A long rumored, and often denied, bout between UFC champion Conor McGregor and legendary boxer Floyd Mayweather has entered the “exploratory phase” according to MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani on Twitter.
It is unknown at this point whether this would be under boxing rules or MMA rules. Most assume Mayweather would only consider the bout under pure boxing rules or risk humiliation.
Most would also think that McGregor would be risking a humiliating defeat by stepping into the ring with the undefeated multi-division boxing champ under boxing rules.
However money talks and this bout would be one of the biggest combat sports promotional events of all time regardless of its sporting merits.
There are several billion reasons why the UFC’s new owners, entertainment management firm WME-IMG, would consider allowing this fight to happen. Namely the money they borrowed to fund their acquisition of the company from the Fertitta Brothers’ Zuffa, Inc.
Mayweather simply has nothing left to prove in boxing and no potential opponents who could draw the kind of money and media attention a bout with McGregor would certainly bring.
Here’s Helwani’s tweet:
Mayweather-McGregor has gone from pipe dream phase to exploratory phase. MANY, MANY hurdles to overcome, but not just a PR stunt anymore.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 13, 2017
Follow Bloody Elbow for updates on this story as it develops.