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Morning Report: Floyd Mayweather won’t compete in MMA but open to boxing rematch with Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather
Esther Lin, Showtime

As much as some may hate to admit it, over the past few years, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has become part of the MMA world. In 2016, after Conor McGregor became the first simultaneous two-division champion in UFC history, Mayweather and McGregor began calling each other out publicly for a boxing match. Most thought it would never actually happen but after a groundswell of support for the idea, in 2017 “The Money Fight” took place, pulling in over four million pay-per-view buys. Since that time, Mayweather has been an ever-present part of the MMA rumor mill, and though he retired from boxing after his bout with McGregor, “Money” is still keeping his name out there.

Speaking with Forbes recently, the 43-year-old, five-division world champion boxer teased a return to the ring later this year or in 2021.

“We’re working on some things right now for Tokyo, whether 2020 or 2021,” Mayweather said.

Despite his retirement in 2017, Mayweather has not exactly hung up the boxing gloves, putting on an exhibition in 2018 against kickboxing wunderkind Tenshin Nasukawa. That being said, Mayweather does have his limits. During the build up to the original “Money Fight,” Mayweather continually teased a crossover into MMA himself to fight McGregor on McGregor’s own turf. After the boxing bout actually occurred though, all talk of moving to MMA stopped and Mayweather affirmed that he’s never going to make that jump, not even as an exhibition.

“No [I won’t compete in MMA],” Mayweather said. “I think just like how winning teams receive home-field advantage in the playoffs... you don’t fix what isn’t broken, and my record isn’t broken.”

No, it certainly is not. The win over McGregor moved Mayweather to 50-0 in professional boxing and he is widely considered to be one of the best boxers of his generation. His fights have also generated over 1.6 billion dollars in PPV revenue and he has reportedly taken home about half of that in career earnings. Still, every little bit helps and Conor McGregor is conveniently also retired right now. “The Money Fight” was the second-most lucrative fight in history, earning Mayweather a reported $300 million and McGregor $100 million, and while a rematch may not quite pull in the same kind of numbers, that sort of paycheck is obviously appealing and could lure both men back into the ring. McGregor, for his part, has been adamant about rematching Mayweather and “Money” says he’s open to it, if they come with enough of his nickname.

“For now, I’m happily retired,” Mayweather said. “You never know, but it would have to be worth it. Just like gambling right? Juice worth the squeeze no matter who the opponent is.”


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