Conor McGregor is being tipped for a return to the boxing ring, with legend Manny Pacquiao pencilled in as his next opponent. The Irishman failed to beat Floyd Mayweather in his first attempt at the 'sweet science', but can the 5/1 underdog make it second time lucky if he shares the ring with Pac Man?
Conor McGregor is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in the fighting world at the moment, he is 100% Box Office, and his name will always attract attention – whether that’s in UFC or boxing.
He makes his return to the Octagon on January 23, when he takes on Dustin Poirier for a second time, although he is already looking ahead to his next challenge – and that could once again see him try his hand at boxing.
The Irishman is never low on confidence and is adamant that he is a quality boxer and that he will soon be a world champion at the 12-round game. The 32-year-old, who lost to Floyd Mayweather back in 2017, has set his sights on Pacquiao and once his UFC commitments are over, he could sit down with Team Pac Man and sort out a deal.
McGregor v Pacquiao: Can the UFC star compete in the boxing ring?
As already mentioned, McGregor is no stranger to the four-sided ring. He challenged boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather to a bout in Las Vegas in August 27, and although he failed to take the unbeaten fighter the distance, McGregor still believes he has a future in the sport.
It was always going to be an uphill battle for the UFC star, no one had ever – and still haven’t – beaten Mayweather, so for him to last until the 10th round was a testament to his desire. Many will argue that Mayweather teased and toyed with him until he had enough, and that will hurt McGregor.
McGregor has said in the past that: “I love boxing. I truly love boxing, and I’m damn good.” He obviously believes that, and to be the best he knows he has to fight some big names. Whether going up against Pacquiao in only his second fight is a wise move, but unless he fights a well-known fighter then no one will actually believe he has a shot of becoming a champion.
McGregor v Pacquiao: Can McGregor become a world champion in boxing?
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman has revealed that if McGregor managed to beat a ranked boxer, then he would be eligible to fight for a world title.
That in itself will cause a lot of friction with many fighters who have not been given the chance to fight for a world title but seeing as McGregor has a history in combat sports, he will be given his chance to prove himself.
McGregor versus Pacquiao will attract big numbers and interest worldwide, but I think all fight fans want to see McGregor and Paulie Malignaggi throw down in the ring.
McGregor and Malignaggi have a rivalled past, with the latter furious that footage of their sparring was leaked and has since called McGregor a ‘bum’ and that ‘the guy can’t fight for s***.’ Just with those comments, I would love to see the two of them go at it more than if he was to fight Pacquiao.