Conor McGregor receives Manny Pacquiao fight warning amid UFC return speculation

Conor McGregor receives Manny Pacquiao fight warning amid UFC return speculation

Conor McGregor has been warned a fight with Manny Pacquiao would be significantly tougher than his bout with Floyd Mayweather. McGregor entered the boxing world in August 2016 to take on Mayweather in a multi-million-pound contest which was aptly dubbed ‘The Money Fight’.

The former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion came up short in his bid to become the first man to defeat the former four-weight world champion, suffering a tenth-round TKO loss.

McGregor has flirted with the idea of returning to the boxing ring ever since that night at the T-Mobile Arena and did so again last month ahead of his UFC 246 bout with Donald Cerrone.

One bout which has been mooted for the Irishman is a clash with WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, who staked his claim for a mega-money showdown with the UFC’s poster boy immediately after seeing him demolish Cerrone in 40 seconds.

Talk of a bout between the pair ramped up earlier this month when it was announced that Pacquiao had signed with Paradigm Sports Management, who also represent ‘The Notorious’.

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“He is the biggest sports star there is. Let’s be honest, not any bigger sports stars than Conor McGregor.

“I don’t care to be on the undercard, but if he comes back then fair play to him. If he gets the Pacquiao fight, then even better. It’s a much more dangerous fight than fighting Floyd.

“A fight with Manny Pacquiao will generate a lot of money.

“People like to see people who talk get their mouth shut. I’d love to see Conor McGregor win, but there will be people who love him and others who hate him. Some will want to see him lose and others see him win.

“Manny Pacquiao is still as dangerous as ever. Especially for someone who is not really a boxer. If he was to fight Pacquiao I wouldn’t favour him, but I’d wish him all the best.”

Conlan’s comments on a potential McGregor vs Pacquiao bout come a little over two weeks after the pair’s manager revealed the bout is a distinct possibility.

“I think the rematch with Floyd has to happen,” Paradigm chief Audie Attar told EsNews. “If it’s not going to happen in MMA like Floyd promised it better happen in boxing. I think Manny is an interesting one, [he’s] definitely a candidate that’s out there. In terms of everybody else, we’ll see.

“He’s serious about it, we’re working towards and we’re doing everything we need to be doing. Preparation [wise], he’s doing everything he needs to be doing and athletically. I think it’s going to be a fun next couple of years. So I’m excited.”

When pressed on the likes of Terence Crawford and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr revealing their interest in facing his client, Attar added: “That’s just a testament to Conor McGregor’s star power and the fact that he’s the number one combat sports athlete in the world.

“I think 2020 is going to be fun and I think 2021 and beyond will also be fun. So we just have to stay focused and focus on getting better each and every day, stay close as a team and keep that chemistry strong.”

McGregor, 31, has set his sights on two more outings this year and plans to stay in shape in case either Khabib Nurmagomedov or Tony Ferguson are forced to withdraw from their eagerly-anticipated lightweight title bout.

Nurmagomedov and Ferguson, who have been scheduled to face one another a staggering four times, are slated to meet one another in the main event of UFC 249 on April 18.

Published at Tue, 18 Feb 2020 21:00:00 +0000