Boxing Boxing

UFC boss offers Mayweather, McGregor Sh2.6bn each to fight

UFC president Dana White said he would pay Floyd Mayweather and mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor $25mn apiece and a cut of pay-per-view proceeds to fight © Getty/AFP/File / Michael Reaves

LOS ANGELES, United States, Jan 14The possibility of a duel between boxer Floyd Mayweather and mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor got another boost as Ultimate Fighting Championship boss Dana White said he’d pay each Sh2.6bn to meet.

White, president of the popular UFC mixed martial arts brand in which Ireland’s 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.

In addition to Sh2.6bn apiece, White said, each fighter would get a cut of pay-per-view proceeds.

“If they’re going to box, Floyd looks at this as an easy boxing match for him,” White said. “Conor McGregor is his money fight. Tell you what, Floyd, here’s a real offer – and I’m the guy who can make the offer – we’ll pay you Sh2.6bn ($25 million) and Conor Sh2.6bn ($25 million).”

White scoffed at Mayweather’s claim this week that he’d offered McGregor Sh1.5bn ($15 million) to climb into the ring with him.

Mayweather, who retired in 2015 with a perfect 49-0 record, told ESPN’s First Take program that a McGregor bout was the only thing that could tempt him to end his exile from the ring.

Mayweather said he’d talked to McGregor’s representatives.

“They know what my number is. My number is a guaranteed Sh10.4bn ($100 million),” he said, adding that he considered himself the “A-side” of the promotion.

“To think that you’re the ‘A’ side … how are you the ‘A’ side?” White said. “He’s claiming he’s made offers. He hasn’t made offers to anybody. I just made a real offer. Conor McGregor will fight anybody, anywhere, anytime, and there is a line of guys he’ll fight who’ll do more than 1 million pay-per-view buys.”

McGregor 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 boxing license in the state of California in a development that fueled speculation about a showdown between him and Mayweather.