The bout could be announced within the next two weeks and both fighters have agreed to the financial details for the fight, The Sun reported, citing a source close to McGregor. Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe didn't respond to messages from USA TODAY Sports seeking comment.
There was no date given for what could be the most anticipated — if not unlikely — pay-per-view event in years.
McGregor, the UFC lightweight champ, and Mayweather, who retired in 2015 after he posted a 49-0 record, have both talked about the possibility of a mega fight for months.
“Can we make this fight happen?” Mayweather said last month. “Absolutely. That’s what everyone wants to see.”
The details, however, are lacking and Tuesday’s report doesn’t answer a lot of the basics, such as whether longtime Mayweather partner Showtime would televise the event and if the UFC would let McGregor out of his contract, which has four fights remaining.
|(Photo: USA TODAY Sports)|
Floyd Mayweather Jr. And Conor McGregor Have Reportedly Come To Terms On Superfight [UPDATE]
The most talked-about fight in the colliding combat sports worlds of boxing and mixed martial arts could finally be happening. Per The Irish Sun, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor have come to terms on a proposed boxing match.
The terms and date haven't been officially announced because of a "third-party hold up," but according to The Sun, a source close to the Straight Blast Gym (the gym where McGregor trained) the two combatants have ironed out their fees.
McGregor attained his boxing license late last year and is reportedly in the process of resolving his issues with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. He had been fined for a pre-fight incident with Nate Diaz where the 28-year-old Irishman threw a bottle of water.
According to reports, McGregor will satisfy his obligation to the commission by flying to the United States to film an anti-bullying spot for children. This was likely necessary as Mayweather almost always insists upon fighting in Las Vegas.
That should answer any questions about who is the A-side in these negotiations.
McGregor canceled an engagement at The Red Cow Moran Hotel. The hotel posted this message on their website:
“The Red Cow Moran Hotel in association with Industry Entertainment regret to announce that the evening event with Conor McGregor scheduled for Friday 17th February has been canceled due to circumstances beyond their control. An unavoidable schedule change will see Conor McGregor in Las Vegas at the time of the event."
Whether this is the truth, posturing or Mayweather wanting to be the one who officially announce the agreement remains to be seen.
END OF UPDATE
Mayweather tied Rocky Marciano's legendary 49-0 mark with a victory over Andre Berto in September 2015. He retired after that bout and he has repeatedly claimed to be happy in his retirement. However, he has helped to keep rumors of a bout with McGregor afloat as The Notorious One has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the world of MMA.
The aforementioned "third-party holdup" could be UFC President Dana White. He has said a fight between McGregor and Mayweather would not happen as the former is under contract for four more fights.
White implied there would be consequences if McGregor moved forward with this bout without the UFC's permission. White made a less than realistic offer of $25 million to Mayweather in January, but most knew this wasn't a realistic attempt to get the fight made.
Mayweather and McGregor may have moved on in the negotiations without White and the UFC's approval. If that's the case, there could be even more drama forthcoming if McGregor has to battle Mayweather in the ring and the UFC in court.
What you need to know about Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather super fight
Will Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor really get it on?
Money talks, and no one expresses his love for cash more than Mayweather, the retired former champ. He also knows a matchup with McGregor is "easy work," as he likes to say. That's because any fight between the two will be in a boxing ring with eight-ounce gloves, not a UFC octagon.
Although the fight has not been finalized, both men continue to talk it up, and there were news media reports from around the globe on Tuesday, including Mayweather telling ESPN, "we're getting very, very close," that negotiations are progressing.
With that in mind, here are nine questions about the potential superfight.
1. What will it take to consummate the fight?
A lot. Both fighters have massive egos, and even trivial things, such as who comes out last and who is billed as the A-side, will be contested.
Of course, it all comes down to money, and the purse split will be a nightmare to squabble over. UFC president Dana White offered Mayweather a $25 million flat guarantee, which caused Mayweather to say "he's a comedian." In this instance, Mayweather is right to be insulted.
HIs fight with Manny Pacquiao, the richest in history, netted him more than $200 million. Surely a fight with McGregor is worth more than an eighth of that. If the fight is going to get done, Mayweather is going to want at least 60% of the pie, the same deal he had for the Pacquiao bout.
But there are two other massive issues. See below.
2. Will White allow McGregor to participate?
McGregor swears he'll fight Mayweather with or without the UFC's backing, but it's not that simple. McGregor is under contract to the UFC and has four fights remaining on his deal. White isn't about to stand on the sideline when there's cash to be made.
Plus, if Mayweather embarrasses McGregor in the ring, the UFC's lone remaining cash cow returns to the octagon perhaps with his marketability damaged.
3. Will a state athletic commission sanction the bout?
McGregor already holds a boxing license in California and is attempting to gain one in Nevada, where he has some issues to clean up following a water-bottle incident with Nate Diaz.
Simply holding a boxing license doesn't mean you're sanctioned for any fight. McGregor has never competed in a boxing ring — pro or amateur — outside of sparring sessions. In his most highly publicized workout, fringe contender Chris Van Heerden toyed with McGregor.
McGregor is an incredible mixed martial arts fighter, and his stand-up game is strong for the UFC ranks. But boxers are masters of one particular style of fighting, not jacks of all trades.
Even so, Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Bob Bennett told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday evening that he doesn't "anticipate any issues" in regards to the sanctioning of the possible Mayweather-McGregor bout.
"That's certainly a fight that we would approve and have in Vegas," Bennett said. "Who wouldn't want to regulate the two best fighters at 150 pounds in their respective unarmed combat fields? Mayweather's a phenomenal fighter, and so is McGregor. Sure, that's a fight we would approve."
4. When and where would the fight take place?
It's likely everybody prefers Las Vegas and with the NSAC saying it would approve the bout, that's probably where it makes the most sense. There are also a few international options. What about Belfast, in McGregor's home country of Northern Ireland? Or maybe even Dubai, where money is no object.
As for the timing, the fall makes the most sense. September, October and November are generally reserved for big fights. Mayweather also will have to work his way into boxing shape after his last fight in September 2015, while McGregor would need a lengthy camp dedicated to boxing before even he begins the actual training period.
5. What kind of fighting shape do we believe Mayweather to be in?
"Money" retired following his 49th victory, a shutout decision over Andre Berto in 2015. Mayweather is revered for his conditioning and stamina. During recent public appearances, the soon-to-be 40-year-old looked to be in great shape. And with a big fight on the line, there's little doubt he would work his way into tip-top fighting condition.
6. How much do they stand to make?
Hundreds of millions, depending on how many pay-per-view buys the fight generates. Mayweather-Pacquiao sold 4.6 million pay-per-views, which shattered the previous record of 2.8 million set by Oscar De La Hoya and Mayweather.
If this fight generates 3 million, both men stand to make hundreds of millions. The gate, too, plays into their purses, and filling up T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas would bring a large one.
7. What weight would the fight take place at?
Mayweather last competed at 147 pounds, but also has fought at 154. Mayweather said that McGregor told him he would want the fight possibly at 150, which is doable. McGregor competes at lightweight, with a weight limit of 154 pounds.
8. Who would televise it?
Mayweather insisted last month that if the fight takes place, Showtime would distribute the fight on PPV. Mayweather fought on HBO for a long time, but signed a six-fight deal with Showtime in 2013.
White surely will want UFC to own the rights. Could a partnership be worked out where they share rights? This has happened twice between HBO and Showtime for Mayweather-Pacquiao and Lewis-Tyson fights.
9. Who wins?
This one is easy. Mayweather wins in a laugher. That's no disrespect to McGregor, an elite UFC fighter who surely would wipe the floor with Mayweather in the octagon. But this is boxing, and Mayweather is perhaps the greatest fighter of this era.
It's difficult to fathom the Irishman winning a single round. The biggest drama would likely come from seeing if Mayweather can score a knockout.