Floyd Mayweather continues to kick the tires on a potential super-fight with MMA star Conor McGregor, with newly reported comments from Uproxx that he would have to have at least $100 million to go through with the contest.
For Conor’s part, he believes that he has the same swagger as Floyd in a potential one-on-one and has demanded a 50/50 split of any purse that would come from the fight.
Mayweather argues that this is ludicrous since McGregor has never made even $15 million for a MMA match, let alone his own all-time take-home of $220-230 million for the Manny Pacquiao fight.
“Money” insists his strict demand is “just business,” but detractors argue Floyd Mayweather may be using the price tag to save face.
Throughout the 49-fight career of Floyd Mayweather, he has received criticism for being an overly defensive fighter, content to not engage with his opponents and instead use his boxing skills to earn decision after decision.
It is not an unfounded criticism as Floyd spent the tail end of his career handpicking opponents or waiting until an appropriate time to fight — as in the Pacquiao bout, where he only agreed to fight Manny after his opponent had suffered decision and knockout losses.
To put in perspective how safe Mayweather played it, he earned only two knockouts in his last 14 fights winning most by split, majority, or unanimous decisions in what were largely uneventful matchups.
But the proof has been in the proverbial pudding for Floyd Mayweather as his pay-per-view buys are historically higher than most.
The fact he has made not just $100 million, but more than $200 million for a single fight, lends some credibility to his business decision not to agree to the McGregor fight.
In perspective, the decision might even be considered a reasonable one considering the fight would certainly be sure to break PPV records for Floyd Mayweather being a part of it.
— Katie Taylor (@KatieTaylor) January 15, 2017
But Conor also has a reputation to protect — one that is on the rise with the Irish fighting superstar recently becoming his sport’s first two-division world champion.
It would be equally questionable for McGregor to capitulate to every Floyd Mayweather demand without getting something in return at this point in his career.
That “something in return” is unlikely to be equal footing on a payday. Conor cannot realistically demand the same amount of money as Floyd Mayweather when his best check has been about five percent of Floyd’s.
But what he can do is force Mayweather’s hand on the style of fight. There has been the broad assumption that any Conor-Floyd fight would be decided in a boxing ring, though McGregor himself has suggested it be an MMA bout.
The MMA stipulation would clearly favor McGregor as a competitor even if it did not favor him as a businessman.
Floyd Mayweather should take that fight. In going into the unfamiliar territory of MMA, he would earn the respect that has long eluded him from fans of both sports.
A loss to McGregor in such an environment would not hurt his brand, and could even help it. It would also be a way that Floyd could set up two massive paydays against McGregor instead of one.
Floyd Mayweather, if he really is the smart businessman he claims to be, should design a two-fight contract with Conor McGregor. The first fight would favor Mayweather financially with a $100 million guarantee.
If Conor agreed to that and won the MMA fight, it could then set up a mandatory rematch under boxing rules with a 50/50 split of the purse. If McGregor lost the MMA fight, then Floyd could simply cancel the followup bout and take his $100 million/reputation into a cushy retirement with full bragging rights.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) January 14, 2017
But what do you think, readers? Is Floyd Mayweather missing an opportunity with how he’s handling the Conor McGregor fight negotiation? Sound off in the comments section below.