It’s been a long strange trip getting us to where we are today, with Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor official and going down on August 26th from Las Vegas, Nevada. That trip began all the way back in the middle of 2015 and took just under two years to go from idea to a signed fight. Not bad for Mayweather, who took six years to finally fight Manny Pacquiao.
So how did this all come to be? How did possibly the biggest fight in combat sports history get made with so many moving parts in play? Let’s take a look at the timeline of the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight, largely through the words and quotes of the people directly involved.
Leading up to a featherweight title fight with Jose Aldo (who would pull out last second with an injury), Conor McGregor appeared on the Conan O’Brien show and shared his thoughts on a hypothetical match up with Floyd Mayweather.
“Who would not like to dance around the ring for $180 million?” he said. “It is something that would appeal to me very much. But if we were to fight, I certainly know he would not like to step into my world, the world of pure unarmed combat where there are no limitations. But I most certainly would step into his world. And I would certainly box him if the opportunity arose, most certainly.”
“I’ve said it before, I don’t feel boxing is the style of fighting that can beat Floyd. But saying that, there are many, many forms of fighting that can beat him. So, if we were to get it on, I would certainly dismantle him, as well.”
Floyd Mayweather goes off on racism in the sporting world, using the popularity of white athletes like Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor to make his point.
“I don’t really know the McGregor guy, never seen him fight,” he said. “They say he talk a lot of trash and people praise him for it, but when I did it, they say I’m cocky and arrogant. So biased! Like I said before, all I’m saying is this, I ain’t racist at all, but I’m telling you racism still exists.”
“Floyd Mayweather, don’t ever bring race into my success again,” he wrote. “I am an Irishman. My people have been oppressed our entire existence. And still very much are. I understand the feeling of prejudice. It is a feeling that is deep in my blood.”
“In my family’s long history of warfare there was a time where just having the name ‘McGregor’ was punishable by death. Do not ever put me in a bracket like this again. 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.”
UK tabloid The Sun reports that a fight between McGregor and Mayweather is on the verge of being signed, but UFC president Dana White shoots the rumors down. Soon after, Floyd reveals he was the one spreading them.
“The rumors that you all have been hearing are the rumors that I started,” Mayweather said. “It may not be a rumor. Keep your availers crossed. It may be a boxer versus a MMA fighter.”