Conor McGregor revealed he is eager to step back into the boxing ring, with the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion tweeting on Monday that he is “excited for part 2” of his career in the squared circle.
The Irishman made a reported $130m when he fought Floyd Mayweather in 2017, eventually losing his professional boxing debut by TKO in round ten.
However, McGregor received great praise for his performance from boxing icon Mike Tyson, and “Mystic Mac” took to social media to react to Tyson’s comments. “I received my credit from many notable names in the boxing world, which I was thankful for,” said McGregor. “None more so than from Mike. Excited for part 2.”
“It was a great contest, just watched it back. Early rounds all mine, and even later rounds when legs where gone, I still outlanded him.
Tyson, who holds the record for the youngest world heavyweight boxing champion and is now aiming for his own comeback in the ring at 53, discussed McGregor in glowing terms on his Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson podcast.
“He never really had a boxing match in his life, right?” said Tyson. “He went 10 rounds with the greatest fighter of the last 100 years of boxing… He went 10 rounds, scored punches on the greatest fighter in the last 100 years.”
While McGregor is keen to box again, the biggest US-based brands in boxing – Top Rank, Golden Boy, and Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions series – are all aiming to host events behind closed doors in June or July.
Proposed opponents for “The Notorious” could include former rival Mayweather, one-time sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi or the seven-weight world champion from The Philippines, Manny Pacquiao.
Indeed, in February, Pacquaio signed with Paradigm Sports Management who also manage McGregor, and McGregor’s manager Audie Attar said a meeting between Pacquaio and McGregor is “always possible.”
Attar tempered expectations on that fight, though, and maintained that McGregor would like to compete in MMA again before he laces up the boxing gloves.
Last week McGregor called out interim UFC lightweight champion Justin Gaethje on Twitter, implying the match-up may be in the works for July with the full champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in self-isolation in Russia.
“Justin, there is no danger in a man that hugs legs, we all know,” said McGregor. “Try and dance around what the real threat is here all you want. I am going to f***ing butcher you… Speak on my skills as a father? You are f***ing dead.”
With that, the first man to hold UFC titles in two weight classes simultaneously also talked up battles with Dustin Poirier and Tony Ferguson, commenting that once he’s dominated at 155 pounds, he’ll move to 170 pounds again.
The Dublin-born striker last fought in January, when he returned to the Octagon to knock out Donald Cerrone after only 40 seconds of their welterweight megafight which made up the main event for UFC 246 in Las Vegas.
Alistair Hendrie is a freelance writer for The Body Lock MMA. He has previously written for Mirror.co.uk and Fighters Only. Check out his Kindle book, Fight Game: The Untold Story of Women's MMA in Britain, featuring interviews with Rosi Sexton, Joanne Calderwood and more.