All the signs are pointing to the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight inching ever closer to reality. Actually, make that “all the dollar signs,” as Dana White pointed out Wednesday.
The UFC president, whose company has McGregor under contract and thus has a major say in the fight negotiations, claimed that he could see the event working out quite nicely for the participants. Specifically, he thought it could generate a payday of $100 million for Mayweather and $75 million for McGregor, although Mayweather may prefer a larger share of the revenue.
Mayweather has repeatedly said that he won’t come out of retirement, against anyone, for less than $100 million, so his insistence that McGregor be his next opponent indicates that he, too, is confident that he can make that much in their showdown. However, the undefeated boxer, who hasn’t put on the gloves since defeating Andre Berto in September 2015, has also indicated that, as the “B side” in a proposed boxing match, McGregor should get much less than that and be happy with still making far more than he ever has in MMA.
In January, Mayweather said, “We are willing to give $15 million, and then we can talk about splitting the percentage, the back-end percentage on pay-per-view. But of course, we’re the ‘A’ side. How can a guy talk about $20 or $30 million if he’s never even made $8 or $9 million?”
A few weeks before that, after beating Eddie Alvarez for the UFC lightweight crown, McGregor had said that he also wanted $100 million to fight Mayweather. White had previously offered both fighters $25 million to square off, but his comments Wednesday reflected an understanding that the mega-bout could generate much more than that for the two sides.
White was speaking on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” when the host asked, “What is your projection on total purse for this, all said and done?”
“It depends on how much the fight sells,” White replied. “If the fight sells as well as I think it can, Floyd makes a little north of 100 and Conor makes 75.”
White said that Mayweather “feels he’s the ‘A’ side and he should get more” of the fight’s projected revenue. But the UFC president noted that he and the boxer’s camp “haven’t really got into that negotiation yet,” adding, “I wanted to get McGregor locked in first because McGregor is under contract with me.”
“At the end of the day, does this fight make a ton of sense for me? It really doesn’t, but you know, Conor wants this thing really bad, and I’ve said it many times, this kid has stepped up and saved some big fights for me, man,” White said. “So I’m in, I’ll figure it out.”
Dana White on fight: Floyd will make north of $100 million and Conor $75 million…The McGregor side gets done in the next couple days pic.twitter.com/A3gfegL7nW
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) April 19, 2017
Befitting their reputations for trash-talking, the two would-be combatants have been doing their parts to drum up public interest in a fight, trading verbal jabs for over a year. When, in March, McGregor vowed to “take over boxing” and “stop Floyd,” the latter responded by calling his antagonist “Conor ‘You’ve got to take this L’ McGregor.”
“Is it all about money at this point?” Cowherd asked Wednesday
“It’s all about money,” White replied. “Absolutely. Yeah, definitely.”