Conor McGregor and Manny Pacquiao. Photos Mark J. Rebilas, Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Revealed: Conor McGregor in talks to box Manny Pacquiao

"I would be open to other boxing bouts. You know..."

In 2017, Conor McGregor boxed Floyd Mayweather Jr., one of the greatest of all time – Will Manny Pacquiao be next? 

Conor McGregor will return to the UFC on Saturday to take on Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in the main event of UFC 246. It will be McGregor’s first bout in the UFC since 2018, when he lost to Khabb Nurmagomedov in his challenge for the lightweight title.

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While McGregor’s focus is on “Cowboy”, he recently spoke with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, revealing not only a desire, but talks regarding a boxing bout with Manny Pacquiao.

“I would be open to other boxing bouts. You know, Manny [Pacquiao]. We’re actually close to signing Manny,” McGregor said. “There’s been talks about the Manny fight as well.”

A boxing bout between McGregor and Pacquiao would undoubtedly be one of the biggest boxing bouts one could make at the moment. However, it didn’t stop there, he then said he wanted to box former training partner turned rival Paulie Malignaggi.

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“Very much so. And then the Paulie [Malignaggi] fight. I’d like to box Paulie. I want to box again,” he said. “I will box again, I will get a boxing world title.”

McGregor challenged Mayweather in 2017, at the height of the Irishman’s career popularity. It was in his training up to the the fight that McGregor trained alongside Maignaggi. The two fell out, however, when McGregor released footage of their training sessions, which Malignaggi felt gave a poor image of his skills.

While they never shared the ring or octagon, McGregor’s close friend Artem Lobov did so. At Bare Knuckle FC 6, Lobov defeated Malignaggi via a unanimous decision, though the latter disputed the results. McGregor would go on to box Mayweather in the highest grossing boxing bout in history, though the former UFC champ would lose via a tenth round TKO.

McGregor certainly has his hands full at the moment, Cerrone is a crafty veteran. However if McGregor returns to his winning ways, it would not be surprising to see him pursue the boxing bout with Pacquaio.

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