WASHINGTON • Over months of verbal sparring between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather, it became increasingly apparent that a megafight between the two was not a mere vehicle for trash talk, but an event that might take place.
Monday brought news that the two combat-sports superstars have, in fact, agreed to terms on a meeting in the ring.
The Irish Sun cited a source close to McGregor who told the newspaper that the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion and Mayweather "have both settled on their respective fees".
The source added: "The contract hasn't officially been signed yet because of a third-party hold-up, but all the details have all been agreed on.
"The fight could even be announced within two weeks."
That "third-party hold-up" could be UFC president Dana White, whose company has McGregor under contract and who has repeatedly thrown cold water on the proposed fight.
In January, White said that the chances of the showdown taking place were about the same as him "being the back-up quarterback for (Tom) Brady" in the Super Bowl.
White did offer Mayweather US$25 million (S$35.47 million) to fight McGregor, but that was mostly to call the retired boxer's bluff, after Mayweather had said on ESPN that he would give McGregor US$15 million to fight him.
Mayweather, who insisted that his September 2015 win over Andre Berto, which ran his record to 49-0, would be the last fight of his career, has stated that he would not enter the ring again for less than US$100 million.
To further tease the promise of a fight, McGregor posted footage of himself in a training session last week for a boxing match.
"Why conquer one world when you can conquer two?" he said during his pay-per-view interview.
McGregor, 28, has never fought in a sanctioned boxing-only match before.
American Mayweather, 39, who is arguably the greatest defensive boxer ever, would figure to the betting favourite if the fight were to take place.
The Irish Sun also reported that McGregor pulled out of a scheduled meet-and-greet in Dublin later this week, ostensibly to shoot an anti-bullying video in Las Vegas.
The newspaper claimed the Irishman "will also use the opportunity to finalise details with his representatives in Las Vegas as the Mayweather fight inches closer".