Promoter Dmitriy Salita believes there will now be a lot less interest in a potential boxing clash between UFC superstar Conor McGregor and eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao.
McGregor and Pacquiao, who are handled by the same management company, were in serious talks to face each other in a boxing match at some point in 2021.
But the contest is on the shelf, for now, after McGregor was knocked out in two rounds by Dustin Poirier in their UFC 257 main event on Saturday night in Abu Dhabi.
McGregor will likely now pursue a trilogy fight with Poirier.
McGregor made his boxing debut in August of 2017, when he was stopped in ten rounds by Floyd Mayweather.
The fight was a massive financial success, with over 4 million purchases on pay-per-view.
McGregor earned a reported $100 million when everything was tallied up.
Until he restores his reputation, Salita doubts McGregor can replicate the same financial success in boxing.
"I believe that there will be significantly less interest in his boxing return. The hook is that he is one of the best in the UFC but that is not the case anymore. He would have to come back in an exciting dominating fashion to get same level of interest in a boxing return," Salita told The Sun.
"He needs to win the rematch in a dominating way and it would be better if he did with a boxing style KO. The intrigue that would sell this particular fight is no longer there as he is not the best in the UFC.
"Conor is a great self promoter. I believe that he was pushing for the Pacquiao fight and was hoping that his performance in the Poirer rematch would push the public’s interest. But the ring and now the octagon is the theatre of the unexpected and as we see anything can happen. Such defeats are somewhat unexpected and can cause a dent in a career. However, we see that in the UFC culture losses are more tolerable and fighters do come back so lets see how the next stage of Conor's career plays out."