Manny Pacquiao confirmed to Agence France-Presse that he engaged in talks with Conor McGregor to schedule a boxing matchup between them.
The Filipino, who turns 39 later this month, characterized a potential fight as “OK with both of us” in his discussion with AFP. He added, however, that the pair “have not yet had any follow-ups.”
Both men come off losses in their last matches. Pacquiao, after nearly knocking out Aussie Jeff Horn and looking like the winner by most press observers, dropped a decision down under last summer. McGregor, in his first match as a professional boxer, initially looked game but ultimately appeared out-of-his-league against Floyd Mayweather in August.
McGregor’s contractual obligations commit him to the UFC, so should he box again he would require the promotion’s blessing, which, presumably, would require a cut of the fight’s purse. The Irishman holds a 21-3 mixed-martial arts record. The UFC wants him to defend his lightweight title against Tony Ferguson. But after pocketing $100 million against Mayweather, he may wish to pursue more lucrative career opportunities outside the octagon or just retire.
Pacquiao, who boasts participation in seven of the top 20 boxing pay-per views in the sport’s history, hopes to win back viewers with a very beatable, high-profile opponent. Pac Man won lineal titles in four weight classes during his legendary career. But age and injuries put him well past his prime.
Pacquiao says he wants to fight in April, whether he faces McGregor or whoever.