Floyd Mayweather v Conor McGregor: Timeline of a super-fight
A super-fight between retired boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr and the UFC’s main man Conor McGregor was considered far-fetched when the rumours first began back in 2015, but the eagerly anticipated bout might just be getting closer to reality.
The two men are the biggest names in their sports: Mayweather has a perfect 49-0 record in professional fights and is widely regarding as the greatest pound-for-pound fighter of his generation; McGregor recently became the UFC’s first double-weight champion and has catapulted the sport onto a whole new level of popularity.
The two outspoken fighters have been raging a Twitter war to see if they can make it happen, and Mayweather has reignited the possibility of a boxing match with this tweet.
So the talk is real, although the fight rumoured to be worth a billion dollars hasn’t received the official go-ahead just yet.
But how did we get to this point?
July 2015: Would McGregor ever fight Mayweather?
If you’re asking would I like to fight Floyd, I mean, who would not like to dance around the ring for $180 million?
Perhaps the show’s host Conan O’Brien is to blame for all of this, and if that’s the case, we thank you sir.
May 2016: The rumours begin
After his loss to Nate Diaz at UFC 196, The Sun reported that McGregor and Mayweather were on the verge of agreeing financial terms for a fight and that it would take place in the summer of 2016.
With Mayweather set to pocket $100m (£80m) and McGregor to looking to take home $7m (£5.6m), the rumour mill went into overdrive and McGregor was soon to add fire to the flame with this tweet:
However, there was something fishy in the air if anyone was convinced that McGregor would accept a contract worth $93m less than his opponent.
“It was him that leaked the rumour. That’s a pay cut to me. I don’t take pay cuts,” McGregor later told ESPN.
Mayweather responded to McGregor’s tweet with his own mocked-up poster, but with an estimated net worth of $340m (£270m) you might think the man they call ‘Money’ would be able to hire someone with better Photoshop skills.
“Keep your fingers crossed – it may be a boxer versus an MMA fighter” Mayweather told Fight Hype, who didn’t shy away from the possibility of him facing a kicking, swinging, and wrestling MMA fighter.
December 2016: McGregor gets his boxing licence
McGregor made a huge step towards making the fight a possibility when he acquired a boxing license from the California State Athletic Commission.
However, getting Mayweather to leave Las Vegas would be tricky. Mayweather’s last 14 fights had been held in Vegas, but McGregor said he would not fight in Nevada again after receiving a reported $150,000 (£120,000) fine following his bottle throwing clash with Nate Diaz.
“It’s all a calculated effort to gain more fans,” Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions told ESPN, but McGregor was eager to show off his boxing skills when he posted this video to Instagram earlier this year.
If the mind games weren’t obvious enough already, Mayweather buddied up with McGregor’s rival, Nate Diaz. Mayweather posted a video call between the two where they trolled the Irishman, bragging about how Diaz was better than McGregor in their fight at UFC 202.
“I’m going to put the finishing touches on [McGregor],” said Mayweather. Diaz landed numerous blows to McGregor during the fight.
Meanwhile, McGregor was posting his own predictions of the anticipated fight on Instagram with the caption, “I am going to break his face.”
Speaking to TMZ Sports, UFC president Dana White said “Floyd had better hope he doesn’t run into Conor on the street,” because “he’ll kick his head to another planet.”
White later offered both fighters $25m (£20m) each – an offer that Mayweather soon laughed off, launching his own verbal attack on the UFC boss when he said, “Dana White, I remember when you used to carry my bags.”
Mayweather trolled McGregor on Twitter once again saying, “before you ask for $25m, be worth more than $25m.”
Meanwhile, McGregor was still at it on social media, posting a picture of him taking Mayweather’s belts after knocking him out.
So Mayweather’s latest tweets brings us up to date. There is still not a lot more than talk here, but the talk is big.
McGregor’s arrival in Las Vegas has got the internet very excited that a deal for the fight could be signed any day, and the Irishman is more than happy to keep kicking the hornet’s nest:
The hype is huge, but whether the fight will actually happen or is just a ploy to make money and build buzz remains to be seen.
Certainly it will take more than a few tweets and posts to take this fight from social media beef to boxing super-bout.