Conor McGregor lifts lid on Manny Pacquiao fight talks, confirms deal was on table
Conor McGregor has revealed he was very close to agreeing a deal to box Manny Pacquiao. The UFC’s first simultaneous two-division champion entered the boxing world in 2017 to take on Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The former UFC featherweight and lightweight king came up short in his bid to hand Mayweather his first professional loss, suffering a tenth-round TKO loss to 42-year-old.
Despite losing his boxing debut, McGregor has continued to flirt with a return to the ring.
Amongst those interested in locking horns with the Irishman was WBA Super welterweight champion Pacquiao.
Pacquiao wasn’t shy in declaring his eagerness to face McGregor, name dropping on several occasions and throwing his fair share of verbal jabs his way.
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There’s been talks about the fight with Manny. There was an offer made on that.
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And McGregor has revealed Pacquiao’s attempts to goad him into a fight led to negotiations with the Filipino.
“I would be open to other boxing bouts,” McGregor told ESPN. “We were actually close to signing [a deal with] Manny.
“There’s been talks about the fight with Manny. There was an offer made on that.”
McGregor is eager to lock horns with ‘Pacman’ one day but doesn’t have any intention to return to the squared circle any time soon.
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He added: “Just not yet.”
When asked if it’s a possibility down the road, he said: “Very much so.”
McGregor, 31, still harbours ambitions of facing former welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi – whom he sparred and had an acrimonious fallout with in the build-up to his bout with Mayweather.
“I’d like to box Paulie as well,” he said. “Why not? That’s a bit of buzz, Paulie in a boxing bout.
“I want to box again. I will box again. I want to get a boxing world title. A boxing title is something [I want].”
McGregor doesn’t believe he’ll have to climb up ranks to get a title shot, saying ‘no’ and laughing when that notion was put to him.
“But I would box multiple times,” he said. “I love boxing, I truly love boxing. And I’m damn good [at it].”
McGregor, 21-4, will make his return to the Octagon early on Sunday morning, taking on Donald Cerrone in the main event of UFC 246.
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