Manny Pacquiao hints at plan to face Conor McGregor this year

Manny Pacquiao ‘wants to experience’ of sharing the ring with an MMA fighter as boxing legend hints at a plan to face Conor McGregor this year… and he isn’t ruling out a fight with Errol Spence Jr or Terence Crawford either

  • Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has hinted at a plan to have two fights this year
  • The 42-year-old Filipino says he ‘wants experience’ of facing an MMA fighter 
  • Pacquiao confirmed in September that he would fight Conor McGregor in 2021
  • However, Pacquiao is keeping his options open and is weighing up two fights
  • He revealed he could also possibly face Errol Spence Jr or Terence Crawford

Boxing icon Manny Pacquiao has hinted at a plan for this year which could include box office fights with Conor McGregor, Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford. 

The veteran Filipino fighter has not stepped into the ring since capturing the WBA title with a split-decision win over Keith Thurman in Las Vegas in July 2019.  

With crowds being kept away, or severely limited, and Pacquiao currently busy with his work as a Senator in the Philippines, his focus is already on return in the coming months. 

Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao (L) has hinted at a plan to fight Conor McGregor (R) this year

And the 42-year-old has once again stated that a fight with someone like McGregor is certainly on his agenda for this year.

When asked about the possibility of fighting McGregor, Spence Jr and Crawford, Pacquiao outlined his options and how it would help in fellow countrymen in the process.

‘They’re my options, but right now I want to experience fighting an MMA (mixed martial artist),’ Pacquiao told Filipino news outlet BusinessMirror, referring to McGregor. ‘I will also donate a big portion of my income to Filipino COVID-19 victims.’

It’s no secret that Pacquiao wants to face the Irishman, having revealed his desire to face him last September. 

Pacquiao is confident he can partake in two 2021 fights despite turning 42 next month

Pacquiao (right) has not set foot in a boxing ring since defeating Keith Thurman in July 2019

McGregor’s manager Audie Attar, of Paradigm Sports Management, expects his client to fight Pacquiao – who he also represents – as both men are keen to fight each other. 

‘He wants to fight Manny. Manny’s come out and said he wants to fight Conor. As I’ve stated publicly before, we’ve had conversations,’ he told Bloomberg. 

‘That is a fight that we’re definitely going to make because both fighters want it, and there seems to be interest from the fans all around the world.’  

McGregor has not competed in a boxing match since he famously took on Floyd Mayweather in 2017.  

The Irish MMA star lost out to the American boxing legend in Nevada but still pocketed around £100million from the high-profile fight.  

McGregor (left), who lost his first professional boxing bout to Floyd Mayweather (right) in 2017, has previously talked up a high-profile return to the sport so he can fight Pacquiao

A statement from Pacquiao’s team last month read: ‘For the sake of all the Filipino Covid-19 victims, Senator Manny Pacquiao will be fighting UFC superstar Conor McGregor next year.

‘The huge portion of his earnings will proceed to those who are affected nationwide by the pandemic.’

On the subject of Spence Jr, Pacquiao believes the American pales in comparison to Thurman – his last opponent – when it comes to speed. 

‘Spence is slower than Thurman but it’s going to be a good fight,’ Pacquiao added. 

Pacquiao’s name still carries huge weight in the sport and he will not be short of offers to fight if he is set on getting back into the ring. 

Crawford defeated Brit Kell Brook in four rounds in November to retain his WBO welterweight title and also maintain his perfect 37-0 record. 

 WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford is determined to land a contest with Pacquiao

Errol Spence Jr is another opponent that could face Pacquiao before the year is out

The two were provisionally set to meet in the Middle East but those plans were shelved amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Crawford, 33, wants to revisit talks with ‘Pacman’ as he aims to add the WBA strap to his waist. 

Crawford said after beating Brook: ‘I already said who I want. I want Pacquiao. I want to revisit that fight. That was a fight that should’ve happened right now.

‘But being that the pandemic happened, and they weren’t going to allow fans in the Middle East, they had to put a hold to that. Everything was 95 per cent done. We had the venue. The money was almost there.’

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