Irish UFC superstar Conor McGregor says he is coming out of retirement for a boxing fight with Manny Pacquiao in the Middle East.
The former two-weight UFC champion retired from the fight game (for the third time in four years) in June 2020 but it seems he’s got one more fight in him.
McGregor’s first return from retirement came in 2017 when he faced off with boxing legend Floyd Mayweather in his first professional boxing match in Las Vegas.
McGregor was stopped by former five-weight world champion Mayweather in the 10th round of one of the richest bouts in boxing history in August 2017.
Rumours of his next boxing match began to circulate when the Irishman tweeted “It will be a true honour to have faced two of the greatest boxers of the modern era” leading people to believe that Pacquiao was the obvious choice.
It will be a true honour to have faced two of the greatest boxers of the modern era, afraid of a fight.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) September 25, 2020
McGregor first addressed the situation regarding UFC saying “Here’s the finish of that exchange. Pre covid. Pre retirement.
“Never turned down offer of Tony as was suggested at the time. I stated months in advance (early February) that I was not interested in being an alternate for two consistent pullouts. Pushed for my own scheduled bouts.”
He also spoke about how he tried to get some fights arranged; “I was pushing hard for the season. Multiple opponents, multiple dates offered throughout. All to take place back to back.
“Then when covid hit and the talk was that I would have to wait for crowds again, I walked away from the situation. I was waiting long enough at that stage.”
Eventually, he revealed his plans for his next fight saying “Anyway all water under the bridge who gives a fook.I’m boxing Manny Pacquiao next in the Middle East.”
McGregor’s last professional fight was a win over Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 in January 2020, which gave him a 22-4 record in the UFC.
Pacquiao hasn’t stepped into the ring since July 2019, beating Keith Thurman to take his boxing record to 62-7, with two draws.
Should the fight go ahead it will be an uphill battle to match the figures of the Las Vegas fight with Mayweather which generated more than £450m through 4.3m pay-per-view buys in North America, second only to Mayweather v Pacquiao’s 4.6min subscriptions in 2015.