The superfight between UFC champ Conor McGregor and retired boxing pound-for-pound great Floyd Mayweather Jr. is inching closer to becoming a reality.
Mayweather told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith during the broadcast of NBA game between the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday that “we’re getting very, very close” to reaching an agreement for the fight. On Tuesday, ESPN.com confirmed that McGregor arrived in Las Vegas, where Mayweather lives and trains, on Monday evening..
Meanwhile, the Irish Sun confirmed with a source close to the UFC lightweight king on Monday that both McGregor and Mayweather “have both settled on their respective fees” but the contract hasn’t been signed “because of a third-party holdup.” That third party is likely the UFC, which holds exclusive rights to McGregor’s contract and hasn’t been agreeable to co-promotion in the past.
UFC President Dana White recently claimed to have offered Mayweather and McGregor $25 million apiece to fight on a card promoted by the Las Vegas-based organization. Mayweather called White a “f—-ing comedian” when informed of the offer.”
During a Q&A session in Manchester, England, last month, McGregor said that he expects his next fight to occur in a boxing ring, not the Octagon. However, things could get ugly if the Irishman attempts to circumvent the UFC during the process of making a potential Mayweather fight.
“You know how I feel about Conor, I’ve always shown Conor nothing but respect, and if he wants to go down that road with us, let me tell you, it will be an epic fall,” White said in response to McGregor’s comments at the UFC on Fox 23 post-fight press conference.
Meanwhile, Nevada Athletic Commission chairman Anthony Marnell confirmed to ESPN.com that the negotiations for the often scoffed-at fight are indeed very real. Not surprisingly, money — and its distribution to the main parties involved — will be a major hurdle to overcome.
"There is a lot of real stuff going on," Marnell told ESPN. "It still seems like a long shot, but when there is a lot of money involved, people tend to figure it out. There are a lot of cooks in the kitchen, but I'm not sure if we're going to eat.
"The Nevada Athletic Commission, in my experience, has always been well-briefed by all parties on an event or potential event that may take place in Las Vegas. We are aware of conversations and information that has been disclosed and not disclosed in the media. Whether these conversations will get to a point that a fight happens, I can't tell you.”