Khabib Nurmagomedov wants Mayweather fight to take place in Moscow, Russia
By Jim Dower: Khabib Nurmagomedov says he’s willing to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. under the rules of boxing in 2019, but he wants the fight to take place in his home country in Moscow, Russia.
Mayweather, 41, has already said that he’s the A-side in the fight against the 30-year-old Khabib, and he wants the fight to take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, which is where he lives. Nurmagomedov isn’t in the position to dictate where the fight against Floyd takes place.
Nurmagomedov is coming off of a big win over Conor McGregor at UFC 229 earlier this month on October 6, but that victory wasn’t a big enough one for him to start calling the shots with a superstar with Mayweather, who has been around a lot longer and is already well known with both MMA and boxing fans. Nurmagomedov is an unknown with the boxing fans. The only ones that know of Nurmagomedov are the boxing fans that keep up with MMA, which is likely the minority.
Mayweather has already made it clear that he’s ready to fight Khabib in 2019, as well as fighting McGregor in rematch. Mayweather believes he can continue to make 9-figures in fights against Conor and Nurmagomedov. There’s obviously going to be a breaking point where the MMA and boxing fans decide that it’s not worth it to pay $100 per household to watch Mayweather’s mismatches against MMA fighters, who don’t have the background in boxing for them to have any chance of beating any boxer, least of all a former six-division world champion like Mayweather.
On Tuesday, Khabib met with boxing executive Umar Kremlev to discuss the fight against Mayweather in Russia.
Here’s what Nurmagomedov said on his Instagram account on Tuesday:
“A meeting with the Secretary General of the Russian Boxing Federation @umar_kremlev was held today. We discussed the fight with Mayweather. We want the fight to take place in Moscow at the legendary Luzhniki arena. They are sure that we will gather 100,000 spectators, and also set a world record for the sale of paid broadcasts. And, most importantly, my father will be in the corner, a visa to Moscow is not needed. And so a question for my fans: do you believe in me? Or do you also think that he will knock me out of boxing?”
This sounds like wishful thinking on Nurmagomedov’s part in hoping to get Mayweather to go to Russia to fight him. Mayweather wants the fight to take place in Las Vegas without a doubt. Putting himself in a position where he’s the visiting fighter, facing a popular guy like Khabib in Moscow isn’t something that Mayweather would likely be willing to do, but you never know. If there’s more money in it for Mayweather to fight in front of 100,000 fans in Moscow, it’s possible he might like that idea. Mayweather-Nurmagomedov likely won’t bring in anywhere near the same numbers as they could pull in if the fight takes place in Moscow.
“Oh, we fighting. We can make it happen,” Mayweather said to TMZ about his fight against Nurmagomedov. “Come into my world (boxing), make it happen.”