UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor recently called out Floyd Mayweather Jr. for a boxing match, and UFC President Dana White backed McGregor up.
These days, any time Conor McGregor is in the news, Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s name ends up not being far behind.
On Saturday, Conor McGregor knocked out Eddie Alvarez to claim his second UFC championship. It was a historic feat that stirred up questions about what would be next for the two division champion; it also sparked a war of words with the former pound-for-pound boxing king.
When Mayweather was asked his opinion on McGregor, he dismissed the Irish superstar as merely “piggybacking” off the Mayweather name, comparing McGregor to an ant and himself to an elephant. McGregor responded by saying Mayweather could “say it to my face.” Then, Tuesday night, per TMZ, McGregor took over a DJ booth at a nightclub in New York City and took another shot at “Money” Mayweather.
“Floyd’s not ready for this. Much respect to Floyd. He’s a solid businessman. What he’s been able to do, he’s a f*cking animal at what he’s been able to do. [But] as far as real fighting – true, pure unarmed combat – Floyd don’t want none of this. He does not want none of this. He wants it under boxing rules. He wants a boxing match. He doesn’t want a fight.
“Give Floyd a shout; tell him I’m coming. Tell him to run around Showtime offices. I want $100 million to fight him under boxing rules because he’s afraid of a real fight.”
It’s a familiar refrain for McGregor who said the same thing back in August in the lead up to his rematch with Nate Diaz and has been saying substantively similar things since the fight was first rumored early this year. Mayweather always maintained that the match would have to be held under boxing rules and though McGregor never shied away from that aspect, he did take shots at Mayweather for not wanting to have a “real fight.”
But though the jabs might be retreads, not everything is the same. When the rumors of a possible Mayweather-McGregor fight first started popping up, UFC President Dana White was very complimentary of Mayweather, saying he was open to the possibility but that Mayweather had to contact him about it. Now, it appears White has changed his tune.
“Conor McGregor…if he touches you, you go to sleep,” White told TMZ. “Floyd puts people to sleep too, with his fighting style, not with his hands. You know how Floyd knocks people out? When they’re not looking. Watch the Victor Ortiz fight.”
“This kid’s just getting started. This kid’s 28 years old. Floyd can say what he wants about Conor, but even other fighters have to respect him. He’s special. Floyd’s never even come close to doing to other fighters what Conor does.”
It’s possible that White has lost his respectful tone because Floyd seems to be happy in retirement, telling USA Today that he is content with his retirement. Then again, Mayweather was the one who first postulated a fight between himself and McGregor as something different and interesting enough to get him to leave his retirement in the first place.
So who knows, maybe this time it’ll actually stick. After all, as Mayweather has been known to say, “if it makes dollars, it makes sense” and there are few things in combat sports that would make more dollars than this fight.
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