The talk of a Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather fight is not dying. The long-standing rumor received a burst of new life Wednesday when McGregor was issued a boxing license in California.
But calm down, says Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe. In an article in which ESPN senior writer Dan Rafael says there’s “no chance” the fight happens, Ellerbe supports Rafael’s conclusion and implies Mayweather has zero interest in fighting McGregor.
It’s not that Mayweather is afraid, Ellerbe asserts—it’s that they believe McGregor is beneath him.
"It's all a game. It's all a calculated effort to gain more fans," Ellerbe said. "He got a boxing license. Congratulations to him. Conor McGregor can say anything he wants to but he has a boss and his name is Dana White. He is under contract to the UFC and if he wanted to fight Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match he can't because his bosses wouldn't allow that to happen.”
Ellerbe has a number of fascinating quotes sprinkled throughout the piece. For example, Ellerbe believes sports fans are captivated by the idea of a Mayweather-McGregor fight because of race.
"Call it what it is—it's a black-and-white issue," Ellerbe said. "The reason why it generates so much attention is because it's a black-and-white issue. If we're talking about Floyd against Anderson Silva, when he was No. 1, we wouldn't be having this kind of conversation."
Ellerbe said Mayweather is in the Bahamas enjoying life and is giving McGregor no mind. He claims it’s all a con from McGregor to drum up attention by aligning himself with a big name. Ellerbe says McGregor has mimicked Mayweather’s approach from a marketing and promotions standpoint.
The Mayweather Promotions CEO also constantly referenced McGregor’s three career losses, juxtaposing that with Mayweather’s 49-0 record.
“The brass [from WME-IMG] who recently purchased the UFC [for $4 billion earlier this year] are very smart people and they would never—and put this in bold caps—let him step into a boxing ring with Floyd Mayweather because everyone knows what the outcome would be,” Ellerbe said. “He would get his ass beat from pillar to post."
Well, damn. You know the always outspoken McGregor will respond with something brash. Stay posted to Complex to hear if and when McGregor responds.