Conor McGregor is currently training for his highly-anticipated return bout against Dustin Poirier, which is set to take place at the main event of UFC 257 on January 23 at the Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. But after that bout, the Notorious One could once again step inside the boxing ring to fight legend Manny Pacquiao, the only eight-division world champion in the sport's history. Though McGregor vs Pacquiao is currently 'just talks', Audi Attar, who represents both the fighters, is confident that the two will face off later this year.
According to Attar, both the fighters are interested in fighting each other and he has already talked to the UFC about the same. "If the fans want to see it - that almost guarantees that it's going to happen, right? As there's enough interest to develop something there," told Attar to Dubai Eye 103.8 Sport. Pacquiao, on the other hand, is also interested in the fight as he told Philippine media that he wants to fight McGregor, despite getting challenged by Errol Spence and Terence Crawford.
Pacquiao, who’s also a Filipino politician, agreed to fight McGregor because he wants to donate a large portion of his income to COVID-19 relief efforts in his native country. Although the bout is yet to be made official, The Pac Man is a massive betting favourite to beat McGregor, who lost his debut boxing bout against Floyd Mayweather in 2017.
Anyway all water under the bridge who gives a fook.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) September 25, 2020
I’m boxing Manny Pacquiao next in the Middle East.
It will be a true honour to have faced two of the greatest boxers of the modern era, afraid of a fight.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) September 25, 2020
Though Attar and Pacquiao are confident that the boxing bout will happen later this year, UFC President Dana White wants his cash cow to keep his focus inside the UFC Octagon in 2021. White thinks that McGregor could re-enter the boxing scene anytime he wants, but since he isn’t getting any younger, he wants The Notorious One to once again solidify himself as the best in MMA. White wants McGregor to give his 100% in the Poirier fight because if he wins, there will be a possibility of a Conor vs Khabib rematch.
“A boxing match with any of these guys, that sort of stuff is always going to be there. You are the absolute best in the world right now at MMA,” White told ESPN.
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor first collided at UFC 229, where The Eagle came out on top, giving McGregor his second UFC loss. However, Nurmagomedov is currently retired, but Dana White thinks that he could convince the undefeated Russian to make a return. But, if Nurmagomedov decides to stay retired, then White would like the winner of McGregor vs Poirier to fight another top contender for the vacant title.