(Note: Story updated with Floyd Mayweather’s statement on the report.)
The fight that makes sense for only one reason – money – appeared to be moving ever closer after an online report on Tuesday.
A boxing match between the retired Floyd Mayweather, one of the greatest boxers in history, and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, who has zero amateur or pro boxing matches on his record, was reportedly on the verge of being finalized according the Irish Sun.
But when asked point blank by Yahoo Sports whether the report was accurate, UFC president Dana White said it was “not true.”
And for his part, Mayweather posted a message via Twitter late Tuesday that also refuted the report.
Of course, Mayweather was the one who got this snowball rolling on Monday night when he told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith that “we’re getting very, very close” to the superfight, so it’s difficult to take anybody at their word in this situation.
The Irish Sun on Tuesday morning quoted an anonymous source it described as close to McGregor’s Straight Blast Gym saying that the deal is complete. It had quotes from McGregor, but the McGregor comments did not acknowledge the Mayweather bout.
“The contract hasn’t officially been signed yet because of a third-party holdup, but all the details have all been agreed on,” the Sun quoted its source. “The fight could even be announced within two weeks.”
Given the anonymous nature of the Sun quotes and a lack of confirmation from McGregor, who told the site he’s flying to Las Vegas to clear up his issues with the Nevada Athletic Commission stemming from a water bottle-tossing incident with Nate Diaz at a news conference in August prior to UFC 202, the fight doesn’t appear to be a sure thing just yet.
The ESPN report didn’t say the fight was done, but it did directly quote Mayweather saying it was close.
It’s always wise to be skeptical, particularly when anonymous sources are concerned. There were literally dozens of reports that the Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight was complete in late 2014 yet it wasn’t confirmed until early 2015.
Given the amount of money the fight would generate, it has to be considered at least possible that it gets made, even though McGregor has never boxed and Mayweather has never fought in MMA.
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