregor later went on to defeat Diaz in a subsequent rematch, winning via a majority decision after their five-round bout at UFC 202.