Roughly one year ago Conor McGregor first made serious mention of a potential boxing mega fight with Floyd Mayweather. Fast forward 12 months, and the UFC Lightweight champion has agreed to terms on his side of the fight.
McGregor has actively pursued a matchup with Mayweather (who has a 49-0 record in boxing) over the past year. Business really picked up follow his title-winning knockout of Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 last November, an accomplishment which made “The Notorious” the first simultaneous two-division titleholder in company history.
Considering McGregor has zero professional boxing experience, the idea of a matchup with Mayweather was widely taken as fantasy. Each day it appears to take steps closer to reality, though, and on Wednesday another significant hurdle was cleared.
McGregor’s promoter, UFC President Dana White, appeared on Inside the NBA on TNT following the Game 1 blowout by the Cleveland Cavaliers over the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals, and revealed an agreement for McGregor’s half to the fight was complete.
“The McGregor side is done,” White said. “I’m starting to work on the Mayweather side now.”
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 18, 2017
Although the specifics of the deal were not revealed, McGregor subsequently confirmed White’s comments in a statement released on his personal website, TheMacLife.com.
“It is an honor to sign this record-breaking deal alongside my partners Zuffa LLC, The Ultimate Fighting Championship and Paradigm Sports Management,” McGregor said. “The first, and most important part of this historic contract, has now officially been signed off on. Congratulations to all parties involved. We now await (Mayweather adviser) Al Haymon and his boxer’s signature in the coming days.”
Despite the significance, McGregor putting pen to paper for a clash with Mayweather would have to be considered the easy part of negotiations. Dealing with Mayweather is an entirely different story, and it’s impossible to predict how talks with “Money” will realistically unfold.
Mayweather’s pickiness over specific details in regard to his fights has been a famous part of his approach. He wants a piece of all revenue, from concession sales to closed-circuit viewing. Moreover, Mayweather will almost certainly want a large influence on details from fight weight to venue to glove size and more.
Whether all those aspects can be ironed out will be determined once White begins talks with Team Mayweather. The fight was apparently originally targeted for September 16, but once another marquee boxing matchup between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin was announced for that date, White said plans were scrapped.
From an optimist’s perspective the fight between McGregor and Mayweather could be viewed as 50 percent done. White said he’s not ready to make any guarantees yet, though, because the next 50 percent is where the real challenges rest, “I’m not saying the fight will happen,” White said. “I got one side done; now it’s time to work on the other. If we can come to a deal with Haymon and Mayweather, the fight’s going to happen.”