Ah, the whisper mill. It's so hard to parse out what is true anymore. Rumors flow about as steadily out of the fight world as shit talk at a pre-bout presser. So what are we to make of rumors that Floyd Mayweather might come out of "retirement" in an attempt to seal a neat, flawless 50 win streak against MMA fighter Connor McGregor? Well, a couple of things.
The Sun came out with an article that all but guarantees (break out your grains of salt—it is The Sun we're talking about here) that McGregor and Mayweather are practically ready to square up—that they've made an agreement and everything. All that's left is signing papers and a settlement on the purse. So they say. But let's parse out why this could and couldn't be so likely.
Think about it. Mayweather retired at 49 wins as a symbolic gesture that needing a perfect 50 is beneath him. Why would he come out of retirement to take on an MMA fighter in a frilly exhibition match? Though the indications are strong that Mayweather will tape up his gloves once again, wouldn't he want to do so under, I dunno, normal circumstances?
Then there's the cold, hard fact that McGregor is under UFC contract, which might prove for some sticky legal work. Oh, and he also has to drop 25 pounds to get on Mayweather's level. Would be a real divergence from his interest in jumping up a class.
In spirit, McGregor would want this fight—look at the spunky, young Nick Diaz-challenging upstart!—but does Mayweather want it? Floyd has been working his whole life toward this moment. Plus, Mayweather, being the defensive boxer that he is, wouldn't want to take a chance on the unpredictable, aggressive that McGregor brings. Right? Apples and oranges, friends.
You could also argue that the whole apples and oranges situation is what makes the whole thing appealing in the first place. Who else is Mayweather going to fight for his 50th? GGG? Not going to happen. So why not Conor?
As for dropping 25 pounds, you really think that McGregor isn't capable of that? He's like the Christian Bale of the fight world, for Christ's sake.
Then, there's also the subtle dis game that's been playing out in the background between the two. Mayweather saying that racism allows McGregor to get away with shit talk, and gets him in trouble. Not really a huge dig at McGregor so much as the media. But McGregor came out and said that he'd "kill [Mayweather] in less than 30 seconds." That was a year ago, but still. Enough to boil a pot.
McGregor even came out and said on his official Instagram account,
If you want we can organise a fight no problem.
I will give you a fair 80/20 split purse in my favour seen as your last fight bombed at every area of revenue.
The Sun claims that Mayweather would stand to earn $144.8 million from the bout, while McGregor would take home $10.1 million. More like a 86/14 split, but whatever.
This shit would be wacky as fuck if it went down. But wouldn't it all be so goddamn delightful?