Floyd Mayweather has long let it be known that he's all about that money. And Money Mayweather made his strongest declaration to date concerning his constant back-and-forth baiting with Irish UFC star Conor McGregor when he said that he will come out of retirement to fight McGregor for the princely sum of $100 million.
Floyd said if McGregor agrees to a purse of $15 million, which would be the most he's ever made for a fight, in addition to a minor slice of the pay-per-view revenue, the hypothetical fight of the ages that has long been debated but never truly taken seriously by fight fans, would become a reality.
Mayweather, who retired in September 2015 with an unblemished record of 49-0 with the undeniable recognition is boxing's current pound-for-pound best and one of the greatest pugilistic scientists, has long teased boxing fans about a possible return to the ring for one more kuckle-up. A win would make him 50-0, surpassing the 49-0 record that he currently shares with the great Rocky Marciano.
On ESPN's First Take yesterday, Floyd made his clearest declaration to date, laying out his financial terms and saying, "Conor McGregor keeps saying he wants the fight. Let's make it happen."
“We tried to make the fight," said Floyd. "They know what my number is. My number was a guaranteed $100 million. We’re the A-side and I don’t know how much money he has made. I’m pretty sure he hasn’t even made $10 million from an MMA bout. But we are willing to give him $15 million and then we can talk about splitting the percentage, the back-end percentage on pay-per view."
“But of course we’re the A-side. How can a guy talk about $20 million or $30 million if he’s never even made $8 million or $9 million [for one fight]?”
In his next-to-last fight against Manny Pacquaio, Floyd hauled in a reported $300 million. ($300 Million your honor!!!)
While some have been talking about a Pacquaio rematch, Floyd was very firm about the only scenario that would get him to come out of retirement for one more fight.
“The only thing I’m probably interested in is the Conor McGregor fight," Floyd said. "I’m a businessman, and it makes more business sense.”
McGregor, who recently acquired a boxing licence in California, has yet to respond.
So, can this matchup morph from a fantasy and hypothetical scenario into an actual event?
McGregor, the UFC's first ever double champion, has previously demanded $100 million to fight Mayweather.
In the end, it could go down as the most talked about fight to never happen. And if it actually jumps off, no one with any knowledge of the pugilistic science would expect McGregor, who is a deadly fighter with some fierce weaponry in the octagon, to be able to match wits with Mayweather in a boxing ring.
The event would be nothing more than a cash grab and publicity stunt, but one that would make boatloads of cash for everyone involved.
For folks who think that boxing is on life support, they obviously haven't been paying attention. The excitement is returning to the heavyweight ranks thanks to a possible unification bout between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder that looms in the future. The competitive post-Mayweather welterweight crop will produce some compelling, competitive and noteworthy bouts for years to come.
And the Gennady Golovkin vs Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez fight should be one of the ages.
But a possible Mayweather vs McGregor fight will be a titanic boon to both boxing and UFC, which is the fastest growing commercial sporting property in the universe. Mayweather, the best fighter of his generation, has taken boxing's financial possibilities to the next level, though it remains to be seen if others can rise to his level of monetary accomplishments at the box office. And McGregor's contributions to UFC's financial rocket-ship-ride over the past few years are irrefutable.
A crossover event between boxing and the UFC's best, despite being under the auspices of boxing regulations and a farce to fans of both mediums, would be a bonanza of profit that cannot be easily dismissed from a business perspective.
McGregor vs Mayweather wouldn't be anything but the ultimate gimmick in the ring. But in terms of public consumption, media hype and paychecks, it could be the biggest thing the sporting world has seen in quite some time.
I say we have some fun and make it happen. It can't be any worse than watching the Brooklyn Nets play the Dallas Mavericks. So, why not?
Like the inimitable boxing ref Mills Lane used to say, "Let's get it on!"