Every time that the Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather boxing talk starts to die down, it rears its ugly head.
You can thank Mayweather for that. Not only does the undefeated world champion frequently rekindle the rumors himself, he’s taught McGregor well. The UFC champion, the promotion’s first dual-division titleholder, has watched Mayweather’s promotional approach and frequently emulated it.
The odds of the two ever setting foot in a boxing ring together are slim to none, but that didn’t keep Mayweather from talking about it, keeping his name in the limelight, even after retiring. McGregor isn’t breaking new ground, but he caught on to Mayweather and quickly adopted his style.
McGregor’s latest move? To apply for and receive a boxing license in the state of California. While Andy Foster, executive director for the California State Athletic Commission, confirmed as much to MMAWeekly.com, he also confirmed that McGregor was simply issued a license. The UFC champ didn’t specify any plans for an opponent or event at which he would box. He is now simply a licensed boxer in the state.
It certainly doesn’t mean that a match with Mayweather is imminent. It’s a smart promotional move, keeping people talking while he’s taking an extended break, and perhaps it could be a shot across the UFC bow after the promotion forced him to relinquish the featherweight title, but it is not an indicator that Mayweather is next on the agenda.
If the sensible argument that Mayweather is on another planet compared to McGregor when it comes to boxing doesn’t discount the fight, perhaps Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe’s recent comments will put chatter about this fight actually happening to rest.
“It’s all a game. It’s all a calculated effort to gain more fans,” Ellerbe told ESPN. “(McGregor) got a boxing license. Congratulations to him. Conor McGregor can say anything he wants to, but he has a boss and his name is Dana White. He is under contract to the UFC and if he wanted to fight Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match he can’t because his bosses wouldn’t allow that to happen.
“The brass (from WME-IMG) who recently purchased the UFC are very smart people and they would never — and put this in bold caps — let him step into a boxing ring with Floyd Mayweather because everyone knows what the outcome would be. He would get his ass beat from pillar to post.”
Even IF McGregor and Mayweather wanted to make the match, it’s unlikely that any athletic commission in the United States would approve it.
Mayweather is one of the most accomplished boxers in the history of the sport. Period. McGregor’s mark on the boxing? Zilch! He has not one professional boxing match to his credit.
Mayweather has defeated the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley, Oscar De La Hoya, Zab Judah, Ricky Hatton, and the list goes on and on. Love him or hate him, Mayweather knows better than anyone what to do in a boxing ring. He’s spent a lifetime doing it.
McGregor’s boxing technique is adapted and perfected for mixed martial arts, which must account for elbows, kicks, takedowns, throws, submissions, and a host of other techniques that a boxer doesn’t concern himself with. Sure, he has a head start on the boxing game because of his training, just like Mayweather has a head start on mixed martial arts because of his boxing skill, but neither is prepared to step into the other’s arena with the best in the world.
“He’s done a masterful con job to try to trick people that he could actually pull this off. It’s another creative way to create more interest,” Ellerbe said of McGregor. “Nobody is mad, but it’s a con job trying to make people think this is real.
“He’s a very good MMA fighter, give credit where it’s due. It’s kind of played out now. Just stop it. The con game is over,” he continued. “There’s no way (WME-IMG) spent all that money so they can get their biggest star killed. It would never happen. If they want to get him killed put him in there in a boxing match.”
So there you have it. If anyone knows Mayweather’s business beyond the man himself, it’s Ellerbe. We can all buy into the hype and have fun with it, but at the end of the day, Ellerbe’s words are a mountain of reality that towers over an ant hill of hype.