The idea of Conor McGregor facing off against Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match has captured sports fans' attention.
In March, sources told Sporting News that McGregor expected a September date as the target for the fight. Dana White recently said he will be meeting with McGregor after long-time girlfriend Dee Devlin has their first child at the beginning of May.
White's claimed the financial parameters with McGregor have been agreed upon and he will finalize the terms when he meets with the lightweight champion and then will meet with Mayweather's representatives.
The brakes could possibly need to be pumped if you believe what the executive vice president of Showtime Sports Stephen Espinoza told Yahoo Sports' Chris Mannix on his latest podcast and put the onus on White as to why the fight could possibly not happen.
“The biggest battle in Mayweather-Pacquiao was both guys really thinking that the other wanted to do it,” said Espinoza. “That part has happened [with McGregor and Mayweather], so I think the real question — and it’s sort of a black box right now — is where’s the UFC really, on this? Do they, in fact, want it? Dana — speaking on behalf of, I assume, the UFC — is making noises that he’s more open to it but talk is talk. I haven’t seen a lot of progress either internally in the deal between the two of them or externally, the deal between that side and this side.
“It’s largely at a standstill. 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. But it really is something that needs to happen this year or it probably won’t happen. Floyd’s on 18 months, 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 told Mannix the reason he feels White is dragging his feet is due to the fact McGregor would likely never return to the octagon after making the most money in his combat sports career.
“I think part of the fear on the UFC’s side is that they’ll never see Conor again," Espinoza stated. "If he makes 50, 60, 70 and then you never see him in the ring and he retires in Ireland and so much for their megastar.”
The saga continues.
Steven Muehlhausen is an MMA and boxing writer and contributor for Sporting News. You can find his podcast, "The Fight Club Chicago," and subscribe on iTunes. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and can find him on Twitter @SMuehlhausenMMA.