When the chatter first started about a boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor no one took it all that seriously. But like so many things in McGregor's career, he seemed to will it into existence.
Once he had Dana White and the UFC on board, Mayweather vs. McGregor took off like a rocket, becoming the biggest single day sporting event the world had ever seen.
Having stuck both feet in the boxing world's water for that spectacle of a bout, White has now insisted that he is going to make a major foray into boxing. No, he's not looking at another one-night, back-the-money-truck-up fight, but a game changing move into boxing promotion.
White had intended to already have some details unveiled about his boxing play, but those plans have been slowed down a bit, which is something that he told the MacLife that he was expecting. He was still adamant that overall support is on his side and he sees a deep play into the world of boxing.
"I believe I have the backing of most of the guys that are involved in boxing. This is gonna play out over the next couple of years. I truly do believe that we will be a massive player in boxing in the next couple of years," White said in an interview ahead of McGregor's return to the Octagon at UFC 246 on Saturday.
One of the key players in White's plans for boxing appears to be the aforementioned Mayweather. Their partnership in boxing hasn't really been given full shape yet, but White insists they can replicate the success of Mayweather vs. McGregor, which generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, 4.3 million pay-per-view buys in the U.S., and a $55 million gate in Las Vegas.
"Floyd is obviously still a huge name, a huge draw. One of the biggest guys in all of boxing right now. I believe that I can add value to him. He believes he can add value to what I want to do. So we pretty much, that day at the basketball game, agreed that we should be doing business together. We'll probably start talking this summer to get something done," said White.
"Yeah (we are talking about him competing again in boxing), but I think there's a lot of different things we could do together. But that's definitely one of them. I think he still believes he's a big draw. I do too. And we think that together, which we already proved, we could blow it out of the water. And we'll try to do that again this year."
That doesn't necessarily mean that White is champing at the bit for Mayweather vs. McGregor 2. The first fight was a massive promotional success. A second fight would surely generate incredible numbers as well, even if it fell short of the first bout. That doesn't appear to be where White is headed with Mayweather, however; though he didn't rule it out.
"Not right now, no. That's not even what I'm thinking right now. (Even if Conor were to commit to MMA for a while first.)"
That said, McGregor is a fighter that likes the challenge of overcoming defeat. He did it with Nate Diaz, and he's made no secret of the idea that he'd like to fight Mayweather again, as well as Khabib Nurmagomedov, whom he lost to at UFC 229 in October 2018.
Of course, McGregor's career direction hinges very much on his UFC 246 headliner with Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone this weekend. It's a fight that McGregor needs to win to get the competitive side of his career back on track, and Cerrone is no slouch.
But with White's promise to dive into boxing and Mayweather's promised partnership, it certainly opens the door more than a crack for McGregor to try and get a rematch at some point.