Ahead of UFC 246 this weekend in Las Vegas – former two-weight world champion, ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor, has his sights set on an eventual return to the squared-circle, possibly against former-foe, Floyd Mayweather Jr. The Dubliner will meet Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in a welterweight main event on Saturday night – but has not ruled out the prospect of lacing up a pair of boxing gloves once more in the future.
The 31-year-old famously made a sport’s cross over at the peak of his popularity back in 2017 – following a second UFC championship triumph, where he clashed with the undefeated Mayweather in an extremely lucrative twelve round affair that August. Despite dropping a tenth-round technical knockout defeat, McGregor spoke of his intentions to eventually make a second foray into the sport, against a handful of potential opponents, including rival, Paulie Malignaggi, and veteran Philipino, Manny Pacquiao, in a recent interview with ESPN reporter, Ariel Helwani.
“Most certainly,” McGregor said when questioned if he would consider another boxing match before the end of his career. “I’d like to rematch Floyd (Mayweather Jr.). I think we should rematch Floyd. I mean he’s flirting with it and doing all this, and he can go and pick someone else, but it’s not going to be the same, it’s not. I done (sic) phenomenal. I done (sic) phenomenal in that bout. And, the only reason I lost that was bout was ’cause, I prepared for a back-footed, Philly-shell style of opponent, and when the fight was like that, I was picking him apart. Then, he came forward and started pressing, and I wasn’t sinking into my shots like I am now, with my boxing coaches (Phil Sutcliffe) under my belt, that are drilling specific boxing things into me again.”
“I know I’d beat Floyd. I’d beat Floyd if we rematched, and when we rematch. He’s not going to do a mixed-martial-arts bout like he said. It was supposed to be me boxing, and then we’ll do a mixed-martial-arts bout. That was what was said, out of his mouth as well. It was not written, but it was a verbal agreement, right? And, obviously, that’s going to happen, and I’m not even going to push him on that either. I would like to box him. I think that would be a good rematch.”
Apart from a potential re-run with Mayweather, the Crumlin native also told how he would entertain the possibility of facing the previously noted, Pacquiao or Malignaggi – and also how he plans on winning a boxing world championship.
“Also, I would be open to other boxing bouts. I know Manny (Pacquiao), there’s a situation with Manny, we’re actually close to signing Manny. There’s been talks about the Manny fight as well. There was an offer made on that (fight) as well. Just not yet, not yet. And then the Paulie (Malignaggi) fight, I’d like to box Paulie as well, why not? That’s a bit of banter, that’s a bit of buzz as well, Paulie, a boxing bout. I want to box again, I will box again. I will get a boxing world title. I would box multiple times. I love boxing, I truly love boxing, and I’m damn good.”
Could the mention of Manny Pacquiao suggest McGregor jumped the gun on a potential signature of the welterweight to a deal with Zuffa Boxing, or can we expect the two to trade leather in the future instead?