When Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor began a discussion last spring about a potential boxing match, the idea seemed like a pipe dream. Why -- and how -- would a legendary boxer take on an MMA fighter with no experience in the ring? But flash forward just one year and most who initially doubted it could happen (including UFC president Dana White) now foresee the fight as a reality.
Though McGregor's agent, Audie Attar, admitted "it's not done," he told Ariel Helwani on "The MMA Hour" that the likelihood of a potential megafight is "trending in the right direction."
"It's the fan interest. Floyd and Conor organically going back and forth picked up the fan interest," Attar said. "Credit to Dana [White] and the UFC for recognizing a huge opportunity and wanting to be involved. That's the evolution of this whole thing. In today's age where social media and media pick up on storylines and banter, people can quantify and measure the actual viability of something like this from a business standpoint."
He's not kidding. Last week, White estimated that McGregor will make approximately $75 million and Mayweather just north of $100 million if the fight comes together. Those numbers might even be on the conservative side if pay-per-view orders shatter what Mayweather and fellow boxer Manny Pacquiao received for their bout in May 2015. That match had 4.4 million pay-per-view telecasts in the United States, generating more than $400 million in revenue.
"You just said it; Dana [White] said it. There are $75 million reasons why this makes sense," Attar said. "It's also a challenge from an athletic standpoint, going against a guy who is 49-0. The fact that this went from banter to serious stakeholders having serious conversations ... that's the main reason. When you look at the numbers -- if it surpasses Floyd-Manny, it's good business for anybody.
"At the end of the day, when you talk about those types of unprecedented numbers in our sport, you feel good about it. Now you just have to wait and see if it becomes a reality."
Attar told Helwani that negotiations with Mayweather's camp have not taken place. At this time it's only with the UFC, which has McGregor under contract for four remaining fights. However he's confident an agreement from both sides will happen in time.
"Anything that is great in life and business is always going to have some challenges and complications," Attar said. "Nonetheless, if you work and keep your head down and don't bitch and moan about how hard something is, you don't focus on that negative energy. I haven't. Everything has been organic. Nothing is done yet, but if it happens, it will be an amazing thing for all parties involved."