CONOR McGregor has been issued a boxing license in the state of California, boosting speculations of a superfight in the ring against retired pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. and leaving Manny Pacquiao the odd man out in what could have been a lucrative Pac-Floyd rematch.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto got word from McGregor’s agent Audie Attar of the UFC star obtaining the license to box professionally in California on Wednesday. California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) executive officer Andy Foster confirmed the news to MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani.
“He got a license today and a federal ID. He’s a California boxer now,” Foster said.
The news came on the heels of the UFC stripping McGregor of his featherweight belt after he became the company’s first fighter to hold two titles at the same time barely a month ago in winning the lightweight crown in UFC 205.
While McGregor remains under contract with UFC, the brash Irishman has long expressed interest in fighting a boxing match against Mayweather, who incidentally has a home in Los Angeles. And CSAC is open to hosting such a super-fight.
“I’d love to see him fight in California,” Foster said, referring to McGregor. “It just needs to be the right opponent. Certainly a high-level opponent. We’re happy to license him. We’re happy he’s a California fighter.”
The Mayweather camp, however, dismissed the move as hype, part of the plan to increase McGregor’s fanbase.
"It's all a game. It's all a calculated effort to gain more fans," Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe told ESPN’s Dan Rafael.
"He got a boxing license. Congratulations to him. Conor McGregor can say anything he wants to but he has a boss and his name is (UFC president) Dana White. He is under contract to the UFC and if he wanted to fight Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match, he can't because his bosses wouldn't allow that to happen.”
Ellerbe even said that the MMA star has no chance against the boxing legend inside the ring, and that’s why the UFC will never allow the fight to happen.
"The brass (from WME-IMG) who recently purchased the UFC (for $4 billion earlier this year) are very smart people and they would never - and put this in bold caps - let him step into a boxing ring with Floyd Mayweather because everyone knows what the outcome would be: He would get his ass beat from pillar to post," he said.