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McGregor given Sunday deadline for Mayweather bout

© GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File | UFC Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor, pictured in November 2016, has been the league's most popular fighter and is among its top money spinners

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - 

Mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor has been given a Sunday deadline to agree to fight retired boxing great Floyd Mayweather, Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White said.

White, speaking on the Jim Rome radio show, said he will settle the matter with McGregor by Sunday or move on and forget about the much-teased possibility of matching star attractions from both fighting realms in one contest.

"I plan on having this thing locked up by this Sunday and then moving on to Team Mayweather and starting to negotiate with them," White said. "If we really do get it done in that time frame then this thing could possibly happen."

White, whose UFC group has rights to any McGregor fight and must make a deal with him before approaching Mayweather about coming out of retirement, likes his chances of at least having a pitch to make to the unbeaten boxer.

"I think they are pretty good," White said. "Hopefully Monday I'm going to go and sit down with Team Mayweather.

"I still need to go negotiate with them. There's no guarantee that we're going to come to a deal."

White was also firm about getting the talks to that stage by next week or shutting down any chance of it once and for all.

"I just can't keep messing with this thing," White said. "I need to run my business and I have to focus on all the other things that are going on around here."

White's plans for McGregor-Mayweather, a megafight that he has said could make each fighter $75 million (68 million euros), were hit when boxers Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin set September 16 for their three-title middleweight showdown.

"That was the date we were shooting for," White said. "We should have moved faster in the negotiations."

The holdup, White said, "has nothing to do with Mayweather's side. This is on our side".

McGregor, a 28-year-old Irishman, has been the UFC's most popular fighter and among its top money spinners while Mayweather, a 40-year-old American, retired in 2015 with a 49-0 record including 26 victories by knockout.

© 2017 AFP