Conor McGregor has confirmed talks have intensified for a fight with boxing legend Manny Pacquiao. This statement comes days after his boxing coach, Phil Sutcliffe, also said there is a high chance the fight would happen. The UFC star is currently preparing for a showdown with Dustin Priorier at the octagon on January 23.
Speaking on an episode of Weighing In, ‘The Notorious’ said:
“I know those talks (with Pacquiao) are intensifying and I believe this year, maybe late this year, that will take place. And really, it will be a discussion with the UFC. I do not want to sit around. Where we go with this, what’s next? I do not want to sit around. I want to continue in competition. I’m at my best. I need competition. How can I be at my sharpest at my absolute best if I have a bout and a year goes by, (then) I have another bout?”
The match could be simple to arrange given that both fighters are managed by the same company, Paradigm Sport.
McGregor is coming out of a year-long inactive spell while Pacquiao’s last fight was in 2019, defeating Keith Thurman to win the WBA (Super) welterweight title. That victory made him the oldest welterweight world champion in history at the age of 40 and the first boxer in history to become a recognized four-time welterweight champion.
Conor McGregor aiming for world title with Pacquiao contest
McGregor has not hidden his ambition to strip the world title belt off Pacquiao. In a previous interview with Mac Life, he said:
“I am open to it all, ready for it all. I will certainly attain a boxing world title before I call it a day. And I would be excited to do that against Emmanuel Pacquiao.”
‘The Notorious’ has only had one fight in the boxing ring, a defeat to Floyd Mayweather Jr. four years ago. But with Pacquiao preferring a contest with an MMA star over Mikey Garcia or Terrence Crawford, McGregor will be looking forward to the bout.
“They’re (Spence and Crawford) my options, but right now I want to experience fighting an MMA [mixed martial artist],” Pacquiao recently told Business Mirror.
Published 15 Jan 2021, 06:23 IST