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Saturday 29 April 2017

Mayweather 'only interested' in crossover showdown against McGregor

Floyd Mayweather, pictured, retired from boxing after a points win over Andre Berto in September 2015
Floyd Mayweather, pictured, retired from boxing after a points win over Andre Berto in September 2015

Floyd Mayweather says only a showdown with UFC superstar Conor McGregor could tempt him back into the boxing ring.

Mayweather signed off his professional career with a points win over Andre Berto in September 2015 to take his record to a perfect 49-0.

But the former five-weight world champion, who turns 40 next month, has in recent months been linked with a so-called 'super fight' in a crossover encounter against McGregor.

Given McGregor has never boxed professionally, a bout with Mayweather appears a complete mismatch on paper but the Irishman, the current UFC lightweight champion and former featherweight titlist, is renowned for his punching power in the octagon.

Crucially, McGregor attained a boxing licence last month, granted by the California State Athletic Commission, which would allow him to fight in the state.

And Mayweather admitted that a contest with McGregor - rather than a rematch with fellow pound-for-pound superstar Manny Pacquiao, whom he beat via unanimous decision in May 2015 - would whet his appetite should he opt to end his retirement.

He told ESPN: "The only thing I'm probably interested in is the Conor McGregor fight.

"I'm a businessman and it makes more business sense. Conor McGregor keeps telling everybody he wants the fight. Let's make it happen."

McGregor has previously said he would want 100 million US dollars (£81.85m) to take on Mayweather, who similarly wants a guaranteed nine-figure payday.

But Mayweather, who revealed discussions have taken place over a fight before, believes he is the more marketable star.

He added: "We tried to make the Conor McGregor fight. They know what my number is. My number was a guaranteed $100million. That was my number.

"We are willing to give him $15m (£12.28m) 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."

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