In what would undoubtedly be an epic follow up to the crossover bout of the last decade, having Floyd Mayweather on the card would cost over half a billion dollars.
Rumors have been circulating for a while that the unbeaten multiple world champion would return to the ring (again) in 2020. To either rematch former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion Connor McGregor or take on Khabib Nurmagomedov.
These rumors were fueled by Mayweather’s announcement last November. Floyd said he would be “coming out of retirement in 2020” to work on a “spectacular event” with UFC head honcho, Dana White.
Now, according to quotes obtained by the Mirror newspaper, Mayweather has settled on a “number” for such a fight. An unprecedented $600 million.
Speaking at a DKM Promotions event in London recently, ‘Money’ confirmed that he and White had been talking about the “Conor McGregor” fight and the “Khabib fight”. One or both could be on the cards.
Declaring that he won’t “fight fighters or compete against competitors that only have cities behind them”, Mayweather went on to explain that if he were to “go out there and risk it” against either McGregor or Nurmagomedov this year. But his paycheck would “have to be worth it”.
He’d be expecting his opponent to “have a whole country” behind them – hence the extortionate demands.
The comeback king famously last came out of retirement in 2017 to beat the UFC’s “Notorious” Irishman in a “business move” fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Vegas, which pulled in 4.3 million pay per view buys. Putting it just behind the record 4.6 million that tuned in to see Mayweather defeat Manny Pacquiao in 2015. It took his record to a pristine 50-0 in the process.
The former Olympian has of course been in and out of retirement since 2007. Establishing himself as the number 1 pound for pound boxer. He beat the likes of Ricky Hatton and Canelo Alvarez, taking charge of his earnings. So that, on a fight by fight basis, they’ve increased to $300 million per fight.
2020, he’s hoping, will be the year that he’ll be able to go beyond these sums.
Shortly after announcing his talks with White last November, Mayweather even went as far as attempting to break the internet by sharing mock-up posters of a 2020 boxing rematch with McGregor and a UFC bout against Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Off the back of a win against Donald Cerrone at UFC 246, fellow serial retiree McGregor responded with some light trash talk against the American – who just topped Forbes’ Rich List of the decade with his $1 billion fortune – claiming “Ould Floyd” is “going through money *fast*, so he’s far from retired.”
While fight fans may have taken Mayweather’s ludicrous assertion that he would fight both McGregor and Nurmagomedov ‘in the same day’ with a pinch of salt – ”one in the daytime and one in the night” – the current reigning UFC Lightweight Champ seems to be all in.
Widely considered to be one of the best pound for pound fighters in the MMA promotion, Khabib Nurmagomedov has been floating the idea of a boxing match against Mayweather for some time. But he’s now decided he would want one round to follow familiar rules.
Commenting to TMZ Sports that the 43 year old is “almost like my father’s age”. He doesn’t “understand how I’m going to punch his face”, the Russian MMA prodigy challenged Mayweather to a “real fight”. Telling him to “come to the UFC” for a 12 round bout that would include one five minute round of MMA.
The ground and pound specialist may polarize opinions among MMA fans and pundits. But with an unblemished 28-0 record in the sport he’s certainly close to emulating Mayweather’s iconic boxing record.
Khahib would no doubt present a different kind of challenge than McGregor. Possibly even a harder one given that McGregor went toe to toe with Mayweather for 10 rounds before that memorable KO.
Recent events with the coronavirus and two tragic family deaths could now see Mayweather leave the sport behind.
We await full confirmation.