By Igor Lazorin, tass
Last week, eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao told media outlets that preliminary talks had taken place regarding a possible bout with UFC superstar Conor McGregor in 2018.
McGregor made a high-profile switch to the boxing ring in August, when he was stopped in the 10th round by the returning Floyd Mayweather Jr. at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. McGregor did better than many expected, but he physically faded as the fight continued into the second fight.
Because the Mayweather vs. McGregor clash had generated 4 million pay-per-view buys - a number of well known boxers have called for a fight with McGregor, who would be a big underdog against any of them.
Last month, Pacquiao appeared to hint at a possible McGregor contest, tweeting a picture of the Irishman along with the caption: "Happy Thanksgiving @TheNotoriousMMA Stay fit my friend. #realboxingmatch #2018"
And when asked by reporters if there had been any talks between the two camps, the Filipino replied: "Initially, but we have not yet had any follow-up conversations.
"If we can negotiate it, I have no problem. It is okay with both of us."
UFC President Dana White denied Pacquiao's claim of any conversations taking place. But he also made a very firm legal warning, making it clear that he'll file a lawsuit if Pacquiao's team members are going around the UFC to directly negotiate with McGregor.
acquiao's promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, also denied that any conversations had taken place and doesn't expect McGregor to fight anytime soon. The MMA star reportedly earned around $100 million from the bout with Mayweather.
"It's total nonsense," said Arum, "If there is such a fight, Pacquiao or any other boxer would give McGregor a beating. But there are no negotiations right now. McGregor is still spending the money that he earned from the fight with Mayweather."