UFC champion Conor McGregor is putting a potential boxing match with Manny Pacquiao on the backburner, saying he wants his next fight to be in his primary sport of mixed martial arts.
Asked by TMZ whether he’ll box again after being stopped by Floyd Mayweather in August, McGregor responded: “We’ll see what happens. ... I think a true fight is what I want to do next.”
Pressed about what he meant by a “true fight,” McGregor confirmed he was indeed referring to MMA.
Pacquiao said earlier this month that preliminary talks had begun around a boxing match between him and McGregor. The comments from the Filipino star made headlines all of the world.
Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, has very little interest in the fight but he's willing to make it happen if that's the opponent that Manny requests.
However, McGregor made it clear that Pacquiao will not be his next order of business.
“What about Pacquiao? Conor, would you fight Pacquiao?” a TMZ reporter asked.
McGregor stressed: “MMA next.”
A fight between McGregor and Pacquiao would also create a very delicate scenario, because Arum has traded some very heated words with UFC President on numerous occasions in the last few years. In fact, White vowed to never conduct business with Arum in any type of fashion.
As for another “combat” sport, a possible run in the pro wrestling world of WWE, McGregor responded in NSFW fashion that he’s not interested such pseudo-competition.
McGregor made his professional boxing debut back in August, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. He fought the returning Mayweather at the junior middleweight limit of 154-pounds and they used 8-ounce gloves.
In the early rounds, McGregor did very well as Mayweather, now 40 years old and coming back from a two year layoff, started slow and was looking for openings. As the fight played out, McGregor began to fade until he was eventually stopped in the tenth round.