In the buildup to their blockbuster boxing match, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor and five-division boxing champion Floyd Mayweather have exchanged plenty of trash talk. They’ve hit each other with every diss, insult, and jibe imaginable – but according to Mayweather, it all stops when the cameras aren’t rolling.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Mayweather shared a story of a backstage encounter with McGregor during which he attempted to see what the Irishman was all about behind the scenes.
“I was like, ‘I am going to let him know straight up. … I am going to let everybody know where I stand,’” Mayweather explained. “He was with all his guys and at the time I was with all my female friends. I say having one [woman] is too close to having none so I had about four of my girls with me and then my daughter was with me.”
“I let him know, even without my security or my team, I’m still tough. … I ain’t no punk. I’m just letting [McGregor] know that. So I’m saying, ‘What’s up little dude?’ Just to see if he wants to pop off, because he was popping off on stage.”
“He didn’t say nothing.”
Floyd Mayweather, who is now 40 years old, is a perfect 49-0 as a pro boxer. After his last fight, a 2015 decision defeat of Andre Berto, he decided to hang up the gloves. Yet this lucrative showdown with McGregor was apparently enough to pull him back to the ring.
Conor McGregor, meanwhile, is 21-3 as a pro mixed martial artist, and 0-0 as a pro boxer. When we last saw him in the Octagon, he delivered a brilliant knockout of Eddie Alvarez to win the UFC lightweight strap. Given that he still owned the UFC featherweight title at that time, this made him the first fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two divisions simultaneously.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 8/22/2017.