Floyd Mayweather changes his tune on fight with Conor McGregor
Champion boxer dismisses reports he is close to agreeing a matchup with top mixed martial arts fighter
Floyd Mayweather Jnr has shot down rumours of a deal to fight martial arts star Conor McGregor, insisting he is content to remain retired.
The 39-year old American took to his social media Instagram account late on Tuesday, telling his fans he wanted to set the record straight.
“There seems to be several rumours floating around media recently however, let the record show, there hasn’t been any deals made in regards to a fight between myself and any other fighters. I am happily retired and enjoying life at this time. If any changes are to come, be sure that I will be the first to let the world to know.”
Mayweather’s statement may be sincere or it may not be. He has been know in the past to often stretch the truth announcing several times that the fight of the moment would be his last only to use that ploy as a bargaining tool to try and sell more tickets.
The American was reported to have told ESPN at Saturday’s NBA game between the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder that the two fighters are on the verge of an agreement.
“We’re getting very, very close,” the 39-year-old Mayweather said then, according to ESPN.
The possibility of a fight between boxer Mayweather and Irishman McGregor appeared to get a boost as Ultimate Fighting Championship boss Dana White said in January he’d pay US$25 million to each.
White, president of the popular UFC mixed martial arts brand in which McGregor stars, seemed to indicate in his comments on a Fox radio broadcast that the two would meet in a boxing ring, not the UFC octagon.
Mayweather, who retired in 2015 with a perfect 49-0 record, is considered one of the greatest fighters of all-time. McGregor has never fought a professional boxing match.
McGregor, 28, became the first man to simultaneously hold UFC titles in two weight divisions when he beat Eddie Alvarez in New York on November 12.
At the end of November he was issued a California boxing licence in a development that fuelled speculation about a showdown between the two.
“Real people are having real discussions,” Nevada State Athletic Commission chairman Anthony Marnell said on Tuesday, “I’m also telling you my opinion as the NSAC chairman that a lot of things need to get done in order to see something like this come together because there are so many parties that want to get their hands on the pot.
“Maybe it will get figured out, but it’s going to be hard when everyone is declaring they want US$100 million.”
Mayweather said in January he believed the fight could happen after McGregor said he was determined to fight him.
When White offered McGregor and Mayweather the sum of US$25 million each in January for a fight, Mayweather scoffed at the offer, saying White was “an [expletive] comedian”.
McGregor last competed at UFC 205 last November when he beat Alvarez for the lightweight title.
He also held the featherweight title after knocking out Jose Aldo at UFC 200 last July. McGregor was stripped of the featherweight belt in November to focus on the lightweight division.
McGregor, 21-3 in MMA competition, is not scheduled to compete in a UFC event until May to avoid putting unnecessary stress on partner Dee Devlin, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child.