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[LOS ANGELES] The possibility of a duel between boxer Floyd Mayweather and mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor got another boost Friday as Ultimate Fighting Championship boss Dana White said he'd pay each US$25 million to meet.
Mr White, president of the popular UFC mixed martial arts brand in which Ireland's McGregor stars, seemed to indicate in his comments on a Fox radio broadcast that the two would meet in a boxing ring, not the UFC octagon.
In addition to US$25 million apiece, Mr White said, each fighter would get a cut of pay-per-view proceeds.
"If they're going to box, Floyd looks at this as an easy boxing match for him," Mr White said. "Conor McGregor is his money fight. Tell you what, Floyd, here's a real offer - and I'm the guy who can make the offer - we'll pay you US$25 million and Conor US$25 million." Mr White scoffed at Mayweather's claim this week that he'd offered McGregor US$15 million to climb into the ring with him.
Mayweather, who retired in 2015 with a perfect 49-0 record, told ESPN's First Take program that a McGregor bout was the only thing that could tempt him to end his exile from the ring.
Mayweather said he'd talked to McGregor's representatives.
"They know what my number is. My number is a guaranteed US$100 million," he said, adding that he considered himself the "A-side" of the promotion.
"To think that you're the 'A' side ... how are you the 'A' side?" Mr White said. "He's claiming he's made offers. He hasn't made offers to anybody. I just made a real offer. Conor McGregor will fight anybody, anywhere, anytime, and there is a line of guys he'll fight who'll do more than 1 million pay-per-view buys." McGregor became the first man to simultaneously hold UFC titles in two weight divisions when he beat Eddie Alvarez in New York on November 12.
At the end of November he was issued a boxing license in the state of California in a development that fuelled speculation about a showdown between him and Mayweather.