Sunday 22 September 2019

'It’s largely at a standstill' - Showtime executive reveals McGregor-Mayweather talks are stalling

Showtime Sports executive vice-president Stephen Espinoza has revealed that negotiations for a Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather super fight are currently stalling, with Espinoza claiming that the UFC are 'dragging their heels' at the prospect that McGregor may have outgrown the company.

McGregor has three of the UFC's top five selling pay-per-views of all time, with his purported crossover bout with Mayweather widely expected to be the biggest selling pay-per-view in combat sports history.

Mayweather currently lays claim to that title, as well as nine other boxing world titles, with the 40-year-old's 2015 win over Manny Pacquiao the highest selling fight of all time with 4.4 million pay-per-view buys.

McGregor-Mayweather is expected to surpass at least 5 million buys, but Espinoza has questioned whether McGregor's promotion the UFC are willing to engage with the fight and its ongoing negotiations.

 “It’s largely at a standstill," Espinoza told reporter Chris Mannix on Mannix's show "Boxing with Chris Mannix".

“There hasn’t been a ton of progress and I think if they don’t move relatively quickly, people may move on. People may tire of it.

“I think the real question – and it’s sort of a black box right now – is where’s the UFC really, on this?

"Do they, in fact, want it? Dana – speaking on behalf of, I assume, the UFC – is making noises that he’s more open to it but talk is talk.

“I haven’t seen a lot of progress either internally in the deal between the two of them or externally, the deal between that side and this side.”

Showtime will be one of the many broadcasters covering the fight if it comes to fruition with Espinoza reportedly "instrumental" in negotiating the Mayweather Jr. vs. Pacquiao fight.

UFC President Dana White initially said that he couldn't see the fight happening, but over recent months he has become more open to the possibility of a potential fight so long as the UFC were involved in a promotional capacity.

"I think we get the McGregor side done in the next couple of days," White told Fox Sports earlier this month. "And then I go lock myself in a room for a couple of days with team Mayweather and see what we can come up with.

“Believe me, we’ve had preliminary talks with Conor, and I’m in a good place with Conor, and we’re gonna meet in New York when he has his baby.”

McGregor's partner Dee Devlin is expecting the birth of their first child within the coming days.

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