LONDON (AFP) – Floyd Mayweather was tight-lipped Thursday (May 18) over the prospect of a fight with mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor after the promoter said the Irishman had signed to face the boxing great.
Mayweather is currently in London with protege Gervonta Davis, who makes his first defence of his International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-featherweight title against Liam Walsh in the British capital on Saturday (May 20).
Asked about the long-talked about fight with McGregor, Mayweather said: “This is Liam Walsh and Gervonta Davis’s press conference. Let’s focus on these two competitors.
“That’s total disrespect to both of these fighters, it’s their press conference, let’s talk about them. Both of these fighters deserve respect.”
Fight promoter Dana White has said he had an agreement with 28-year-old UFC lightweight champion McGregor for the proposed bout, but that Mayweather remained unsigned. White told American television cable channel TNT on Wednesday (May 17) that McGregor has agreed to a boxing match and not a martial arts fight, which would heavily favour Mayweather, who has never lost in his two-decades long professional career.
White said his plan now was to try to lure the American out retirement for a super fight with McGregor.
“The McGregor side is done,” Ultimate Fighting Champion president White said. “I’m not saying the fight will happen but I got one side done and it’s time to work on the other (Mayweather). “If we can come to a deal with (Al) Haymon and (Floyd) Mayweather, the fight’s going to happen.”
White said McGregor has agreed to step in the ring with the undefeated Mayweather despite not having fought competitively in a boxing ring since he was a teenager. McGregor was granted a licence to box in California several months ago.
McGregor has been the UFC’s most popular fighter and among its top money spinners while the 40-year-old Mayweather retired in 2015 with a 49-0 record including 26 victories by knockout.
White has said the fight could generate a payday of US$100 million (S$139 million) for Mayweather and US$75 million for McGregor.
Mayweather has repeatedly said that he won’t come out of retirement, against anyone, for less than US$100 million. Not everyone would be excited to see a
Mayweather-McGregor boxing match. Promoter Oscar De La Hoya has said a bout between the two would be an “embarrassment” for the sport of boxing.