Floyd Mayweather (pictured) may be boxing’s biggest draw, but UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor claims he’s the one that will be calling the shots if this rumored crossover fight comes to fruition.
McGregor is under contract with the UFC, so it’s highly unlikely they would allow their cash cow to venture into a boxing match. However, McGregor didn’t exactly kill the chatter.
“I hear the boy talking,” McGregor said of Mayweather on ESPN’s Sunday Conversation. “The leak came out, it was him that leaked the rumor. I said, ‘He gets $100 million, I get $7 million. That’s a pay cut to me. I don’t take pay cuts. I thought boxing is where the money is at.’ The $7 million is absolutely laughable. He’s talking $100 million, I’m also talking $100 million. I’m 27 years of age and I’m just about halfway to a $100 million contract.
“At 27 years of age, Floyd Mayweather was on Oscar De La Hoya’s undercard. So, compare that. He needs me, I don’t need him. That’s the truth of it. Who else can he fight? He fights someone else in the boxing realm and all of a sudden the pay goes from $100 million to $15 million. So, he needs me. If he wants to talk, we can talk. But it’s me who is in control here.”
Mayweather announced his retirement after beating Andre Berto in September. Although he’s 39 years of age, many believe the retirement is just a ploy in order to generate more hoopla when he returns to the ring to try and collect his 50th win in as many outings.
Mayweather has generated approximately $1.3 billion in pay-per-view revenue and over 19.5 million PPV buys throughout his illustrious 20-year career. He has reportedly banked approximately $650 million inside the squared-circle, the most of any boxer in history.
McGregor, who announced his retirement from MMA in April at the age of 27 only to un-retire two days later during the beginning stages of his public standoff with the UFC over promotional duties, said as long as the money is right, he will face Mayweather in a boxing bout or a MMA tango. Although, he knows Mayweather wouldn’t dare dip his toes in the MMA pond.
“I don’t care about rules. He can make all the rules he wants,” McGregor stated. “I know he would not want to fight in a mixed martial arts contest – in a true fight. If he wants to fight in a limited fight, that’s no problem. We can do that. I will set aside many other forms of fighting that I practice in and I will focus just on one particular craft.
“I’m committed to the fight game. I enjoy competition; I enjoy challenges. If a challenge is in front of me and it appeals to me, then I will go and I will conquer it.”
Back to reality. McGregor met with UFC brass Wednesday to smooth out their fractured relationship and finalize a rematch with Nate Diaz, who McGregor was supposed to meet again at UFC 200 until his bosses pull him from the main event after McGregor refused to attend a press conference in Las Vegas.
McGregor said he was surprised how quickly the drama between he and the UFC escalated, but didn’t back down for standing up for himself.
“Reasonable media is what I said. I said I would do New York, I said I would do everything else after that, I just needed another little bit to set myself and then the lack of communication – they were trying to push back on me, I was trying to push back on them. Then it was like it blew up then,” McGregor said of his public pissing contest with the UFC.
“It blew up. I don’t know, I was just kind of having fun with that. At the start of it, it was kind of half-hearted and then all of a sudden, you’re off 200. I was like ‘all right well f**k you too, then’. It was fun. Seeing it all blow up like that, it was amusing for a while.”
The UFC is reportedly hoping to have McGregor vs. Diaz II headline UFC 202 in August, but while their meeting with McGregor was good, the UFC’s negotiations with Diaz on Friday went south.