May­weather in search of at­ten­tion, not fight

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By TIM DAHLBERG AP Sports Colum­nist

Floyd May­weather Jr. wants at­ten­tion more than he wants a fight.

And, re­ally, let’s be truth­ful here. It wouldn’t be much of a fight if May­weather and Conor McGre­gor met in a box­ing ring. Put them in a UFC cage and it might be dif­fer­ent. May­weather has never had to fight while rolling around on the can­vas and his shoul­der roll de­fense wouldn’t be ter­ri­bly ef­fec­tive against an ex­pe­ri­enced MMA fighter go­ing af­ter an arm bar sub­mis­sion.

But that wasn’t on May­weather’s radar when he went on ESPN’s “First Take” on Wed­nes­day and said he was open to com­ing out of re­tire­ment if McGre­gor wanted a box­ing match and was will­ing to let May­weather both pro­mote it and write the terms of the deal.

“Bring him over to the box­ing world, and I’ll show him what it’s like,” May­weather said.

Don’t worry about try­ing to find $99.95 for the pay-per-view just yet. The chances of May­weather and McGre­gor ac­tu­ally meet­ing in a box­ing ring are about as good as May­weather fight­ing Ronda Rousey, a laugh­able match that some in the MMA com­mu­nity were tak­ing se­ri­ously not so long ago. A bit of a shame, though not be­cause a match be­tween the two men would be worth any­one in­vest­ing their time and money into. The trash talk­ing and show­man­ship would be cham­pi­onship cal­iber, as be­fits two fight­ers who both know some­thing about sell­ing tick­ets.

McGre­gor showed as much when he tweeted a draw­ing of him stand­ing over a knocked out May­weather, with a line be­neath it ref­er­enc­ing May­weather’s do­mes­tic abuse is­sues from a few years back.

No, May­weather and McGre­gor is a match des­tined never to hap­pen, no mat­ter how much money could con­ceiv­ably be at stake. For that, both box­ing and MMA fans should be grate­ful, be­cause as good as McGre­gor is at what he does, he wouldn’t stand a chance against a star fighter who was throw­ing punches be­fore he learned how to walk. “Let him step into a box­ing ring with Floyd May­weather be­cause every­one knows what the out­come would be,” long­time May­weather con­fi­dante Leonard Ellerbe said last month. “He would get his ass beat from pil­lar to post.” Surely, McGre­gor un­der­stands that, even if he fan­cies his abil­ity to hit peo­ple in the head. The UFC’s big­gest star ap­plied for a box­ing li­cense in Cal­i­for­nia last month, but there’s no in­di­ca­tion he’s se­ri­ous about switch­ing fight­ing dis­ci­plines.

There’s also no in­di­ca­tion that ei­ther UFC chief­tain Dana White or the Hol­ly­wood types who re­cently paid $4 bil­lion for the com­pany would al­low it to hap­pen. With Rousey ex­posed by losses in her last two fights, McGre­gor is the UFC’s big­gest at­trac­tion by far and they’re not go­ing to risk his mar­ketabil­ity by get­ting him beaten up in a box­ing match.

Be­sides, what May­weather is sug­gest­ing isn’t for ne­go­ti­a­tions for the two to fight. It’s a take it or leave it of­fer, with his guar­an­tee start­ing at around $100 mil­lion against $15 mil­lion for McGre­gor.

“They know what my num­ber is,” May­weather said. “My num­ber is a guar­an­teed $100 mil­lion. That was my num­ber.”

May­weather was mak­ing the rounds try­ing to pro­mote a fight card this week­end in New York when he made the com­ments about McGre­gor.

He suc­ceeded in mak­ing a splash and get­ting peo­ple talk­ing about him again, so he did his job.

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