The wheels are in motion for a Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor super bout in Las Vegas.
Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Bob Bennett told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday evening that he doesn’t “anticipate any issues” in regards to the sanctioning of the possible Mayweather-McGregor bout.
“That’s certainly a fight that we would approve and have in Vegas,” Bennett said. “Who wouldn’t want to regulate the two best fighters at 150 pounds in their respective unarmed combat fields? Mayweather’s a phenomenal fighter, and so is McGregor. Sure, that’s a fight we would approve.”
McGregor is one of the best MMA fighters in the world, but he’s never boxed in the amateur or pro ranks. Many experts believed the commission would be hesitant to approve him to fight, but clearly, that doesn’t seem to be an issue.
Bennett said before sanctioning such a bout — one between a fighter making his pro boxing debut against an all-time great — he would need to watch McGregor perform a boxing workout firsthand.
McGregor’s attorney provided footage of the UFC lightweight champion boxing in December when he applied for a boxing license in Nevada. Based on that tape, along with McGregor’s status as an elite mixed-martial arts fighter, Bennett doesn’t think there will be a problem.
“He’s a phenomenal athlete,” Bennett said. “He’s arguably one of the best strikers from the UFC. He’s in great shape; he’s hardcore, he trains hard, fights hard.
“Mayweather is arguably one of the best fighters of all time because he doesn’t believe in getting hit. But let’s not forget Floyd (will be) 40 and Conor is 28, so it’d make for a great fight.”
McGregor was denied a boxing license in December because he never paid a $75,000 fine. He also failed to produce an anti-bullying video with a $75,000 budget following an incident with Nate Diaz back in August.
The Irish native, along with attorneys and his manager, met with Nevada State Athletic Commission Chairman Anthony A. Marnell III and Bennett on Tuesday in Las Vegas, according to Bennett.
The purpose? “A possible rehearing of McGregor’s prior order arising out of his conduct during a UFC 202 press conference.”
That’s when McGregor threw a water bottle at Nate Diaz, resulting in the punishment.
Tuesday’s meeting was said to be “very cordial and productive” by the NSAC, and the rehearing is the first step in the process of a Mayweather-McGregor bout in Las Vegas.
McGregor believed the punishment was too harsh — the case is due in district court — and Bennett actually agrees. So when the commission reconvenes on March 22, they will hear McGregor’s request. Once everything is settled with the sanctions, McGregor is eligible to reapply for a boxing license.
“I think it’s important that the public knows that the chairman, upon speaking with Conor, realized a wrong was done and he’d like to make it right,” Bennett said, adding that he actually was in favor of a $25,000 fine plus 25 hours of community service. “We don’t always get it right. We’ve made mistakes in the past. The chairman lives by example.”
And if all goes according to plan, another obstacle will be cleared for a Mayweather-McGregor super fight.
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