A timeline of the verbal sparring that led to the most unlikely fight of the year.

Illustration by Alexander Wells
Way back in the summer of 2015, Conor throws the first jab
July 2, 2015
CONOR McGREGOR “I would box him if the opportunity arose.” On “Conan” about a possible fight with Floyd Mayweather
Dec. 30, 2015
mayweather FLOYD MAYWEATHER “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.” To on Conor’s relationship with the media
Noel Vasquez/GC Images
Jan. 8, 2016
mcgegor CONOR McGREGOR “Don’t ever bring race into my success again.” Responding via Facebook on claims of unequal treatment
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
Just as interests peaked early last year, Conor threatened to bow out of the fight scene altogether.
April 19, 2016
mcgregor CONOR McGREGOR “I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya’s later.” Via Twitter
RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
Less than a month later, a flurry of rumors swirl into possible negotiations.
May 6, 2016
The Sun of the U.K. reports Floyd and Conor on the verge of agreeing to a billion dollar megafight.
dana white DANA WHITE “It’s not true, it’s just a tabloid story.” UFC’s President in regards to The Sun’s report
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
May 8, 2016
mock fight poster CONOR McGREGOR “MMA vs. Boxing.” Via Twitter
May 8, 2016
mayweather FLOYD MAYWEATHER “The rumors y’all been hearing (are) the rumors I started.” Floyd Mayweather to ESPN in Las Vegas ahead of the Canelo-Khan fight
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
May 13, 2016
FLOYD MAYWEATHER “Hopefully we can make the fight happen. He’s no pushover.” Showtime Sports
May 22, 2016
McGregor interview
CONOR McGREGOR “He needs me.” on ESPN’s Sunday Conversation
By mid-2016, many fans remain skeptical as news surrounding a bout seems split.
Aug. 17, 2016
McGregor can throw
Conor fined $150,000 for UFC 202 bottle-throwing incident, putting a possible fight in jeopardy with Nevada State Athletic Commission (NASC).
Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
Nov. 30, 2016
Conor receives a boxing license in California.
Jan. 11, 2017
Mayweather sitting
On ESPN’s First Take Floyd claims that he responded to Conor’s demand of a $100 million with a counteroffer: $15 million and a cut of the pay-per-view.
Melissa Rawlins/ESPN Images
Jan. 13, 2017
Dana White makes Floyd and Conor an offer of $25 million each. Offer immediately turned down by Floyd.
Feb. 14, 2017
Stephen A. Smith
STEPHEN A. SMITH “We’re getting very, very close.” on ESPN’s First Take after a run-in with Floyd at an Oklahoma City Thunder home game
Feb. 15, 2017
NSAC willing to grant Conor a boxing license in order to keep a possible fight in Las Vegas despite the incident on Aug 17.
FLOYD MAYWEATHER “There hasn’t been any deal made in regards to a fight between myself and any other fighter.” Via Instagram
Feb. 16, 2017
First betting lines come out for the fight. Floyd opens as 25-1 favorite against Conor.
By spring of 2017, Floyd turns to the media to get negotiations off the ropes.
March 8, 2017
Mayweather Speaking
FLOYD MAYWEATHER “Sign the paper. You said you were boss, just sign the paper and let’s make it happen.” Floyd to ESPN about a supposed offer to Conor
March 10, 2017
Mayweather FLOYD MAYWEATHER “I’m coming out of retirement just to fight Conor McGregor... Let’s fight in June.” To an audience on his “Undefeated” tour
Dan Mullan/Getty Images
A week later, Dana steps right up into the media circus.
March 15, 2017
DANA WHITE “I do think it’s going to happen... There’s so much money involved, I just don’t see how it doesn’t happen.” On “Conan”
March 17, 2017
I am boxing
CONOR McGREGOR “I am boxing!” Screaming at ESPN Boxing writer Dan Rafael after the Michael Conlan fight at MSG
March 22, 2017
Conor’s fine downgraded to $25,000 and 25 hours of community service. He should now be cleared to apply for a Nevada boxing license.
April 16, 2017
mcgregor CONOR McGREGOR “...Join me in the preparation of my next fight being announced very soon.” Via Instagram
April 19, 2017
mcgregor DANA WHITE “...If the fight sells as well as I think it can, Floyd makes a little north of $100 (million) and Conor makes $75.” On The Herd about ongoing negotiations
Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports
April 20, 2017
McGregor boxing CONOR McGREGOR “Floyd may crap his jocks after all and if so I will go back to true fighting or just pick another boxer like Manny or something.” Via Instagram
May 4, 2017
The Westgate SuperBook narrows the betting lines to McGregor +700 and Mayweather -900.
In May, the pieces start to fall into place.
May 5, 2017
FLOYD MAYWEATHER “As soon as they say let’s sign on the dotted line, then it’s time to go to training camp.” To Stephen A. Smith
May 18, 2017
Dana White and McGregor agree to new terms for a boxing match with Mayweather. Both sides plan to meet and finalize the following week.
CONOR McGREGOR “I now, at 28 years of age, have my eyes firmly set on the ‘highest paid fighter’ and ‘highest earning athlete’ accolades.” Via Instagram
May 21, 2017
mcgregor CONOR McGREGOR “More Solid work today. Sign your end Floyd or you are just a mouth.” Via Twitter
After nearly two years of insanity, the deal is finally signed.
June 14, 2017
Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor agree to box at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on August 26.
June 20, 2017
Dublin street artist Subset posts to Instagram a shot of his mural inside McGregor's gym, which depicts the Irishman landing a punch to Mayweather's jaw. The caption: "Goodnight Floyd."
July 5, 2017
FLOYD MAYWEATHER SR. “Even if it goes the distance, [Floyd] is going to whup his ass. ... You're going to see something that [Floyd] hasn't showed you yet.” To Helen Yee Sports
Two months before the bout, the press tour begins with both fighters insulting large portions of humanity.
July 11, 2017
At their first joint appearance at Staples Center in LA, with Mayweather shadowboxing onstage, McGregor yells to him, “Dance for me, boy!”
July 13, 2017
FLOYD MAYWEATHER “A lot of people say Conor McGregor is racist, but I'm not worried about that. ... I just want to stay in my zone and stay focused.” To TMZ, responding to McGregor's taunt
July 14, 2017
At the pair's last media stop, at London's Wembley Arena, Mayweather spews his own ugliness, telling McGregor: “You are a punk, a f----t, a ho.”
July 14, 2017
CONOR McGREGOR “People are so touchy on words. ... Some dirty tactics out there, but that's what to expect. The fight game is a ruthless business.” Dismissing Mayweather's homophobic slur.

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