Conor McGregor competes inside the Octagon this weekend. But is a boxing return on the horizon later on in the year?
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McGregor returns to action for the first time in just over a year when he faces Dustin Poirier in their UFC 257 lightweight headliner on Saturday night. The event is is exclusive to the ESPN+ digital streaming service and can be ordered here.
It will notably be McGregor’s third straight fight in the UFC since his professional boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather back in August 2017 that saw him lose via 10th-round TKO.
The Irishman has stated his plan after Poirier is to fight all the contenders in the division as he looks to regain his lightweight crown and that seems to be the plan as per UFC president Dana White as well.
At the same time, McGregor has also spoken of a return to boxing this year with a fight against Manny Pacquiao in particular.
“I know the talks are intensifying for this year,” McGregor told The Mac Life recently. “So, I am excited for a Manny Pacquiao bout, and it’s looking like it will take place this year. What time this year, I’m not sure.
“We’re going to have to have some good discussions with Dana and with the guys and the UFC after [the Poirier fight] and see where it goes, what’s there, what do we want? I am open to it all. I am ready for it all. I appreciate them comments by [WBC president Mauricio] Sulaiman and I will certainly attain a boxing world title before I call it a day and I’d be very excited to do that against Emmanuel Pacquiao.”
Pacquiao has also shown an interest while White hasn’t ruled it out entirely — even if he prefers that McGregor competes in the UFC for now.
So with all that said, will McGregor return to boxing? It is certainly not impossible, especially if McGregor’s claims of talks intensifying is true.
Add the fact that both fighters are now represented by Paradigm Sports Management and negotiations should be relatively straight forward.
However, it all comes down to White and the UFC and it is more likely that McGregor competes in the Octagon a few more times than him competing against Pacquiao.
That said, combat sports is unpredictable and nobody expected McGregor to box Mayweather.
Combat sports fan who loves a good body shot.