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Floyd Mayweather explains why he apologized to Dana White at Toronto tour stop

Floyd Mayweather apologized to Dana White on stage in Toronto.
Esther Lin, Showtime

TORONTO — The icy feelings between Dana White and Floyd Mayweather Jr. seem to have thawed. It’s amazing what hundreds of millions of dollars can do to squash beefs.

Mayweather, in a surprising move, apologized and praised White, the UFC president, during the MayMac World Tour stop Wednesday at Budweiser Stage here. The two have taken shots at each other — some thinly veiled, others not — for years. But White has helped bring Conor McGregor to the table for this gigantic fight and Mayweather knows good business when he sees it.

“Dana, I could never disrespect you,” Mayweather said on stage. “I’ve known you for 21 years. You’ve done a hell of a job with this company. And I want to continue to watch you grow. I want to watch you continue to build the UFC, because it’s all about combat sports. You’ve done a hell of a job. No matter what I’ve said about you in the past, as a man I look in your face and apologize and tell you I’m sorry. But you’ve done a hell of a job with this company.”

After the hijinx for the live broadcast, Mayweather spoke to reporters backstage and explained a bit why he decided to apologize to White.

“Dana White used to come over my house every day,” Mayweather said. “I’ve been knowing Dana White 21 years. I’m big enough to apologize to Dana White. I’m a real man, that’s what real men do. I’m man enough to apologize. I’ve said some stuff about Dana. I’m only human. He takes shots at me; I take shots back. I’m only human. I’m not upset with Dana White, I’m not upset with anybody.”

White has bashed Mayweather’s fighting style over the years, saying he’s boring and runs away from opponents. Mayweather has, as he said, fired back, too. Most recently, before this deal with McGregor was brokered, Mayweather made reference to White’s little-talked about past as part of Mayweather’s entourage — before White and the Fertitta brothers took the UFC to massive heights.

In an interview backstage at a boxing match in January, Mayweather, annoyed that White lowballed he and McGregor at $25 million for a potential boxing match, lit into White as the guy who “used to carry my bags.”

“I don’t want to talk to Dana White,” Mayweather said. “Remember, Dana White, he was a player he was a boss but he was a small boss. The big bosses were the Fertittas. But then the Fertitta’s chose to sell the UFC so Dana is just an employee. Dana White - I like Dana White, I don’t have anything against him - but I can remember Dana White used to hang around me and Jeff Mayweather and carry my bags.

“Dana White, I remember when you used to carry my bags. And remember Dana White, I showed you love. You had the little Bullenbeisser [sponsorship] patch I wore on my trunks for you, Dana. I’ve always been good to you. But then all of the sudden he cut his head bald and he’s such a tough guy. He’s such a tough guy.”

Those are charged words and that was only six months ago. But with one of the biggest pay-per-view events ever coming up Aug. 26 against McGregor in Las Vegas, it makes sense to be pals.

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