Boxing: Titanic clash gains momentum

Boxer Floyd Mayweather (centre) has given the clearest indication yet that he will come out of retirement to make his super-fight with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) star Conor McGregor happen.
Boxer Floyd Mayweather (centre) has given the clearest indication yet that he will come out of retirement to make his super-fight with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) star Conor McGregor happen. PHOTO: AFP

Floyd Mayweather says he wants to make the fight with UFC's Conor McGregor a reality

LAS VEGAS • Boxer Floyd Mayweather has given the clearest indication yet that he will come out of retirement to make his super-fight with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) star Conor McGregor happen.

The possibility of the boxing bout was first mooted last May and has gained traction since Ireland's McGregor, the first man to simultaneously hold UFC titles in two weight divisions, floated the idea of taking on the undefeated Mayweather.

On Saturday night, Mayweather - who was at ringside at the MGM Grand as Mexico's Leo Santa Cruz reclaimed the World Boxing Association featherweight world title by defeating Carl Frampton - revealed he wants to strike a deal.

"Most likely the fight will happen," the American told Sky Sports. "I believe I can get my number... we've got to do a job on my side and hopefully all the fans in the UK come over to support me.

"I have to communicate with my team, the fight hasn't been made yet but it is all about entertainment so hopefully it can happen."

In another interview with American broadcaster Showtime, Mayweather said the fight would take place at a 147 to 150 pounds - or 66 to 68 kg - weight category.

"I believe the fight can happen. Conor McGregor, like I have said before, is a tough competitor," he said.

"He proved throughout the years in the UFC that he can fight standing up so we will just have to see what the future holds."

Speaking at a Q&A session with MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani earlier on Saturday, UFC lightweight champion McGregor also indicated that the fight will take place.

"Me and Floyd, we've got to get together and figure it out. The same way him and Manny (Pacquiao) figured it out," he said.

"Once we come to a set number that I'm happy with and he's happy with, then we go to the customers, then we go to the promoters and the buyers. And then, we get it done.

"I'm going to go to Las Vegas, get my boxing license and they'll we see where the f*** Floyd's at.

"I have my eyes on one thing and that's Floyd Mayweather. It's the fight I want. I've got the reach. I've got the youth. You can't prepare for a style like me."

In late November, McGregor was issued a boxing licence in the state of California, in a development that fuelled speculation about a future showdown with Mayweather.

One undefeated record fell on Saturday as Santa Cruz (33-1) avenged his 2016 loss to Northern Ireland's Frampton (23-1). In a grudge rematch, Santa Cruz this time emerged with a majority decision, with two judges scoring it 115-113 while the third scored it a draw at 114-114.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 30, 2017, with the headline 'Titanic clash gains momentum'. Print Edition | Subscribe