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Boxing license in hand, Conor McGregor rips Floyd Mayweather's manager, Paulie Malignaggi

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Conor McGregor applied for and was given a boxing license by the state of California this week. The news drew plenty of buzz and led many to believe that perhaps a boxing match between McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. was not as impossible as once thought.

McGregor, the UFC lightweight champion, did a Q&A on Friday at The Devenish bar in Belfast and explained a bit why he got the license.

"It's their move now," McGregor said, referring to Mayweather's team. "I've presented myself here. I have the boxing license."

But that doesn't necessarily mean he's targeting Mayweather as his first fight. Mayweather's advisor Leonard Ellerbe told ESPN this week that Mayweather is in the Bahamas and not worried about McGregor at all.

"They're scrambling right now, but that's OK," McGregor said. "I'll leave them scrambling. I've got some other boxing opportunities, some potential opponents in mind. Some previous Floyd opponents. I can bring in anyone in the game. We'll see what happens."

The Mayweather-McGregor talk has pervaded now for about a year. It's still a very long shot, as is McGregor even competing in boxing at this juncture.

McGregor, 28, is under contract with the UFC and that is the only organization that can promote him in a combat sports contest, per his contract. Both McGregor and Mayweather have kept the possibility in the news, though, sniping at each other on TMZ and the like.

"Originally what happened was, Floyd called me out," McGregor said. "That's originally what happened. I don't care about Floyd. I don't give a f*ck about Floyd. I don't give a f*ck about Floyd. I don't fear no man under no rule set."

All the early talk got McGregor thinking, though, he said.

"But what it done was, it opened up my eyes a little bit," McGregor said. "I was like, ‘Hold on, maybe I can pursue this.' Maybe I can pursue the boxing side. Maybe there's something there."

Maybe so, but there seem to be quite a few obstacles standing in the way of that boxing bout happening. It's doubtful that a prominent commission, like the ones in Nevada and California, would even sanction that matchup considering McGregor is 0-0 as a pro boxer and Mayweather is 49-0, one of the best of all time.

Ellerbe told ESPN this week that McGregor and the news he now has a boxing license is not even on the mind of Mayweather.

"He beat world champions over a 20-year period and here's a guy, McGregor, who has about 20 fights and lost three of them, and three fights ago he was seen on the mat quitting," Ellerbe said. "What are we talking about? ... Floyd and I have nothing against UFC or any of their fighters. I respect all fighters who step in a ring or the Octagon, but Floyd is in the Bahamas enjoying life. He's not thinking about Conor McGregor or anyone else."

By the same token, McGregor said he isn't really worried about Mayweather, either. "The Notorious" just became the first two-weight world champion in UFC history at UFC 205, knocking out Eddie Alvarez in the second round at Madison Square Garden.

"I don't give a f*ck about Floyd, either," McGregor said at The Devenish. "If you don't want this fight, that's no problem. Because other than the Manny Pacquiao numbers, other than the Floyd-Manny Pacquiao pay-per-view numbers, gate numbers, I hold all the numbers. So I don't need Floyd. I do not need him."

Ellerbe also said McGregor "would get his ass beat from pillar to post" in a boxing match with Mayweather. Early odds do have Mayweather as a substantial favorite. None of that seems to matter to McGregor.

"F*ck Floyd's manager," McGregor said. "Tell him to come say it to me face. I've got the boxing license, now Floyd's in the Bahamas. He was just there a minute ago and I get the boxing license and he's gone.

"Look, Floyd is a phenomenal boxer. It's a different craft for me to go into do this. But with correct preparation, if I took out my jiu-jitsu training, my wrestling training, my kickboxing training, if I took out all those different disciplines and focused with the work ethic I have solely on the sport of boxing, there's no telling what I could do."

McGregor, as is his way, says he would be confident if the fight with Mayweather, 39, ever materialized.

"I would not go in there just to show up," McGregor said. "I'd go in there to knock him out. And that's it. He can be hit. He's been hit before. Age waits for no man, also. So I know they know that. I know the size is on my side. I know the reach is on my side. I know the youth is on my side. So there's a lot to lose for them, that's why they're scrambling."

Another well-known boxer, Paulie Malignaggi, called out McGregor this week, telling Sky Sports that he would "knock the beard" off him and make him apologize for disparaging boxing.

"I would never disrespect your sport and tell everybody 'You know what, I could beat the best fighter in the cage,'" Malignaggi said. "You shouldn't come to our sport and tell everybody you could beat the best fighter in our sport in a ring.

"I know you apologized about absolutely nothing last fight but after I am done with you - I am going to knock the beard off you homie — you are going to be apologizing for everything you have been trying to do to get into boxing."

McGregor responded to that Friday, as well. In vintage "Notorious" fashion.

"Who the f*ck is that guy?" McGregor said. "I don't know who the f*ck that is. I don't even know who the f*ck that is, but I'll slap the nose off him if he ever mentions my name again."