Negotiations for a boxing rules fight between Floyd Mayweather and UFC star Conor McGregor have reached “a standstill,” according to Showtime Sports vice-president Stephen Espinoza.
Former five-weight world champion Mayweather wanted the fight in June but it is yet to advance past the discussions stage and Espinoza believes it could be a case of now or never.
“It’s largely at a standstill,” he told Yahoo Sports’ Chris Mannix Boxing podcast.
“There hasn’t been a ton of progress and I think if they don’t move relatively quickly, people may move on. People may tire of it.”
Espinoza said the deal could be time sensitive due to Mayweather’s “ring rust” and his age.
Mayweather, 40, has not boxed since a September 2015 decision victory over Andre Berto. McGregor, 12 years Floyd’s junior, competed three times last year and is in peak-form as a mixed martial artist.
“It is something that needs to happen this year or it probably won’t happen,” Espinoza said. “Floyd [has been out of action for] 18 months [and it will be] two solid years come September since he’s fought. He’s still in great shape, but at a certain point, he’s not gonna do it after a while.”
Espinoza added that if the super-fight were booked then the UFC may fear losing McGregor to retirement, regardless of whether the Irish icon won or lost.
“I think part of the fear on the UFC’s side is that they will never see Conor again. If he makes 50, 60 or 70 [million dollars] and then he retires in Ireland… so much for their megastar.”
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