Floyd Mayweather has confirmed he is down the road in talks fight Conor McGregor again.
The American legend officially hung up his gloves in 2017 after beating McGregor in ten rounds in Las Vegas, The Sun reports.
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Since then, Mayweather has had three exhibition bouts, not officially sanctioned or affecting his historic 50-0 record.
SunSport first revealed talks for a blockbuster rematch with McGregor and how the rivals were negotiating the terms of a deal.
The amount of rounds and whether the fight would be an exhibition or not were among the sticking points in the potentially billion dollar deal.
And in an interview with the Daily Mail, Mayweather confirmed ongoing discussions with McGregor for a sequel next year.
He said: “I want to go out there this weekend and have fun.
“Then I have another exhibition Dubai in November and me and Conor McGregor in 2023.
“We don’t know if it’s going to be an exhibition of a real fight. But there’s been talks of both. I would prefer an exhibition.”
Mayweather, 45, returns over the weekend in Japan against MMA star Mikuru Asakura, 30, in a three-round exhibition.
And then in just two months time he heads back to the Middle East amid talks to face YouTubr Deji, 25, brother to KSI, 29.
Mayweather aimed a dig at McGregor, 34, and the Irishman’s punch power when explaining he decision to box in exhibitions.
He said: “I am not into fights where I am going to take any real punishment.
“So, guys like Conor McGregor and guys that don’t really hit hard such as YouTubers or UFC guys, I don’t really mind colliding with those kinds of individuals but nothing where I am going to put myself in a position where I am going to harm myself or hurt myself.”
Mayweather first returned in December 2018, beating featherweight kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa, 24, in one round.
He then faced YouTuber Logan Paul, 27, in June 2021 and was surprisingly taken the distance.
Mayweather’s most recent bout came against ex-sparring partner Don Moore, which he dominated over eight rounds.
Talk of a rematch with McGregor has persisted ever since the pair sold 4.3 million pay-per-views and generated over $A850m.
Although the Dubliner is yet to box again, despite failed talks with Manny Pacquiao, 43, in early 2021.
McGregor was allowed by the UFC to go out of his contract to face Mayweather.
The MMA organisation received a cut of the earnings and would need to grant the same permission again.
But UFC president Dana White recently spoke out against the rematch, seemingly making his stance clear.
White told GQ: “McGregor-Mayweather 2 is not supposed to happen. Should not happen. Hopefully won’t happen.”
McGregor has two fights left on his current UFC contract, meaning he would be free to fight Mayweather once his deal is up.
Although it remains to be seen whether a loophole could be explored that would allow the ex-UFC champion to box in an exhibition.
McGregor has not fought since July 2021, when he broke his leg in a trilogy bout with Dustin Poirier.
He is set to return next year but is currently filming a Roadhouse reboot alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, 41.
This story first appeared in The Sun and was republished with permission.
Originally published as Floyd Mayweather confirms Conor McGregor rematch set for 2023