Late last year, when Conor McGregor announced he had obtained his boxing license in the state of California, we threw cold water on the notion that the UFC superstar and boxing champ Floyd Mayweather Jr. would one day get into the ring with each other. Neither fighter, however, wants to let the idea die.
The latest salvo comes from Mayweather, who was on ESPN this week countering McGregor’s demand of a $100 million payday. $15 million plus a cut of the pay-per-view revenue is more realistic for McGregor, Mayweather says.
$100 million? That’s Mayweather territory, unfamiliar and unobtainable to McGregor.
“We tried to make the Conor McGregor fight,” Mayweather told Stephen A. Smith. “They know what my number is. My number is a guaranteed $100 million. That was my number.”
Mayweather continued, “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?”
According to ESPN, the $3 million McGregor made for his fight against Nate Diaz at UFC 202 (before PPV bonuses) is a UFC record. Ronda Rousey earned the same amount for getting her ass kicked by Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 on Dec. 30.
To Mayweather’s point, the $100 million McGregor is demanding marks quite a leap from what his UFC checks look like. But is there an amount between $15 million and $100 million that Mayweather would offer and at which McGregor would bite?
Making the fight is more complicated than finding McGregor’s number, however. It would require, too, the signoff of UFC czar Dana White, and White wouldn’t come cheap to Mayweather and company.
“Dana White, the UFC – let’s make it happen,” Mayweather said. “Bring him over to the boxing world, and I’ll show him what it’s like.”
Despite the obstacles, we’re starting to see a path Mayweather-McGregor to happen. The potential dollars are too many to ignore, and the pie should be large enough for everybody –Mayweather, McGregor, White, etc. – to get their slice.
As a source told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “It’s going to happen. It’s a sure thing. There’s too much money on the table not to do it.”
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