Can you believe it's been nearly a year since the rumor of a Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight first emerged? I know, it feels like decades.
In that time, there have been very few developments that have made this fantasy fight seem like anything more than a publicity stunt carried out by two giant egos and fueled by a drooling media. But this week, something happened that could make even the most entrenched cynic say, "Hmm, that's interesting."
That "something" was a man-on-the-street interview Mayweather did with TMZ. Instead of pumping himself up and bragging about his abilities like he usually does, Mayweather spent five minutes actually selling McGregor.
"It’s obvious he’s done something right thus far to get to the point where he’s at, so I’m not here to badmouth him," he says. "And I’ve been off a couple years. I’m 40 years old now. I’m a lot older, and he’s still in his 20s. I’m in my 40s now. That could play a major key. And he’s a heavy hitter, so we’ll just see."
If you believe that Mayweather actually believes this, you're insane. But that's exactly what he wants. After all, if everyone is convinced that the 49-0 boxer is going to sail on his was to 50-0 then no one will order the pay-per-view.
That's why Mayweather is saying stuff like this: "Conor McGregor, every time he goes out there and defeats fighters, he’s standing up defeating fighters. He’s in a boxing position, and he’s beating fighters. When he did get defeated, he was on the ground. So it’s obvious Conor McGregor is a better stand-up fighter than he is at grappling. So does he have a good chance of upsetting Floyd Mayweather? I can’t say, but anything can happen in the sport of boxing."
Weird that Mayweather has so much respect for McGregor now, when he was posting stuff like this a few months back.
So why is Mayweather finally eager to make this fight happen? Maybe it's the pay day. UFC president Dana White recently estimated that the boxer would be in for a $100 million pay day if he fought McGregor, who would make $75 million. It's not like Mayweather needs the money, but he no doubt wants it.
And we know why. Another $100 million would do wonders for Mayweather's sports betting bankroll. The 40-year-old pound-for-pound king loves betting on big games, something he proved again last night when he posted a picture of him with his winnings after game two of the Celtics and Wizards series.
Hell, the only thing he loves more than betting on sports, is showing off his winnings on Instagram. Fighting McGregor and increasing that bankroll will only help him do more of that.
But does Mayweather honestly think McGregor has a chance in hell against him in a boxing ring? Hell, no. And judging from this recent interview with Sugar Ray Leonard, he's not the only boxing great who thinks it would be an absolute blowout.