Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight ‘going to happen’ believes UFC boss Dana White
MMA promotion’s president feels it is only a matter of time before a mega-money deal is struck for the much-hyped boxing match
UFC president Dana White now believes a deal will be struck for a lucrative boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.
“I do think it’s going to happen,” White said in an appearance on US television talk show ‘Conan’. “I think it’s going to be a tough deal, because, obviously, there are a lot of egos involved in this deal and a lot of people, so that always make it tougher.
“[But] on the flip side, there’s so much money involved, I just don’t see how it doesn’t happen.”
Irishman McGregor is the UFC’s lightweight champion and remains under contract with the promotion, which seemed to be the biggest stumbling block in negotiations.
“If Conor McGregor was his own boss the fight would be made,” Mayweather told BT Sport last week, in an interview with Rio Ferdinand
White had previously dismissed any chance of the fight happening with UFC’s permission, despite McGregor obtaining a boxing licence in California in November after he was forced to vacate his featherweight title, having not defended it since December 2015.
McGregor has not fought in the UFC since a second-round knockout of Eddie Alvarez at Madison Square Garden last November, which earned him the lightweight title. He said after the fight he would be taking time away from the octagon with his girlfriend due to give birth in May.
The Irishman’s hiatus from MMA has not stopped him calling out former five-division world champion Mayweather on social media and in interviews to face him in a boxing ring.
Mayweather, who retired in 2015 with a professional record of 49-0, has also stirred up speculation at any opportunity for what would be a mega-money fight.
Last week in interviews with British media the American said he is coming out of retirement and called on McGregor to “sign the paper” and “stop blowing smoke up everybody’s a**”.
“A lot of things make this fight intriguing,” White added. “Conor McGregor is huge. He’s in the prime of his career. Floyd is 40. Floyd has always had problems with southpaws; Conor is a southpaw, and Conor hits hard. When he hits people, they go. Floyd is definitely not knocking him out. That’s for sure.
“I’m not saying Conor would win this boxing match, but it sure makes it interesting.”
The fight has reportedly been targeted for June 10 inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, with McGregor said to be applying for a boxing licence with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, who are aware of negotiations between both camps.
“It doesn’t make a lot of sense for my business, but I would never keep Conor from making that kind of money,” White said in a separate interview posted on entertainment news website TMZ.
Mayweather said he wants a guaranteed US$100 million to make the fight happen, offering US$15m going to McGregor, while also laughing off White’s previous offer of US$25m to each plus pay-per-view money.
“So if Conor McGregor wants the A Spot, don’t cry and complain about the money. Be the B fighter, go out there and do what you have to do and you possibly can get a victory you can be the A side.”