Conor McGregor In Talks for High-Profile Boxing Match

Conor McGregor

Getty UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor hits an uppercut bag during a media workout at the UFC Performance Institute on August 11, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. McGregor will fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena on August 26 in Las Vegas.

Conor “Notorious” McGregor has a huge fight ahead of him on Jan. 18 at UFC 246, but he is already looking at future matches. And some of these fights won’t be in the UFC’s Octagon.

Speaking with Ariel Helwani during an exclusive ESPN interview, McGregor talked about a potential rematch with Floyd Mayweather. However, he also brought up another superstar boxer’s name, and that’s Manny Pacquiao.

UFC 246 takes place January 18 at 10 p.m. Eastern time. It will air as a pay-per-view on ESPN+.

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During the interview, the conversation about McGregor boxing Mayweather again segues to Pacquiao.

McGregor says, “I would be open to other boxing bouts. You know that Manny… we’re actually close to signing Manny.”

Helwani asks, “What do you mean?”

McGregor answers, “There’s been talks about the Manny fight.”

Helwani reiterates, “You versus Manny?”

McGregor clarifies, “There was an offer made on that.”

Helwani asks, “What happened?”

McGregor says, “Just not yet, not yet.”

But Helwani keeps digging. He asks, “But it’s a possibility?”

McGregor then responds, “Very much so.”

Notorious tells Helwani that there are currently negotiations going on for him to box Pacquiao. But the conversation is left at that.

McGregor also talks about a potential boxing match with Paulie Malignaggi. The two have had a rivalry since the build-up to McGregor’s bout with Mayweather, and many fans have been clamoring to watch that grudge match. McGregor tells Helwani that he would enjoy boxing Malignaggi.

Notorious is looking to have another boxing match in the near future. He also tells Helwani that he wants to win a boxing world title.

McGregor has only competed in one professional boxing match, and that was against Floyd Mayweather in August of 2017. He was finished in the tenth round by TKO.

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Conor McGregor Is Also Eyeing a Rematch With Floyd Mayweather

During the ESPN interview with Ariel Helwani, McGregor was asked if he wanted to box again, and his answer was direct: “Most certainly.” And a rematch against Floyd Mayweather is high on the list.

“I’d like to rematch Floyd. I think we should rematch Floyd. I mean, he’s flirting with [a comeback] and doing all this. And he can go and pick someone else, but it’s not going to be the same.”

McGregor is happy with his performance against Mayweather. He tells Helwani that it was his preparation for the bout that was his ultimate undoing. He prepared for a different style of a fight than the one he got from Mayweather.

His fight with Mayweather unraveled when the champion boxer started pressing forward with more aggression than McGregor had prepared for.

If they rematch, McGregor knows, with his usual conviction, that he would beat Mayweather. He’s confident that they will rematch one day, and he also believes that it will have to be in a boxing ring, not the Octagon.

McGregor reflects on the verbal agreement that he and Mayweather supposedly had about fighting in an MMA match after they boxed in August 2017. He tells Helwani that he doesn’t believe it will happen, and he also won’t push for it.

When asked if there have been talks about the rematch, McGregor tells Helwani there are always talks going on. He hasn’t spoken with Mayweather directly. The two bring up the mysterious handshake deal between UFC president Dana White and Mayweather at an LA Clippers game in November. McGregor and Helwani agree that it was a great exposure moment for a potential UFC and Mayweather collaboration.

Helwani then asks, “Could this happen this year?”

Notorious is unsure if his rematch with Mayweather would be in 2020, but he isn’t taking the option off the table. McGregor enjoys the business he can do with Mayweather and Showtime.
Ultimately, McGregor wants to stay active this year, and there has been a lot of talk about potential MMA fights and boxing fights for Notorious.

However, he still needs to face his UFC 246 opponent Donald Cerrone before this boxing conversation becomes more of a possibility.

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McGregor is Fighting Donald Cowboy Cerrone at UFC 246 on Jan. 18

Before all this boxing talk really fires up, McGregor has a huge test ahead of him. He hasn’t fought inside the Octagon in over a year, and he will be fighting a man that has numerous UFC records, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.

Throughout the buildup, many fans and commentators have questioned McGregor’s continued dedication to the sport of MMA. He is the most financially successful MMA fighter ever, and his actions over the last few years has many people questioning his commitment. As discussed in the interview with Ariel Helwani, McGregor knows that people are questioning if his heart is still in the fight game.

During the interview, Notorious makes it clear that he is as focused as he used to be. He also says that he is the best fighting version of himself ever.

Even though this is a welterweight fight, there are lightweight ramifications for both fighters. And this fight could be a career-defining match. There are enourmous stakes for both fighters going into UFC 246. This match will act as a gauge to see where both men are in their fighting career.

Notorious hasn’t won a fight since he captured the UFC lightweight championship in 2016. He’s only fought twice since then, and only one of those fights was an MMA match. This is a massive fight for McGregor because if he loses, his legitimacy as a top contender will be severely damaged. If he can get past Cerrone at UFC 246, he will have beaten a top-five ranked UFC lightweight, which is essential for his next steps as a viable contender.

There is a lot on the line for Cowboy as well. If he wins, his star power will skyrocket, which typically happens when someone defeats McGregor. Also, from a contender standpoint, he would have just defeated a top-five contender and his stock in the lightweight division would increase. Since he is on a two-fight losing streak to two other top-five contenders, Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje, he must get this win over McGregor to remain relevant in the lightweight top contender discussion.

READ NEXT: Anthony Pettis In Search of Former Glory at UFC 246

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