Floyd Mayweather Jr. has opened the door for a fight with UFC’s Khabib Nurmagomedov — but only if it’s in the boxing ring.
In conversation with CNN’s Talk Asia’s Anna Coren, the 41-year-old refused to watch a video of UFC president Dana White suggesting Mayweather should face the Russian in the octagon.
“I don’t have to see that,” the former five-weight world champion said. “Last time Dana White spoke, he said me and Conor McGregor won’t be in a boxing match.
“I think Dana White is a great person, a great guy but we don’t know what the future holds. Sometimes I say I’m retired but guess what — I come right back.”
‘It’s up to Khabib’
Nurmagomedov, who recently beat Conor McGregor on his long-awaited return to mixed martial arts, triggered rumors of a mega-fight with Mayweather after calling out the former boxer.
Both men are ubeaten in the respective sports — the boxing great has fought 50 professional fights without defeat; the younger Russian has a 27-0 record.
Nicknamed “Money,” Mayweather has made it clear that the ball is in the Russian’s court and admitted to previously meeting with the fighter’s management.
He has urged Nurmagomedov to think about the rewards.
“If Khabib wants to fight in a boxing match, we can,” he said. “If he wants to go to UFC and make the money that he’s been making, he can.
“When Khabib fought McGregor, he made $3-4million. When you fight me you’re going to make way more.
“It’s about entertainment. Conor McGregor was never on a Forbes list. Once he competed against me, he was up high on the Forbes list,” added Mayweather, referring to his fight with McGregor in August 2017.
Mayweather vs. Nasukawa
White has been fueling the rivalry between Mayweather and Nurmagomedov by telling CNN that the US boxer would “get smashed” if the pair met.
Mayweather remains unfazed by that suggestion.
“I don’t need to fight in the octagon. I’m the A-side,” he said. “I still got nine figures easily. I’m happy and I feel good.”
Early this week the American announced he would fight kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in Japan on New Year’s Eve, though it’s not yet clear what format the fight will take.
The boxer, who has never fought in MMA, announced his decision after signing for a mixed martial arts promotions company.