Manny Pacquiao and his team have jettisoned the idea of fighting former two-division UFC champ Conor McGregor. The change of mind is not unconnected his recent bashing by Dustin Poirier
Heading into his UFC 257 fight with Dustin Poirier, McGregor was linked to a boxing match with Manny Pacquiao sometime later in the year. After McGregor lost to Poirier via second-round TKO, however, interest in the matchup has waned
At least, that’s how Sean Gibbons, the president of Manny Pacquiao promotions, sees it.
“Very unfortunate, it looked like Conor looked past Dustin and got knocked out,” the Pacquiao rep told SunSport. “Maybe he had the Senator [Pacquiao] on his mind. I think the demand for the fight is not there presently.
“Conor has some business to clean up and handle in the UFC,” he added. “It’s a bummer, it could have been fun for as long as it lasted.”
While Pacquiao and his team are surely disappointed to have missed out on a blockbuster boxing match with McGregor, who remains one of the biggest stars in combat sports, they have already found a new and compelling challenge in the form of lightweight star Ryan Garcia.
The pair, who are separated by two decades in age, are in talks to meet in an exhibition bout later this year.
Conor McGregor, meanwhile, will have to return to the drawing board. If he picks up a handful of impressive wins, it’s possible interest in a fight with Pacquiao will ramp back up, for the moment, he seems to recognize it’s off the table.
“I always did want to focus on my MMA career, but I’m also open,” McGregor said after UFC 257. “I’ll just see what happens. I don’t know what will happen. That Manny fight was happening. It was as good as done.”