Conor McGregor took another big step toward making his megafight with Floyd Mayweather a reality Thursday by applying for a Nevada boxing license. Mayweather, meanwhile, didn’t want to talk about it, shooting down questions about the much-hyped matchup at a promotional event for another fight.
McGregor’s camp had tried before to get the license, a near-necessity given that both sides would want to stage the fight in Las Vegas, but had been denied because of a $150,000 fine levied against him by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after the melee ahead of his UFC 202 battle with Nate Diaz. UFC president Dana White had said that the fine made McGregor disinclined to “ever want to fight in Nevada again,” but (per MMA Junkie) the NSAC eventually settled on a lesser punishment, and the issuance of the license is expected to occur after the Irishman files all the proper paperwork.
Earlier on Thursday, reports emerged that McGregor worked out details with the UFC and signed a deal to fight Mayweather. “We now await Al Haymon and his boxer’s signature in the coming days,” McGregor said.
For his part, Mayweather was not in a mood Thursday to discuss the fight. In London to promote a bout involving a protege of his, Gervonta Davis, the 40-year-old acted displeased when a reporter brought up McGregor’s contract.
“This is a Liam Walsh and Gervonta Davis press conference, let’s focus on these two competitors,” Mayweather said. “That’s total disrespect to both of these fighters.”
Thursday’s events were a switch from previous months, when Mayweather was the one demanding that his would-be opponent come to terms. “Everybody keeps talking about Conor McGregor,” the ex-boxer said in January. “He’s blowing smoke up everybody’s [butt]. Dana White, the UFC — let’s make it happen. Bring him over to the boxing world, and I’ll show him what it’s like.”
At that time, Mayweather also reiterated that he would only come out retirement for $100 million, and there’s no certainty that the arrangement arrived at between White and his fighter will be enough to make that happen. “You know how Floyd is … you think he’ll fight for $30 million? Hell no,” an informed figure described as a “boxing business veteran” told the Los Angeles Times.
The $100 million guarantee “is only going to happen if the [purse] split is substantially in the favor of Mayweather,” the Times was told. That could be a major problem for McGregor, who has said he wants to be treated as the equal of Mayweather, but it might work for White, who could be hoping that the fight falls apart and the UFC’s biggest draw returns to MMA more quickly.
“The UFC and Dana White have a nightmare on their hands: an unhappy fighter who wants to get paid a lot of money,” the boxing insider told the Times. “They can’t just ignore him, and they can’t be perceived as the ones who stopped the fight.”
In the meantime, McGregor is doing what he can to move things along while throwing a taunt or two Mayweather’s way. He posted a photo Thursday showing his newborn son amid his title belts, with caption reflecting an intention to “get some boxing ones.”