Floyd Mayweather, Jr. gave fans reason to believe that they may not have seen his last days in the ring after all on Monday, October 15, when the boxing great took to social media to share that he has received a challenge directly from the mouth of Khabib Nurmagomedov – and that he is totally game to take the UFC Lightweight Champion up on his offer.
ESPN reports that long-time Mayweather manager Leonard Ellerbe crossed paths with Nurmagomedov during an event in Russia over the weekend. Ellerbe would document the encounter via a video clip on his Instagram page that shows the 27-0 mixed martial artist insisting that Mayweather put his 50-0 record on the line to see who remains perfect in another cross-sport megafight. As Nurmagomedov made his pitch, Ellerbe stood beside him smiling ear to ear.
“You’re going to get some of that work, baby,” the Mayweather Promotions CEO can then be heard telling the Dagestanian brawler.
“Let’s go, Floyd. We have to fight now. 50-0 versus 27-0. Two guys that never, never lose. Let’s go. Why not? Because, in the jungle (there is) only one king. Only one king. Of course, I am the king because he cannot drop McGregor but I drop him easily. Let’s fight. Let’s go,” Nurmagomedov would say.
Within 48 hours of Ellerbe sharing the recording, the “Money Man” was on his own Instagram page responding in kind.
“CBS, Showtime and MGM Grand get the checkbook out! Go to (Leonard Ellerbe’s) page to view Khabib Nurmagomedov challenging me. LET’S MAKE LAS VEGAS GREAT AGAIN!” Mayweather replied in the caption of a news article that telegraphed the proposed matchup in its headline.
At this point, it may be too early to tell just how realistic the prospects are that a Mayweather vs. Nurmagomedov bout could be made. Mayweather has repeatedly insisted that he intends to stay retired, and he has long maintained that he would not entertain any fight that he can’t make nine figures off of. But, while it is indeed questionable that Nurmagomedov could provide the kind of drawing power Conor McGregor did when in conjunction with Mayweather, they were able to command guarantees of $30 million and $100 million to meet, respectively. Over the past several weeks, Mayweather has appeared to turn a new leaf in regards to the trajectory of his career.
Given the opportunity that has now come along with Nurmagomedov’s ascendance to the top of the UFC and how vulnerable he’d be as a ground-game specialist who isn’t known for his striking ability, it is quite possible that Mayweather will target both fights. But until there is further word about whether or not investors would be willing to put up the money to make a battle with Nurmagomedov worth his while, the Pacquiao fight may be the go, with the former eight-division Filipino champ having just signed a deal with Mayweather partner Al Haymon, according to CBS Sports.