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March 6, 2017
Floyd Mayweather Jr. was the subject of an arson attack Saturday during a trip to the United Kingdom when one of his “The Money Team” vans was set on fire during an appearance at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham.
ESPN reported the entourage’s van was burned down while Mayweather took part in a Q&A session before watching Tony Bellew defeat David Haye in his heavyweight debut. A West Midlands Police statement read:
Police are investigating an arson attack on a vehicle parked at a Birmingham hotel. No-one was injured following the fire at 0330hrs this morning [Sunday 5 March] at the Park Regis Hotel in Broad Street.
Offenders smashed the window of the vehicle, a people carrier, before pouring accelerant inside and setting it alight. Enquiries into the fire, which caused extensive damage to the vehicle belonging to a guest, are currently on-going and police are examining CCTV from the area.
Mayweather revealed during the Birmingham Q&A that it was one of his biggest regrets he never fought in Britain, although he may take a different approach in that regard following Saturday’s arson attack.
It was inevitable that a trip to the UK would result in further talk of a potential superfight against Irishman Conor McGregor. However, Mayweather informed the Telegraph‘s Gareth A. Davies McGregor’s contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship could be an issue:
The difference between me and him is this: He has to fight. If I was him and I was smart, before I lose again in the UFC I’d let Floyd Mayweather kick my ass for a lot of money. It makes business sense.
There’s a difference between being an employee and an employer. If someone says ‘I want to fight Floyd Mayweather’, I can simply say ‘yes, let’s make it happen.’ But when you’ve got a guy like Conor McGregor he has to talk to Dana White (the UFC president). Dana has to talk to Dana’s bosses.
Currently retired, Mayweather has no obligation to return to active status in the combat world, yet the temptation to come back and round off his 49-0 record with an illustrious 50th win could prove too tempting.
Mayweather is currently enjoying his “Undefeated” tour of the United Kingdom and is next scheduled to speak Monday in London, where he’ll hope his appearance passes without interruption.
Saturday’s attack on Mayweather’s van wasn’t his worst bit of bad fortune of late, however. TMZ Sports reported the former fighter’s Las Vegas home was burglarised of more than $150,000 in goods while he was in Los Angeles for his 40th birthday.
Mayweather is currently retired but has teased a comeback fight against UFC icon Conor McGregor.Rocky Widner/Getty Images
Mayweather did take the time to praise British boxing fans during his appearance at Birmingham ICC—before his custom van was burned down—and pointed out one attribute they boast over their American counterparts.
Per the Telegraph, he said: “I represented the U.S. in the Olympics, I love my country. But the U.S. fans will love you on Monday, if you lose they’ll hate you on Tuesday, if you win it will be back to loving you on Wednesday. The thing about these UK fans is if they are with you, they’re with you.”
It seems the gesture isn’t reciprocated by some supporters after the arson incident, and TMZ reported Ladywood Fire Station, who responded to the fire, are looking for “two individuals” responsible for the blaze.