After months of speculation and hype, it looked as if Conor McGregor’s historic fight against boxer Floyd Mayweather was finally set to happen. Back in March, the undefeated Floyd Mayweather announced he was coming out of retirement, and named the 28-year-old Irish UFC champ Conor McGregor as his opponent.
At the time, Mayweather gave a time frame of around three months, saying to the gathered masses: “let’s fight in June”, but after four weeks of negotiations, that expected fight date looks more than a little optimistic. As a boxer, Floyd Mayweather is used to large fight earnings, but he’s been reluctant to give the MMA fighter McGregor a similar purse, citing the two fighters’ respective net worths (Mayweather is rated at $340 million by Forbes, while McGregor is around $22 million) in their earning negotiations.
It had appeared that the two fighters had reached a compromise, but legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum revealed an interesting detail about the potential superfight. Bob Arum accused the UFC of treating its competitors differently to the boxing community, and Arum thinks that if McGregor-Mayweather remains as little more than a pipe dream, we can point the finger at the UFC.
“I think the only impediment there is the UFC, because UFC doesn’t treat fighters the same way that boxing promoters do. In other words, UFC fighters get so much less than boxers do. They proposed a deal to Conor that on his share of the purse, they take 50 percent. Now, give me a break… If that fight doesn’t happen, the blame will only be on the UFC.”
Of course, Bob Arum has been in the sport for decades, and throughout that time, he’s never been shy to talk about the UFC in a less-than-flattering light. We should take Arum’s comments with a pinch of salt, but what’s interesting is that a similar sentiment came from Floyd Mayweather’s uncle, Jeff Mayweather. Arum says that the UFC takes a 50 percent commission of McGregor’s earnings, but Jeff Mayweather says the cut is even higher than that, calling the split “horrendous”.
“80-20 percent. [Conor McGregor] would have to take 20 percent, if he’s allowed to fight. And the one thing is that Dana’s his boss. He’ll still make more money than he ever did, but at the same time, that’s very tough pill to swallow. If somebody tells you ‘I’m gonna take 80 percent of your money, and you’re the one that’s fighting for it, that’s still a tough pill to swallow. Even if you made more money than you ever did. But, it is what it is.”
One of the biggest negotiating obstacles in a potential McGregor-Mayweather bout has been the allocation of earnings between the two fighting superstars. Floyd Mayweather has declared his satisfaction with his fight purse throughout the negotiations, telling Conor McGregor to stop making “excuses about the money”, but it would be galling for a fighter with McGregor’s pride to lose the majority of any earnings he would make fighting Floyd Mayweather to the UFC.
Hopefully, Conor McGregor and UFC president Dana White can hash out a deal soon, and we can finally start dreaming of a historic MMA and boxing crossover fight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather.