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Mayweather refuses to deny McGregor fight is on


By Declan Warrington

Floyd Mayweather has refused to respond to Conor McGregor's claims the Dubliner has signed to fight him. UFC lightweight champion McGregor (28) earlier said he had concluded his side of the negotiation process and he hoped boxing legend Mayweather would sign to fight "in the coming days".

McGregor last year obtained a boxing licence granted by the California State Athletic Commission, which would allow him to box in the US state as part of his pursuit of a cross-sport showdown with Mayweather.

America's Mayweather is accompanying his protege Gervonta Davis in London, where tomorrow night he makes the first defence of his IBF super-featherweight title against Liam Walsh.

He was asked about the latest development regarding a long-discussed fight with McGregor, but responded: "This is Liam Walsh and Gervonta Davis' press conference. Let's focus on these two competitors.

"That's total disrespect to both of these fighters, it's their press conference, let's talk about them. Both of these fighters deserve respect."

A potential contest between the two highest-profile fighters from each code has been discussed for much of the past 12 months.

McGregor said yesterday: "It is an honour to sign this record-breaking deal alongside my partners Zuffa LLC, the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Paradigm Sports Management.

"The first, and most important, part of this historic contract has now officially been signed off on. Congratulations to all parties involved. We now await Al Haymon and his boxer's signature in the coming days."

On Wednesday, UFC president Dana White revealed on a live NBA play-off game broadcast that negotiations with McGregor had been completed.

"The McGregor side is done," White 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: now it's time to work on the other. If we can come to a deal with Haymon and Mayweather, the fight's going to happen."

Meanwhile, the press conference ahead of tomorrow's world title fight between Davis and Liam Walsh descended into farce as promoter Mayweather became involved in heated exchanges with each of the latter's brothers.

The press conference was consistently interrupted by provocations from Walsh's brothers Ryan and Michael, and Mayweather frequently responded, shouting, "I'll slap both of you pussies" as both parties threatened to lose control.

Mayweather also said: "I'm 40 and I'll beat all three of your asses on the same night."

Liam's twin brother Ryan - who fights Belfast's Marc McCullough for the British featherweight title on the same bill - shouted at Mayweather about how he has never fought outside of the United States.

And in further retorts Mayweather responded: "Frank Warren (Walsh's promoter), why did you even sign these two pussies?

"I better not catch you in the US," he said.

"You better get those two little leprechauns out of here before they get slapped.

He added: "Last time you had an undefeated fighter over here was Ricky Hatton and you know what I did to him? I knocked him out."

Belfast Telegraph

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