It might be time to pump the brakes on the highly anticipated fight between McGregor and Mayweather.
Although numerous sources have stated that a boxing match between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. is being targeted for a slot in September, Showtime Sports executive Stephen Espinoza claims negotiations have largely come to a standstill.
Espinoza spoke to Chris Mannix in a recent podcast and said he isn’t sure if the UFC really want their star fighter to take on one of boxing’s greatest.
“The biggest battle in Mayweather-Pacquiao was both guys really thinking that the other wanted to do it,” Espinoza said, per MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew. “That part has happened [with McGregor and Mayweather], so I think the real question – and it’s sort of a black box right now – is where’s the UFC really, on this? Do they, in fact, want it? Dana – speaking on behalf of, I assume, the UFC – is making noises that he’s more open to it but talk is talk. I haven’t seen a lot of progress either internally in the deal between the two of them or externally, the deal between that side and this side.
“It’s largely at a standstill. There hasn’t been a ton of progress and I think if they don’t move relatively quickly, people may move on. People may tire of it. But it really is something that needs to happen this year or it probably won’t happen. Floyd’s on 18 months, two solid years come September since he’s fought. He’s still in great shape, but at a certain point, he’s not gonna do it after a while.”
According to Espinoza, the UFC brass is worried about whether ‘The Notorious’ will return to the Octagon after making mega money against Mayweather.
Dana White, the UFC’s long time head promoter, wants to make the fight happen but Espinoza isn’t sure that’s really the case.
“I think part of the fear on the UFC’s side is that they’ll never see Conor again. If he makes 50, 60, 70 and then you never see him in the ring and he retires in Ireland and so much for their megastar.”
McGregor, 28, is the current UFC lightweight champion and is the fastest growing star in combat sports. Talks of a showdown against Mayweather escalated after the Irishman outclassed Eddie Alvarez to win the lightweight title last year.
Mayweather, who is one of boxing’s pound-for-pound greatest, retired after extending his undefeated professional record to 49-0 in 2015 but said he would return for a superfight against McGregor.
Bloody Elbow will keep you updated on the latest developments.