Floyd Mayweather confirms he will fight Conor McGregor next year
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Floyd Mayweather has confirmed that he will fight Conor McGregor next year and has hinted that their bout could be a professional fight.
It's been five years since the two last met in the boxing ring, where Mayweather delivered a tenth-round TKO victory in Las Vegas in August 2017.
The veteran fighter has hinted that he is now in final negotiations with McGregor about the terms of their rematch and told the Daily Mail that it could take place in 2023.
"I want to go out there this weekend and have fun [against Mikuru Asakura]. Then I have another exhibition Dubai in November and me and Conor McGregor in 2023," he revealed.
"We don't know if it's going to be an exhibition or a real fight. But there's been talks of both. I would prefer an exhibition."
Mayweather was then asked if he would prefer the bout to be an exhibition or professional and said he is only interested in taking on opponents where he doesn't have a chance of being hurt.
He added: "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."
The 45-year-old officially ended his career after beating the Irishman - with a 100 per cent win record of 50 wins in 50 fights - while McGregor has endured a contrasting spell in his career.
McGregor has lost three of his last four fights in the UFC but hasn't fought since breaking his leg in his fight against Dustin Poirier in July, 2021.
However, the larger-than-life character signalled his intentions to return to the ring when attending the Monaco Grand Prix earlier this year.
He said: Boxing is my first love in combat sports. I had such a great time the last time I was out there.
"Obviously, my return will be in the octagon for UFC - that story is far from over, in fact it's just being written, it is just the beginning. But, boxing, for sure I will grace the squared circle again in the future."