In Depth

McGregor vs Mayweather: Fight a reality as UFC star signs on?

Irish mixed martial artist agrees deal with promoter Dana White - now boxer must be lured out of retirement

A year after it was first mooted, the idea of a fight between UFC star Conor McGregor and boxing great Floyd Mayweather has moved a step closer to reality.

The two men have been circling each other for several months but despite the verbal jousting, there seemed little prospect of them getting into the ring together.

But now Irish mixed martial artist McGregor says he has "signed off" on a deal to fight the American and was waiting on Mayweather to agree his side of the bargain.

UFC president Dana White, who is leading negotiations with the two men, confirmed McGregor was on board.

"The McGregor side is done," he said. "I'm starting to work on the Mayweather side now.

"I'm not saying the fight will happen, but I've got one side done… If we can come to a deal with Haymon and Mayweather, the fight's going to happen."

Persuading Mayweather to come out of retirement could be a challenge, however.

"Mayweather retired from boxing in September 2015, after equalling Rocky Marciano's unbeaten record of 49-0 and has since being involved in an ongoing war of words with McGregor on social media," reports Sky Sports.

He has previously said a bout with McGregor was "the only fight that will get me back in the ring", but he is a notoriously tough negotiator - it took almost seven years for his fight against Manny Pacquiao to materialise.

"As yet, the terms of the deal McGregor has signed are unclear," reports the Daily Telegraph.

"The fight, which would be contested strictly as a boxing match, is widely expected to be one of the richest of all time – if it happens."

Mayweather, who is now 40, has held world titles in five different weight divisions, while McGregor, who trained as a plumber before becoming a professional fighter, was the first man to hold two UFC belts simultaneously when he became lightweight champion last year.

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