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Conor McGregor Says Fight With Manny Pacquiao Will Happen This Year

Conor McGregor Says Fight With Manny Pacquiao Will Happen This Year

Conor McGregor says he will fight Manny Pacquiao in a boxing bout in 2021.

'The Notorious' makes his long-awaited return to UFC to take on Dustin Poirier for a second time in the main event of UFC 257 on 23 January but he still has ambitions of boxing again.

McGregor, who took on Floyd Mayweather in his money-spinning boxing debut in 2017, teased a meeting with legendary Filipino boxer Pacquiao in the Middle East last year and the eight-weight world champion expressed his interest.

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The two are both represented by Paradigm Sports Management and the Irishman expects an encounter squared circle to happen at some point this year.

"I know that talks are intensifying for [a fight] this year," the Irishman told his website The Mac Life when asked about the possibility of facing Pacquiao.

"I am excited for a Manny Pacquiao bout and it looks like it will happen this year. What time this year? I am not sure.

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"We'll have to have some good discussions with Dana White and the UFC and see where it goes.

"I am open to it all, ready for it all.

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McGregor's boxing coach Phil Sutcliffe reckons it could happen as early as March and he would want an eight week training camp beforehand.

Unsurprisingly, UFC president White wants his biggest box office star to hold off on any potential boxing bouts until 2022 and focus on his exploits inside the Octagon.

But McGregor has been given the green light to fight for a world title by WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman. If he is able to defeat a top 15 ranked fighter, he will be given an opportunity.

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Image: PA
Image: PA

"I would say, he needs to face and defeat a ranked fighter, then he would be eligible to be ranked and to compete for a title," he told The Sun.

"Because, we have plenty of examples of Muay Thai fighters, who turn professional in international boxing, and they are eligible to fight for the title.

"We also have amateur superstars like Vasyl Lomachenko, they come into professional boxing and fight for the title and it's proven it works."

Topics: Conor Mcgregor, Manny Pacquiao, Boxing News, UFC News, Boxing, UFC

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Josh Lawless

Josh is a sports journalist who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.