Floyd Mayweather is publicly flirting with a return to the ring.
Since defeating Andre Berto in September 2015, Mayweather, 39, has repeatedly asserted that he's fully retired and content with his 49-0 boxing record and more than $700 million in career earnings. But now, he's changing his tune. On Saturday, Mayweather told FightHype.com that a fight against 27-year-old UFC star Conor McGregor is indeed "possible."
"The rumors that you all have been hearing [are] the rumors that I started. It may not be a rumor. Keep your fingers crossed. It may be a boxer versus an MMA fighter," Mayweather said.
Talk of the possible matchup first heated up last week when The Sun, a British tabloid, reported that a Mayweather-McGregor fight was agreed to on principle May 2, although each side reportedly still had to agree on the purse and sign contracts. The rumor first started following McGregor's recent fake retirement from UFC, which led to his name being pulled from July 9's UFC 200 -- a gap in McGregor's calendar that would present a clear window to fight Mayweather in 2016. UFC president Dana White called The Sun's report "not true," but Mayweather won't distance himself from it.
Whether or not Mayweather was trolling the world with his comments, McGregor doused gasoline on top of Mayweather's Saturday quotes by tweeting this fight poster mock-up on Sunday:
If Mayweather indeed leaked rumors of a potential fight against McGregor, it's another bread crumb in the boxer's road to unretirement. On May 1, Mayweather told Showtime that he'd need "a nine-figure payday" to consider fighting again, but admitted he had been in discussions with CBS and Showtime. The following day, ESPN reported that Mayweather's company filed for "TMT 50" (The Money Team 50) and "TBE 50" (The Best Ever 50) trademarks in April, seemingly to secure branding rights for a potential 50th fight for Mayweather. On Saturday, he reiterated his purse demands to FightHype.com, saying that it'd take "$100 million or better."
There's only one thing in this world that'll get Mayweather and McGregor in a ring together, and that's money. Although the idea of an under-contract UFC fighter in his prime taking on a 39-year-old boxer -- names aside, McGregor's too young and athletic for an aged Mayweather -- isn't likely, a return to fighting for Mayweather could be a good watercooler bet to take.