Retired boxing great Floyd Mayweather Jr. is willing to put his money where Conor McGregor’s mouth is.
While most of the talk of a Mayweather-McGregor boxing match has come from McGregor’s end, Mayweather went on ESPN on Wednesday and put a dollar figure out to entice McGregor.
“I don’t know how much money Conor McGregor has made,” Mayweather said. “I’m pretty sure he hasn’t even made $10 million in an MMA bout. We were willing to give him $15 million and then we could talk about splitting the percentage, the back end percentage on pay-per-view.”
The $15 million payday would almost surely be the biggest of McGregor’s career. McGregor earned a disclosed $3 million for his August fight with Nate Diaz and has claimed publicly he would earn about $40 million in 2016, a number that may be inflated but not too far off from reality.
There is, of course, the issue that McGregor is under contract to UFC and they would certainly want a piece of that pie, if they were to allow the bout to happen at all.
Mayweather also may just be all talk, using this as a tactic to keep his name in the news just as longtime rival Manny Pacquiao announced his next fight against against Jeff Horn set for April 23. P.R. stunt or not, Mayweather is talking a big game.
“The only thing that I’m probably interested in is probably the Conor McGregor fight,” he told ESPN’s “First Take.” “I’m a businessman and it makes more business sense.”
With all of the money to be made on the fight, Mayweather and McGregor seem more than interested. It’s now up to UFC if they want to allow it to happen or not.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Losing badly in a boxing match to one of the best ever may not be the best thing for McGregor’s MMA career, but the payday may be worth it. McGregor seems to be one who values overcoming great challenges so I can see how this is appealing to him, money aside. UFC in the past has a history of not wanting to get involved with co-promotion, which is what would need to happen here. But this is also a new regime that need to make a lot of money to pay the debt off of their $4 billion investment in the company. With hundreds of millions of dollars on the table here, the new WME-IMG UFC may be willing to at least consider the idea of putting Conor McGregor in a boxing match. The flip side of this is that Mayweather is his own promoter and he may not want to work with UFC as he is talking about working directly with McGregor. It took many years to get the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight put together, and this wouldn’t be any easier, so my gut tells me this won’t be happening anytime soon, if ever.
THURSDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-Robbie Lawler has departed from American Top Team according to ENT Imports. He’s been with the team since 2012. Lawler hasn’t commented publicly on the move and there is no indication where he will train moving forward.
-UFC Fight Pass is offering a free trial this weekend, with events from TKO, Invicta FC, and UFC airing on the service on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday respectively. Fight Pass typically offers a free week for new subscribers, but the free weekend appears to be available for new and past subscribers.
Joe Lauzon vs. Diego Sanchez from UFC 200.