Conor McGregor is not interested in a rematch with his undefeated boxing rival, Floyd Mayweather Jr., even though the pair generated a reported $600 million when ‘Money’ easily beat the UFC legend in 2017.
Mayweather recently claimed that a 2023 rematch with McGregor was being discussed as either an exhibition or official bout, but McGregor snapped back on Instagram, writing: ‘#notinterested.’
It has been nearly five years since Mayweather and McGregor combined for a mega crossover fight in Las Vegas back in August 2017, with ‘Money’ teaching the UFC superstar a boxing lesson by securing an easy tenth-round TKO victory.
Speaking exclusively to Sportsmail, Mayweather discussed his plans for the rest of the year and went into details about facing McGregor again.
‘I want to go out there this weekend and have fun [against Mikuru Asakura],’ Mayweather said about an upcoming MMA bout, for which he could make a reported $20 million for nine minutes of action. ‘Then I have another exhibition Dubai in November and me and Conor McGregor in 2023.
‘We don’t know if it’s going to be an exhibition or a real fight. But there’s been talks of both. I would prefer an exhibition.’
When asked why he would prefer an exhibition, Mayweather said: ‘I am not into fights where I am going to take any real punishment.
‘So, guys like Conor McGregor and guys that don’t really hit hard such as YouTubers or UFC guys, I don’t really mind colliding with those kinds of individuals but nothing where I am going to put myself in a position where I am going to harm myself or hurt myself.’
Mayweather’s clash with McGregor proved to be his last professional fight, taking his record to 50 wins and zero losses or draws.
He reportedly earned around $280million from the blockbuster bout, not to mention his alleged gambling winnings, which he’s occasionally referenced over the years.
Meanwhile, McGregor took home a reported $130m from what was his first and only pro boxing bout, despite looking like the novice that he was.
Retired welterweight and McGregor sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi (36-8) found the UFC star to be a poor challenge.
‘Just figure it this way,’ Malignaggi told DailyMail.com in 2017, explaining that he hadn’t been training before their sparring sessions. ‘If I can show up in 20, 30 percent shape, less than 24 hours [after] a cross-country flight and go 12 rounds with you and get the better of you for most of the 12 rounds, you got a problem if you’re going up against Floyd Mayweather.’
During McGegor’s training camp, the MMA star’s team put pictures of him ostensibly dominating Malignaggi on social media. However the Brooklyn-born Malignaggi insists he was shoved to the canvas and that the pictures were misleading and intended to give fans confidence that McGregor had a chance to beat Mayweather.
‘People choose to be deceived,’ Malignaggi said of the throngs of McGregor supporters who bought tickets and bet on the fighter. ‘They wanted to be deceived, but the writing was on the wall.’
Another sparring partner, South African welterweight Chris Van Heerden, told the Wall Street Journal in 2017 that he didn’t ‘give [McGregor] any chance’ heading into the fight.
Since then, McGregor suffered three defeats in his last four UFC bouts. He has also taken some time away from the Octagon after breaking his leg against Dustin Poirier.
Nevertheless, McGregor confirmed his desire to return to boxing while attending the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix.
He told Sky Sports: ‘Boxing is my first love in combat sports. I had such a great time the last time I was out there.
‘Obviously, my return will be in the octagon for UFC – that story is far from over, in fact it’s just being written, it is just the beginning. But, boxing, for sure I will grace the squared circle again in the future.’
Meanwhile, Mayweather will return to action this weekend when he faces MMA fighter Asakura in an exhibition bout in Japan.
You can watch Floyd Mayweather in action against Mikuru Asakura live on FITE TV this Saturday, September 24