Conor McGregor’s manager has claimed that the UFC star will box Manny Pacquiao in 2021.
McGregor is currently preparing to fight Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 on January 23 after reversing another decision to retire.
The fight with Pacquiao has long been rumoured, and the Filipino boxer signed to McGregor’s management company, suggesting a deal was close. A fight is expected next year with the venue set to be in the Middle East.
Speaking to Bloomberg, manager Audie Attar explained his fighter’s planned schedule.
“Conor has a fight on 23 January against Dustin Poirier,” he said.
Audie Attar, who manages both McGregor and Pacquiao, believes a fight between the two will still take place. pic.twitter.com/ufo05hamg9— ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) November 21, 2020
"He's gonna be handling business against Dustin first, but Conor's come out and said he wants to fight Manny. Manny's come out and said he wants to fight Conor. As I've stated publicly before, we've had conversations.
"That is a fight that we're definitely going to make because both fighters want it, and there seems to be interest from the fans all around the world."
This would be McGregor’s second competitive boxing match, with the Irishman facing Floyd Mayweather in 2017.
‼️✅ Statement from Manny Pacquiao‘s office: "For the sake of all the Filipino COVID-19 victims, Senator Manny Pacquiao will be fighting UFC superstar Conor McGregor next year. The huge portion of his earnings will proceed to those who are affected nationwide by the pandemic."— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) September 26, 2020
In a statement on behalf of Pacquiao, it was announced that the Filipino senator would donate some of the money from the fight to COVID-19 victims in his home country.
The statement said: "For the sake of all the Filipino COVID-19 victims, Senator Manny Pacquiao will be fighting UFC superstar Conor McGregor next year.
“The huge portion of his earnings will proceed to those who are affected nationwide by the pandemic."