Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor: Why Floyd is putting it out there
Floyd Mayweather is a savvy businessman who is often successful at gaining leverage when negotitating.
And now, Floyd, retired since last fall, is hinting a nine-figure deal is on the tables for his return to boxing.
His company has even trademarked "TMT 50" and "TBE 50." (The Money Team 50-0, The Best Ever, 50-0)
Last month, FightSaga was informed by 2 separate sources that a deal for Floyd to return to boxing would get done for a bout in September against WBC weltweight champion Danny Garcia.
But here's the catch, that might cost a network at the least $100 Million and fight would likely have to generate upwards of 3 million buys just to break even.
As a result, it's doubtful any fight outside a rematch with Pacquiao would reach that mark, and Floyd can't reach that mark fighting any other boxer. So while a fight with Danny Garcia could be a commercial success, a network, such as Showtime or HBO, would probably lose money for such an endeavor.
As mentioned above, no boxer outside Pacquiao could make it make sense, but that doesn't mean a fighter can't.
Enter Conor McGregor, the UFC's 145 pound world champion.
Floyd continues to mention Conor's name in interview after interview. And not only did he not deny the rumor about a potential Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor showdown, he admitted he spread it.
McGregor is the MMA's biggest star, and he's becoming a mainstream sensation. All 3 of the PPV's he has headline have gone over a million buys, and his live gate's continue to climb.
Conor's last fight against Nate Diaz did an $8 million dollar live gate, beating out Canelo Alvarez vs Amir Khan by $1 million despite being held at an arena that holds 4,000 fewer people. And before McGregor pulled out of UFC 200, that live gate was projected to break $10 million.
All of Conor's live gates have been in Las Vegas, Mayweather's backyard. When an MMA fighter is getting better numbers than Manny Pacquiao and Canelo Alvarez, it's probably hard to ignore.
Also take into account that McGregor's last PPV beat Canelo Alvarez's (the consensus #2 Boxer) by an estimated 1 million PPV buys selling 1.5 million. Some Boxing sites continue to throw around the idea that PPV is a dead platform but if that's the case, then why did McGregor sell 1.5 million PPV 2 months ago, and 1.2 million just 5 months ago?
The truth is nobody in Boxing can sell PPV at the moment outside Floyd. Floyd knows this and the networks do as well. So Floyd is throwing out the idea of fighting McGregor for the following reasons;
The idea of MMA vs Boxing has been thrown around for a long time. It's something people want to see, mostly the casual audience of the two sports.
It has happened a few times before, most notably James Toney entering MMA to fight Randy Couture in 2009, as well as Ray Mercer coming to MMA to fight Tim Sylvia. While Toney unsurprisingly was submitted within minutes, Mercer pulled an upset KOing the ex-UFC champ in Sylvia. Never before has an MMA star boxed a Boxing star though.
So there's massive public interest in the idea, even if it's dumb for an elite boxer to box a guy who barely competed in the amature levels.
Add in the Boxer vs MMA angle, public interest, and McGregor's ability to sell snow to eskimoes, and you can see why Mayweather is entertained by the idea.
#2: Leverage against a network:
The more likely idea is that Mayweather is using the idea to play against the networks in order to get that $100 million dollar payday. With other options at play, Mayweather could go to CBS and demand the payday to fight a Danny Garcia or Keith Thurman for the very sellable '50-0 fight,' or he'll get very serious about fighting McGregor.
Perhaps a network would cave?
If not, maybe they're laughing at the idea of Mayweather vs McGregor in a boxing ring, but one thing that isn't a laughing matter is the serious money that fight could make.