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Retired boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. said negotiations for a fight between him and UFC star Conor McGregor are still ongoing and the Notorious has turned down an offer of $15 million to fight him.
Appearing on ESPN’s First Take (h/t Daily Mirror‘s Martin Domin), Mayweather explained why he thought the offer was fair and that the fee didn’t include a split of the pay-per-view numbers:
Conor McGregor keeps telling everybody he wants the fight. Let’s make it happen.
We tried to make the McGregor fight. My number was a guaranteed $100million (£83m). We offered him $15m (£12m).
We’re the A-side and I don’t know how much he has made but I’m pretty sure he hasn’t made $2m in an MMA bout.
We can talk about splitting the PPV but we are the A-side. How can a guy talk about $20m or $30m if he’s not made eight or nine?
Is the fight going to happen? We’re working on it.
Per the report, McGregor has previously said he wants a $100 million purse to take the fight.
Mayweather hasn’t fought since September 2015, when he beat Andre Berto to take his record to 49-0. Now 39 years old, he’s still the biggest and most valuable name in boxing, with speculation about a comeback still going strong.
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UFC lightweight champion McGregor has a similar standing in the MMA world, and at UFC 205, he made history by becoming the first man to hold titles in two separate weight categories simultaneously by beating Eddie Alvarez. He had previously beaten Jose Aldo to claim the featherweight belt.
Per Dave Meltzer of MMA Fighting, the Irishman has broken the UFC’s PPV record several times in the last few years, but a bout against Mayweather would likely come with far bigger earnings.
The proposed purse of $15 million is relatively low, however, considering the fact the Notorious would be forced to change sports to make the superfight work. McGregor’s stand-up game is remarkably polished, but he remains an MMA fighter, not a boxer.
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Per Mark La Monica of Newsday, Mayweather will not chase another fight if he can’t make the bout with McGregor work:
Mayweather just not on ESPN: “the only thing I’m really interested in is the Conor McGregor fight.”
— Mark La Monica (@LaMonicaMark) January 11, 2017
While it’s fun to speculate on the potential superfight, it’s still unlikely to happen. McGregor is signed to a UFC contract and has a lightweight title to defend. Aldo is still eyeing a rematch, and the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tyron Woodley will be waiting for their chance as well.