Floyd Mayweather shows interest in PPV boxing bout with UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov
'Money' may have found a new way to help line his pockets
Retired pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather may have just found a new dance partner from the world of mixed martial arts to concoct a boxing superfight against.
Just one week after Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated former Mayweather foe Conor McGregor to defend his lightweight title at UFC 229 in Las Vegas, the Russian star attended a World Boxing Super Series card in Ekaterinburg on Saturday where he ran into Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe.
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In a viral video that was posted on Instagram by boxing manager DeJuan Blake, a cousin of Mayweather, the 30-year-old Nurmagomedov (27-0 in MMA) laughed with Ellerbe as he challenged the 41-year-old Mayweather (50-0, 27 KOs in boxing) to a fight.
"Let's go Floyd, we have to fight now. 50-0 versus 27-0, two guys that never like lose. Let's go, why not? Because in the jungle there is only one king, only one king. Of course I am the king. He can drop to McGregor but I drop him easily. That's right, let's go."
Once the video made the rounds all day Sunday, It didn't take long for Mayweather to have a response. The five-division champion tweeted Monday morning that he's all in and sounded the alarm in the direction of recent partners CBS, Showtime and the MGM Grand to make the fight.
Mayweather returned from a nearly two-year retirement in August 2017 when he stopped McGregor on his feet in a fight that sold 4.4 million pay-per-views and netted him a reported $300 million. Although Mayweather said repeatedly ahead of the fight that he would retire for good, he has consistently kept his name in the headlines, including a public flirtation earlier this year that he was considering a fight in the UFC.
McGregor (21-4 in MMA, 0-1 in boxing) went on to report in recent months that he spoke briefly with Mayweather's team about the idea of a mixed rules fight inside the Octagon, but ultimately refused and told Mayweather he wants a traditional rematch in either boxing or MMA.
Mayweather made headlines on Sept. 15 in the early hours before the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin rematch in Las Vegas when he tweeted a video of him meeting up with Manny Pacquiao at a Tokyo music festival. Mayweather, who defeated Pacquiao in their 2015 megafight that shattered PPV records, hyped up the possibility of a rematch, which remains likely following Pacquiao's decision to sign with Mayweather adviser Al Haymon.
In addition, Mayweather has teased at the possibility of a tune-up fight in December that would take place in Tokyo.
While it's unclear just how serious Nurmagomedov was in the Instagram video, his name is currently red-hot for both good and bad reasons. Not only was he dominant in a victory over McGregor that has been rumored to have moved more than 2 million PPV buys (a new MMA record), he triggered an ugly postfight melee by jumping over the cage wall and attacking members of McGregor's corner.
Nurmagomedov has been temporarily suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and has a hearing on Oct. 24 that will decide what type of longterm sanctions he may face. Traditionally, Nevada has ruled harshly on brawls that occur outside of the fighting space. In 2006, trainer Roger Mayweather and Zab Judah were both suspended for one year after a low blow from Judah on Floyd Mayweather in their welterweight title bout started a mid-fight fracas between both corners.
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