The Nevada Athletic Commission has an agenda item on its Wednesday meeting calendar to consider a request by Mayweather Promotions for an Aug. 26 fight date at MGM Grand, which ignited talk that a Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor fight is imminent.
But just as news of the request was spreading, the executive director of the commission said Mayweather Promotions had verbally retracted the date request.
To be clear, Bob Bennett said, that could change again before Wednesday morning’s meeting in Las Vegas.
Deciphering what Mayweather (49-0) will do before one of his fights is officially announced has long been a tricky undertaking. Not only are his negotiations run by his secretive, powerful manager, Al Haymon, but Mayweather’s whims — which can change by the minute — are also strongly in play.
Adding to that is the unique challenge of attempting to make a boxing match against the UFC’s most popular fighter, McGregor, who in November became the organization’s first simultaneous two-division champion.
The Mayweather agenda item that revealed the fight would be televised by Showtime.
Yet, gamesmanship could well be in use here, considering Mayweather’s dislike for his 2007 opponent, promoter Oscar De La Hoya, who is staging boxing’s most important fight since Mayweather’s 2015 triumph over Manny Pacquiao on Sept. 16 between Mexico’s Canelo Alvarez and unbeaten three-belt middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
An Aug. 26 date would steal some of the thunder — and riches — that De La Hoya would like his bout to rake in without competition for attention.
One official with knowledge of the Mayweather-McGregor talks but unauthorized to speak publicly about them of the Aug. 26 date, “I don’t think that’s a realistic timetable.”
But the talks, said to be “progressing slowly,” do now feature UFC President Dana White, who protested the suggestion that talks began without his involvement.
The priority, two officials close to the talks said, is to keep specifics as secretive as possible until an announcement is ready.
Bennett said that while neither Mayweather, 40, nor McGregor, 28, is licensed to box in the state, that process shouldn’t take long as soon as medical tests can be reviewed. HIV screening is a 30-day process, Bennett said.
If the deal can’t be made in time to make the Aug. 26 date, the bout might move to November due to venue scheduling issues in Nevada and the past reluctance to compete for mainstream sporting fans’ interest against postseason baseball in October.
“Is anything done? No,” Bennett said. “Do I believe the fight will probably come to fruition? Yes,” he said.