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Floyd Mayweather says comparing Conor McGregor to him is ‘total disrespect’

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 16/11/2016 Des Bieler
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Floyd Mayweather doesn’t mind being mentioned in the same breath as Conor McGregor, as long as the mention is along the lines of, “Gee, I would pay all sorts of money to see Mayweather and McGregor in a boxing match!” But if what’s being said is something like, “Conor McGregor is like the Floyd Mayweather of MMA” — then the ex-boxer minds, very much.

That’s exactly what a TMZ Sports correspondent recently told Mayweather himself, in one of the website’s trademark on-street interviews.

More fuel for an actual fight? © Photos by Associated Press More fuel for an actual fight?

Mayweather did not appreciate the comparison, saying, “I didn’t know Conor McGregor was undefeated. I didn’t know that he had a reign in MMA for 20 years and undefeated and was world champion in five different weight classes. That’s something I didn’t know. So I guess you guys are telling me something new, if you say he’s the Floyd Mayweather of the MMA.”

The correspondent was about to ask another question, but Mayweather was just getting started. “I mean, if you say he’s the Floyd Mayweather of the MMA, I’m trying to find out: Have he ever made $300 million in one night? Have he ever made $100 million in one night? Have he ever made $70 million in one night? So, as far as saying he’s the Floyd Mayweather of MMA, I mean, it’s okay to say it, but it’s not true.”

It is true that Mayweather and McGregor have spent much of the year teasing a possible fight between them, but so far it’s simply been a long-distance war of words. McGregor may have started it by claiming that his goal was to top the record-shattering revenue from Mayweather’s 2015 fight with Manny Pacquiao, and it has gone from there, with Mayweather saying that it’s racist when people embrace McGregor for his cockiness and trash-talking but disdain the boxer for the same behavior.

That had McGregor firing back on Instagram. “Floyd Mayweather, don’t ever bring race into my success again,” he wrote in January. “… If you want we can organise a fight no problem. I will give you a fair 80/20 split purse in my favour seen as your last fight bombed at every area of revenue.”

Later in the year, Mayweather described a fight between himself and McGregor as “possible,” and both of them posted to social media mock-ups of promotional material for a bout. “If I only had to focus on boxing, hell, I’d be neck and neck with Floyd right now,” McGregor said in July.

So both combat-sports icons have spent plenty of time and energy fanning the flames of a possible showdown in the ring. But Mayweather is drawing the line at having McGregor actually compared to him.

“Never compare Conor McGregor to me,” he told TMZ Sports. “That’s a total disrespect. Once again, I’m an elephant. An elephant don’t beef with ants. Elephant is so large, he don’t even see ants.”

It didn’t take long for TMZ to catch up with McGregor, who, true to form, was not shy about responding. Of the “ants” line, McGregor said, “Tell him to say it to my face.”

It still seems highly unlikely that Mayweather and McGregor will ever meet in the ring, in what would almost certainly be a boxing-only match. It does seem fairly likely that Mayweather will emerge from retirement for a big-money fight of some sort — hello, Floyd-Pac II — but these two are probably using each other to stoke a feud that keeps them both in the headlines (and sports blogs). If nothing else, though, they’re providing us with entertainment, as well as speculation about which one might actually win.

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