Fight fans are one step closer to possibly seeing the hotly-rumored boxing match between UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. On Wednesday, it was confirmed McGregor was issued a boxing license in the state of California.
“He got a license today and a federal ID,” California State Athletic Commission executive officer Andy Foster told MMAFighting.com, who along with ESPN.com reporter Brett Okamoto simultaneously broke the news. “He’s a California boxer now.”
It’s only a matter of time before McGregor receives a boxing license from other prominent states, as well.
McGregor has been radio silent since the UFC stripped him of his featherweight belt Saturday. If this is McGregor’s way of sending his bosses a message, best believe he’s got their attention.
McGregor became the first fighter in UFC history to hold two different titles at the same time after plastering Eddie Alvarez earlier this month to capture the lightweight title. Prior to the bout, UFC president Dana White was adamant that McGregor would have to relinquish one of the belts if he was victorious.
McGregor, the UFC’s biggest superstar, scoffed at the notion of being stripped of a crown after making history. “They better bring an army to try and take one of my belts,” McGregor stated.
The UFC took the backdoor Saturday by announcing Anthony Pettis and Max Holloway would fight for the interim featherweight belt at UFC 206 after the show’s main event fell through. Then-interim featherweight champ Jose Aldo was automatically promoted to McGregor’s spot, leaving McGregor with only his lightweight gold.
McGregor has never competed in a professional boxing match, but has continued to poke and jab Mayweather from afar in hopes of goading arguably the greatest boxer of all time into a blockbuster bout.
“Floyd’s not ready for this,” McGregor said during a nightclub appearance after beating Alvarez. “Much respect to Floyd, he’s a solid businessman. What he has been able to do, he’s a [expletive] animal at what he’s been able to do but as far as real fighting, as far as true, pure unarmed combat — Floyd don’t want none of this.
“He wants it under boxing rules. He wants a boxing match. He doesn’t want a fight. Tell Floyd and Showtime, I’m coming. Tell him to go to them Showtime offices. I want $100 million cash to fight you under boxing rules cause he’s afraid of a real fight.”
While this move does put McGregor one step closer to arranging a bout with Mayweather, there are still plenty of hurdles to clear – the fact that McGregor is under contract with the UFC, how the money would be divvied up. Also, Mayweather is presently retired but there have been grumblings that he’s itching to get back in the ring.
Either way, McGregor always finds a way to keep things interesting, even when he’s not expected to fight for at least another five months.