Daniel Matthews, Daily Mail, July 14, 2017
Floyd Mayweather has branded Conor McGregor ‘totally disrespectful’ after the Irish MMA star appeared to refer to black people as ‘monkeys’.
Ahead of their August 26 showdown in Las Vegas, the two fighters again traded trash talk on the third leg of their four-part publicity tour in New York on Wednesday night.
After the show McGregor was asked by Guillermo from the late night American talk show ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ who would win between him and Sylvester Stallone’s character in Rocky III.
‘Rocky III, that’s the one where he had that celebrity gym isn’t it? With the dancing monkeys in the gym and all,’ McGregor said.
His comments led some people to suggest the MMA star was referring to a scene in the film when Rocky Balboa walks into a gym full of black fighters.
Mayweather said McGregor has ‘crossed the line’ with his remarks. The undefeated boxer suggested his 29-year-old opponent lacked maturity but that he would focus only on the fight at hand.
‘I don’t like the fact that he called blacks monkeys, I think that’s totally disrespectful,’ Mayweather said.
‘But it’s all about maturity, it’s all about growth and, mentally, he still can be young so my thing is to go out there and do my job. That’s to go out there and fight, not to really worry about racism. But racism still exists. But we have to try and get past that and be positive.’
It is not the first time race has cropped up in the build up to the money-spinning showdown in Las Vegas.
Mayweather insisted on Wednesday that he was not offended after McGregor told him to ‘dance for me boy’ earlier in the week.
And the Irishman rekindled the subject in New York by responding to accusations of racism by saying: ‘Do they not know I’m half black? I’m half black from the belly button down.’
He then claimed that he would dance for his ‘black female fans’. Mayweather responded by highlighting the diversity of his entourage and said McGregor would be ‘losing a lot of fans’ with his recent remarks.
‘This is an event where two fighters are competing against one another. But saying a lot of racist things like toward black women, I have two black daughters, a black mother and of course I’m a black man.
‘I have a diverse team though. My staff is very diverse… he’s crossing a line but I can’t really focus on that right now… but he’s losing a lot of fans by doing that.’
McGregor has been accused of making racist comments in the past. Last August he referred to his opponent at UFC 202 Nate Diaz as a ‘cockroach’ and a ‘cholo’, which is considered a derogatory term for Hispanic people.
In the lead up to his fight with Jose Aldo in December 2015, meanwhile, the Irish star attracted criticism for telling his Brazilian opponent: ‘I own this town, I own Rio de Janeiro.
‘I would invade his favela on horseback and would kill anyone who wasn’t fit to work, but we’re in a new time, so I’ll whoop his ass instead.’