The talks of UFC superstar Conor McGregor boxing legend Manny Pacquiao have not gone away and the Filipino recently reiterated his interest in taking on “Notorious.” McGregor, 32, is set to fight No. 2 ranked lightweight Dustin Poirier on January 23 at UFC 257.
Pacquiao, 42, has not competed inside the boxing ring since July 2019 when he earned a split-decision nod over Keith Thurman to win the WBA super welterweight championship.
Talks of McGregor fighting Pacquiao in the boxing ring fired up last January before Notorious fought Donald Cerrone at UFC 246. McGregor revealed that he had been in talks with “Pac-Man” about a match, which would be the Irishman’s second-ever professional boxing bout, his first being against Floyd Mayweather in August 2017.
In a recent interview with Business Mirror, Pacquiao spoke about his options for a boxing bout, which included World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. and World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Terence Crawford.
“They’re my options,” Pacquiao said via the Filipino outlet.
However, Pac-Man then said that he wants to fight an MMA fighter next, referring to McGregor. “Right now I want to experience fighting an MMA [mixed martial artist], Pacquiao continued. “I will also donate a big portion of my income to Filipino COVID-19 victims.”
ALL the latest UFC news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on UFC newsletter here!
McGregor’s Fight Against Poirier Could Earn Him a UFC Title Fight
Many MMA fans and analysts would prefer Notorious to stick with MMA in 2021, especially if he defeats Poirier on January 23. Should he beat “The Diamond” at UFC 257, McGregor will likely line himself up for a shot at the lightweight title, a belt he held in the past.
Current UFC lightweight champion and the man responsible for McGregor’s last loss, Khabib Nurmagomedov, is set to meet with UFC president Dana White in the coming week to discuss his fighting future. Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from the sport in October 2020 after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, however “The Eagle” has not officially vacated the belt nor has the UFC stripped him of it.
If McGregor defeats Poirier and Nurmagomedov decides to fight one more time, a rematch between the two would likely be billed as the UFC’s biggest event ever. UFC 229 in October 2018 saw the two bitter rivals compete for Nurmagomedov’s belt and the Russian fighter won via fourth-round submission. The pay-per-view event still stands as the UFC’s most purchased event of all time, and a rematch could be equally or more successful.
Follow the Heavy on UFC Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
A Boxing Bout With Pacquiao Would Be Entertaining, However, McGregor Is Still Seemingly in His Prime to Compete in MMA
McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather in August 2017 was a massive event and an exciting contest which saw Notorious, who was making his pro boxing debut, box Mayweather, who was 49-0 at the time, 10 rounds. McGregor ultimately lost the bout by 10th-round TKO.
Although the event was viewed by many as a sideshow, a match between Pacquiao and McGregor will likely be a massive draw as well. However, at 32 years old, a seemingly motivated McGregor still has time to reclaim his spot in MMA as one of the greatest fighters of all time.
Should he defeat Poirier on January 23, Notorious would set himself up for another UFC title fight, and if he decides to shift to boxing he may disrupt the momentum he is riding in MMA.