Floyd Mayweather would only consider ending his retirement for a fight with Conor McGregor.
Mayweather hasn’t fought since 2015 when he retired with a perfect 49-0 record and is widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter of his generation.
He has been linked with several potential comeback bouts, including a rematch with Manny Pacquiao. But speaking to ESPN today, Mayweather played down the likelihood of facing the Filipino again and indicated only a much-touted crossover bout with McGregor would tempt him back into the ring.
“The only thing I’m probably interested in is the Conor McGregor fight. I’m a businessman, it makes more business sense,” Mayweather said.
However, the American fighter suggested the UFC star’s pay demands remain the chief stumbling block to the fight taking place.
After his win over Eddie Alvarez in December, McGregor stated his requirements to fight Mayweather in a boxing ring.
“I want $100 million cash to fight you under boxing rules cause he’s afraid of a real fight.”
Today, Mayweather indicated McGregor would have to settle for a more modest purse, but restated his determination to make the fight happen.
“We tried to make the Conor McGregor fight. They knew what my number is. My number was a guaranteed $100 million. That was my number.
“We’re the A side. I don’t really know how much money Conor McGregor has made. I’m pretty sure he hasn’t even made $10 million in an MMA bout.
“But we are willing to give him $15 million (€14m) and then we can talk about splitting the percentage, the backend 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 made $8million or $9 million.
“I’m saying right here on this show, Conor McGregor keeps telling everyone he wants to fight, let’s make it happen.”
Mayweather is likely understating McGregor’s earning potential for a UFC fight. McGregor’s guaranteed salary for his fight with Nate Diaz at UFC 202 last year was $3million. But with the fight reportedly attracting over 1.5 million pay-per-view buys, he is likely to have earned more than $10million.
The Irishman has backed himself to blemish Mayweather’s clean record, but he would need to be excused from his lucrative UFC contract to take the fight.