(Reuters) - Floyd Mayweather continues to stoke the fires of a possible return to the ring after the retired multi-division champion dropped hints of a potential bout against outspoken Irish mixed-martial arts fighter Conor McGregor.
With a recent report claiming the two headliners were discussing a fight, Mayweather advanced the speculation on the sidelines of the Canelo Alvarez and Amir Khan clash in Las Vegas at the weekend.
“It’s possible. It’s possible. There was a name that was shot at me,” Mayweather told FightHype.com. “But the rumors that y‘all have been hearing (are) the rumors I started. It may not be a rumor. Keep your fingers crossed.”
The 39-year-old American retired last September after accumulating a 49-0 record during a 19-year career that produced world titles in five weight divisions and earnings in excess of $800 million.
He has hardly faded from the scene, however, and Mayweather appeared at ringside following boxer Adrien Broner’s victory over Ashley Theophane last month.
Broner then verbally challenged Mayweather, who laughed off that taunt but he did recently allude to a comeback in an interview with Showtime, bringing along with it whispers of a possible rematch against Manny Pacquiao.
Dubbed ‘The Fight of the Century’ by promoters, their long-awaited showdown on May 2 last year was a disappointing affair, as Mayweather easily outpointed his Filipino opponent in a low-key and ultra-defensive encounter.
However, one more win would put Mayweather ahead of heavyweight great Rocky Marciano, who also retired with a perfect 49-0 career record.
“It’s not important,” Mayweather told FightHype.com of the record. “I didn’t let a sport retire me. I was able to retire from a sport and quit on my own terms.” UFC featherweight champion McGregor was dropped from his rematch against welterweight Nate Diaz at UFC 200 in July for refusing to attend a news conference to promote the event.
McGregor, who was choked into submission in a non-title bout against Diaz in March, subsequently hinted that he could retire before making an aborted attempt to get back on the card.
In response to speculation about a possible meeting with Mayweather, the Irishman tweeted a mock promotional poster of the two fighters face-to-face with the caption “MMA Vs Boxing.”
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien