Floyd Mayweather Jr. might not stay retired for much longer.
It's really not a rumor. The fight may happen. We really don't know, as of right now. As of right now. But do I think the fight will happen? Absolutely. We're the A-side, of course. It has to be a boxing match, because most fights that Conor McGregor won inside the Octagon, he was a stand-up guy. So I'm pretty sure it's gonna be a tough fight for me. We really don't know as of right now, but there's been a lot of talk, and hopefully we can make the fight happen.
Before McGregor lost to Nate Diaz at UFC 196, he went after Mayweather in an interview with GQ's Alastair Campbell in December.
"I know if we had a fight, I would win," he said. "I could box against him, give him a fight, but he couldn't fight against me."
Mayweather wasn't as open to a return to the boxing ring at the time.
“I had a great run,” he said in January, per Peter Gilbert of Sky Sports. “Ain't no more for this body to heal but rest.”
Things escalated when Mayweather and McGregor disagreed on the boxer's remarks about racism in the sport, per Ben Thompson of FightHype.com. That ultimately fueled a feud through the media, per David St. Martin of MMAFighting.com.
Prior to losing to Diaz in March, McGregor told Gareth A. Davies of BT Sport that he would be "open to discussions" while challenging Mayweather to "come at me."
McGregor, who is 19-3 in his MMA career, would be a new test for the 49-0 Mayweather if a boxing match between the two were to occur.
"He's no pushover," Mayweather said on Showtime (via Christ). "One thing about Conor McGregor, he's no pushover. He fell short in his last bout, but a true champion can always bounce back, so that's a guy I can't overlook."
While he doesn't think McGregor would be an easy win, the boxer nicknamed "Money" is confident that he would get paid, claiming he'd make "$100 million, of course."
McGregor isn't the only fighter who has caught Mayweather's eye. Earlier this year, he told FightHype.com that he would make "easy work" of reigning IBF, IBO and WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.
Golovkin responded on ESPN's SportsNation (via BoxNation), begging to meet Mayweather in the ring.
Mayweather addressed the prospects of fighting Golovkin on Showtime as well (via Christ):
I just look at the situation like this: Sugar Ray Leonard, he jumped up in weight. Roberto Duran jumped up in weight, Oscar De La Hoya jumped up in weight, Floyd Mayweather jumped up in weight, Pernell Whitaker jumped up in weight, Roy Jones jumped up in weight. So many legendary champions jumped up in weight. I jumped up in weight. When is GGG gonna jump up in weight?
I proved myself over and over again. I'm not ducking or dodging GGG. I'm a businessman. My focus right now, if I was to get inside a ring and compete, only guy I'm thinking about right now, business-wise, is Conor McGregor.
Despite all the talk, Mayweather said there's only a "50-50" chance that he will even return to the ring. But with all of the hypothetical scenarios and beefs in the media, fans could see the 39-year-old putting the gloves back on soon enough.
Stats courtesy of BoxRec.com.