Floyd Mayweather says accepted Conor McGregor fight due to fan demand

Floyd Mayweather stated in an interview that he came out of retirement for the showdown against UFC fighter Conor McGregor because fans “demanded this fight”.

other sports Updated: Jun 18, 2017 16:35 IST
Conor McGregor,Floyd Mayweather,Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather
Floyd Mayweather says he accepted the fight against Conor McGregor because he wanted to give the fans what they wanted. (AP)

Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather and mixed martial arts icon Conor McGregor confirmed plans for a long-awaited showdown earlier this week, triggering both criticism and anticipation for what is set to be one of the richest fights in history.

Mayweather and McGregor -- kingpins of their sports -- will climb into a boxing ring to face each other at Las Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena on August 26.

The 40-year-old Mayweather will be aiming to reach the 50-0 milestone while McGregor is a heavy underdog in the boxing match. A victory for the Irishman would be a monumental upset.

READ | Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor agree to August super fight

“Floyd is the greatest of all-time and Conor is the master of our sport,” said MMA promoter Dana White. “I thought it would be impossible deal to do but it was the right fight at the right time and we got it done.”

Leonard Ellerbe, chief executive of Mayweather Promotions, said they decided to end Mayweather’s 23-month retirement because the clamour for the 154-pound showdown had been impossible to ignore.

Mayweather, who retired in 2015 with an unbeaten record of 49-0, and UFC lightweight champion McGregor will clash in a 12-round fight after teasing the event for nearly a year.

READ | Holly Holm believes Conor McGregor can cause Floyd Mayweather problems

“McGregor is a tough competitor. People all around the world demanded this fight so I had to give them what they wanted to see,” Mayweather is quoted as saying by sports website BlackSportsOnline.com.

“They asked for this fight. I was in retirement, but they wanted me back and I’m back.”

The multi-division boxing world champion is favourite to beat McGregor, who never boxed professionally, in Las Vegas.

First Published: Jun 18, 2017 16:31 IST