Floyd Mayweather says he and Conor McGregor have engaged in talks about a rematch in 2023, and that he would prefer it be an exhibition but a “real fight” — presumably meaning one sanctioned that counts on pro records — has also been discussed.
Mayweather, who will turn 46 next February, hasn’t had a real, sanctioned fight since his 2017 win over McGregor, and prior to that hadn’t fought since a 2015 win over Andre Berto.
“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. ... 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.”
I am dying to hear the MMA/UFC fan reaction to Mayweather saying their guys hit about as hard as YouTubers.
Mayweather, who still has a 50-0 (27 KO) record in boxing, will return to action this weekend in Japan, facing MMA fighter Mikuru Asakura in an exhibition boxing bout on RIZIN’s big show.
He says he plans to have another exhibition before the year is out, possibly in Dubai, and then do the McGregor fight, whatever it would wind up being, next year.
Mayweather vs McGregor was, of course, a monstrous pay-per-view hit in 2017, as McGregor was at the height of his commercial appeal and a huge star for UFC. His move over to boxing against the aging and functionally retired Mayweather didn’t much pay off in the ring, but it did pay off at the box office, and both made a ton of money.
There is absolutely no hope that a 2023 rematch, even if it were a totally real fight, could match what they did before, but it would also still be a good amount of money, more likely than not. McGregor has lost a lot of luster, but still has star power, as does Mayweather, and fight fans of all stripes do love their nostalgia.