Showtime executive Stephen Espinoza stated a month ago that negotiations on the Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather bout was “largely on a stand still”. Today, he seems more optimistic, saying that if both sides are reasonable, it could be done very quickly.
He also reveals that while the fight will be big regardless of what date it falls on, Mayweather is targeting it to happen early fall.
“I think the date really is a function of how long it takes to get a deal done, because the reality is, it took a long time for the UFC and Conor to reach an agreement to allow Conor to participate,” Espinoza said in a video released by Fight Hype. “Now the real negotiations start which is the Floyd side against the Conor-UFC side.
“If that drags on then you’re probably looking at late this year. If it really drags on, you’re looking at early next year,” he continued. “If people are as motivated as they seem to be — I know how badly Floyd wants it — if we get this wrapped up pretty quickly, we could be seeing it early fall. I think that’s the goal. That’s what we’ve heard from Floyd. Now it’s sort of just getting in a room and seeing if people will be reasonable on the kind of deal that they’re looking for.”
McGregor and the UFC have come to terms a week ago, with the two-division champion announcing that he has signed a ‘historic deal’ to fight Mayweather. He has since also taunted Floyd on social media, telling him to sign his end of the deal, or he is “just a mouth.”
While these public statements from the UFC’s side of things may lead some people thinking that it’s Mayweather holding up the deal, Espinoza is right that “the real negotiations” are just starting now. There’s still a lot to sort out and agree on, and things aren’t just on Floyd’s shoulders. Both parties are used to having their way in negotiations, and they’re both probably going to have to bend and compromise on their usual demands to make this happen.