Floyd Mayweather has accused Conor McGregor of lying to the public regarding his desire to face him in a money-spinning boxing clash this year.
Mayweather walked away from the sport in September 2015 when he beat Andre Berto in Las Vegas to move to 49-0. But, although he insists he is happily retired, ‘Money May’ has been linked with a McGregor clash ever since.
The outspoken Dubliner has emerged as the face of mixed martial arts following his success with the UFC and he is seemingly desperate to secure a clash with Mayweather.
But the American, a five-weight world champion, has now revealed that he thinks McGregor has been lying all along about wanting to meet him inside the ring.
Mayweather, who generally sidesteps questions on McGregor, decided at a London press conference yesterday to open up about the possibility of finally agreeing a fight between the pair.
“Conor McGregor really been disrespecting me,” he said, attempting to impersonate McGregor’s accent. “You better stop disrespecting me. But what has really been going on is this: he is barking, he is barking, he is barking. Once you get the paperwork and sign the contract, then you’re biting me.
“Right now you’re just barking and you don’t really want the fight.” Despite being renowned for his striking ability as a mixed martial artist, McGregor has never had a fight as a professional boxer and had limited experience as an amateur before deciding to switch sports.
Mayweather, meanwhile, is considered by many to be the finest pure boxer of the past 25 years and some - unsurpisingly including himself - believe him to be the greatest of all time.
As such, a fight between the pair — which would be a boxing match and not MMA — would go down as arguably the biggest mismatch in the sport’s long and storied history.
But, with demand comes money. McGregor has established himself as a huge name on both sides of the Atlantic, while Mayweather has been involved in all three of the highest grossing pay-per-view fights ever.
It means both would stand to receive multi-million euro purses for the contest, which would probably take place in Las Vegas.
But Mayweather, not short of a dollar, insists he does not mind if the fight never happens. “Me and Conor McGregor, I don’t know if the fight is going to happen,” he added. “If it happens, it does, if it doesn’t I’m AOK.
“Conor, if you really want the fight you tell [UFC president] Dana White and Dana White’s bosses that you want the fight and we can make it happen.”
Mayweather, who was in London to announce a fight between his world champion protege Gervonta Davis and Liam Walsh, has been touring England on a speaking tour.
His stop in Birmingham was marred when somebody torched a vehicle emblazoned with his TMT — The Money Team — logo. But he laughed off the arson attack, telling the perpetrators that it was not even his car.
He added: “Everybody keeps asking me and talking to me to say my automobile caught fire. My automobiles are in the US. Let me make this clear, my automobiles are in the US.
“We have trucks all around the world that say TMT; you see TMT trucks in Africa, you see them in Russia, you see them in Dubai. Just because a TMT truck catches fire doesn’t mean it is my truck. But my stay here has always been great. Royal treatment.
“It won’t stop me from coming over here — I’m not going home — I love it here. I want to buy a house over here. I’m going to always choose that pound over the dollar.”
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