Conor McGregor confirms talks with Manny Pacquiao over a $250 million world championship boxing match, and says negotiations are ‘intensifying’

Conor McGregor. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
  • Conor McGregor has confirmed that talks with Manny Pacquiao over a boxing rules super-fight are “intensifying.”
  • The Irishman returns to the UFC Octagon for the first time in 12 months when he headlines the UFC 257 show against Dustin Poirier at the Etihad Arena on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
  • Should he win, the UFC boss Dana White could offer a lightweight title shot against the incumbent champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, or a prominent contender if Nurmagomedov is forced to vacate the belt in retirement.
  • But McGregor has an alternative option. “I will be very excited to [fight] Emmanuel Pacquiao,” he said.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

FIGHT ISLAND — Conor McGregor has confirmed talks with Manny Pacquiao over a world championship boxing match potentially worth $US250 million.

“I know the talks are intensifying,” the 32-year-old told the MacLife, a media outlet he owns.

McGregor, a former two-weight UFC champion, first told reporters about a possible boxing rules bout with Pacquiao at a Las Vegas casino ahead of his 40-second victory over Donald Cerrone 12 months ago.

Since then, the likelihood of a match has become stronger and stronger, and accelerated when the Filipino fighter signed managerial terms with the Paradigm SM founder Audie Attar, a long-time representative of McGregor.

Attar and the UFC President Dana White appear to be at odds over the timing of the fight, as the former believes it should take place this year, whereas the UFC boss said a fight like that will always be there and so he would prefer to see McGregor focus on his MMA career.

Regardless, McGregor is “excited about it.”

He said: “I know it will take place this year, what time this year I don’t know.

“We are going to have some good discussions with Dana and the UFC and see where it goes.”

McGregor competes in a lightweight match against Dustin Poirier at UFC 257, a pay-per-view show that takes place in front of an unknown number of fans inside the newly-built Etihad Arena on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.

Should he win, the UFC could offer a title shot against the incumbent champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, or a top-ranked contender should Nurmagomedov remain retired and be forced to vacate the title.

“I am open to it all,” McGregor said.

The Irishman, though, has aspirations in both combat sports — MMA and boxing.

“I will certainly attain a boxing world title before I call it a day, and I will be very excited to do it against Emmanuel Pacquiao,” he told his media channel.

It is a bout Pacquiao also wants. The veteran boxer, a former eight-weight champion, said this week that he wants to fight McGregor “right now.”

McGregor has a pro MMA record of 22 wins (19 knockouts, one submission, and two decisions) against four losses.

He has only fought in boxing once before, losing a 10th round stoppage to Floyd Mayweather in 2017.

The 42-year-old Pacquiao, meanwhile, is the most decorated athlete still competing in boxing and has a pro record of 62 wins (39 knockouts) against seven losses and two draws.

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