The World Boxing Association has thrown a potential spanner in the works of Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor by refusing to sanction the bout.
Mayweather’s fight with UFC lightweight champion has been met with distain in boxing circles with Oscar De La Hoya and Sugar Ray Leonard among those voicing their disapproval of the fight over the last few weeks.
Gilberto Mendoza, president of the WBA, has said that his organisation will play no part in the fight as the WBA view it as an exhibition.
Mendoza reasoned that if Mayweather was serious about coming out of retirement there are other challenges he could take.
He said: “I think this would only be an exhibition fight.
“I don’t think it’s good for boxing to endorse it as an official fight.
“I think both are great athletes, but Floyd is retired and if he wants to be back, he has great boxers whom he can face and provide a good show.”
The WBA’s announcement comes after Oscar De Le Hoya penned an open letter in which he called the proposed fight a circus and called on true boxing fans to reject it.
For all his obvious talents as an MMA fighter, McGregor has never boxed professionally, only as a novice, whilst Mayweather has enjoyed a memorable career, chalking up an impressive 49–0 fight record.
However lucrative the fight may be, Mendoza and the WBA want no part in it, and Mendoza added that although he respected the pair as athletes, he did not agree with the proposed fight.
“I know this fight can be done.
“However, I want to make it clear that the World Boxing Association will not get involved in the event.
“We respect both athletes and it seems to me that Mayweather proved to be the best, as McGregor has done in the UFC, but a bout between both should not be more than an exhibition.”
The WBA’s decision will be welcomed in some quarters – derided in others – however, the WBA’s refusal to sanction the fight will have little effect on whether the bout will actually go head.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission has said it will sanction a fight in Las Vegas and Irishman McGregor has applied for a Nevada State boxing license.
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