The initially-dismissed fantasy matchup between retired pound-for-pound Floyd Mayweather and UFC cash cow Conor McGregor could actually be real.
At least if we’re to believe “Money” Mayweather.
“It’s possible,” Mayweather said prior to Canelo-Khan. “It may not be a rumor. Keep your fingers crossed. It may be a boxer versus an MMA fighter. So we just don’t know.”
The two fighters are comparable in size, with McGregor campaigning at 145 (featherweight in the UFC) vs. Mayweather’s 147.
And speaking of retirement, McGregor, 27, made his own share of headlines lately. He announced his retirement in tweet that went viral, went silent, unretired again (this time via Facebook), before getting yanked by UFC brass from a huge July PPV.
Never one to shy away from playing the media, McGregor posted a series of tweets hinting at the possible matchup.
While the idea was met with initial derision—UFC head honcho Dana White denied the fight, calling it a “tabloid story”—experts are, somehow, warming up to the clash between the two biggest draws in each sport.
“If [McGregor] can survive, he’s not diminished too much. And Mayweather’s not a murderous puncher,” long-time analyst Joe Rogan said. “He’s not a Canelo Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin.
“Golovkin is a bad fight for him. Someone like that is a bad fight for him, a murderous puncher, because most likely they’re gonna take him out. But Mayweather, it’s very possible he is gonna get the decision.”
Of course, there are number of obstacles blocking the fight.
For one, the 39-year-old Mayweather,—who capped a historic Hall of Fame career by shutting out former two-time welterweight titlist Andre Berto to secure his 49th consecutive victory—has to unretire.
However, ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported last week that Mayweather’s promotional company had filed for trademarks for “TMT 50” and “TBE 50,” adding fuel to the comeback rumor fire.
Then there’s the matter of the UFC allowing McGregor to compete outside the UFC, notorious for its ironclad contracts against co-promotions.
“I can’t imagine they would be willing to do that,” Rogan said on his podcast, “and I can’t imagine that they would let him fight Floyd Mayweather.”
And of course the setting. Will it take place in a ring? A cage? The Pit?
But should the fight go down, as Mayweather says it may, it could satisfy his nine-figure requirement to leave the retired life behind.
“Every time I go out there and compete, my number is, of course, $100 million or better,” Mayweather said. “I feel I can demand that.”
By Adam Weiss/ Guest Colomnist