- WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman says Conor McGregor could get an immediate boxing title shot if he beats a ranked contender.
- McGregor will fight Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 next weekend in Abu Dhabi.
- The Irishman is believed to be fighting Manny Pacquiao in an exhibition boxing bout after his next MMA assignment.
With talks of a possible boxing bout against Manny Pacquiao heating up once again, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman has upped the ante for Conor McGregor to step inside the boxing ring.
According to Sulaiman, the UFC’s former two-division champion could be eligible to fight for a WBC world title if he beats a ranked contender.
— TheMacLife (@Maclifeofficial) January 12, 2021
The Pacquiao vs McGregor bout is expected to be an exhibition match but of course, McGregor could fight inside the boxing ring again if he wants to. Sulaiman is just letting the Irishman know that if he wants to become the first combat sports fighter to win world titles in both MMA and boxing, it can be done.
Said Sulaiman via The Sun:
Pacman vs McGregor Inevitable?
Conor McGregor vs Manny Pacquiao in 2021 is ‘inevitable’ with ‘plan’ to face Filipino legend in next fight after UFC 257 https://t.co/co1VUMtBDs
— The Sun – Boxing (@SunBoxing) January 11, 2021
It can be recalled that McGregor announced last year that he would be fighting Pacquiao in a boxing match. That announcement was confirmed by Pacquiao’s camp. However, McGregor booked himself a Dustin Poirier rematch first and with that fight just over a week away, folks are beginning to ask if McGregor’s next fight would be against Pacman inside the boxing ring.
Pacquiao recently talked to Philipine media about his 2021 plans. The 8-division world champion said that Errol Spence and Terence Crawford are his options but, “right now”, Pacman says that he wants to “fight an MMA fighter” and donate a big portion of his income to COVID-19 relief efforts in his native Philippines. The Filipino is currently listed as a massive -2200 betting favorite to beat McGregor who is listed at +850 at online sportsbook Sportsbetting.ag.
Paradigm Sports CEO Audi Attar, who manages both McGregor and Pacquiao, told Dubai Eye 103.8 Sport that a boxing bout between the two fight superstars is “inevitable”. According to Attar, both fighters want the fight and that’s the key. Attar added that he has already spoken with the UFC regarding this boxing bout. But even if McGregor goes on to fight Pacquiao, it remains to be seen if he wants to box beyond that.
Focus on the UFC
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) January 12, 2021
But while Attar is confident that the Pacquiao vs McGregor fight will happen in 2021, UFC President Dana White wants his cash cow to keep his focus inside the UFC Octagon. According to White, the boxing fights will always be there for McGregor but since he isn’t getting any younger, the UFC boss would prefer that the Irishman solidify his status as the best in MMA.
White of course it hoping that McGregor keeps his feet inside the Octagon because he wants to book a rematch between McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov. McGregor and Khabib fought at UFC 229 and it produced the highest-grossing PPV event in UFC history. Although Khabib retired last year, he is expected to be at next weekend’s UFC 257 event and White is hoping to convince him to return for one final fight. If McGregor beats Poirier, and Khabib decides to return, there is a good chance that a rematch between the two will happen.
But then of course a lot will depend on what Nurmagomedov wants. The Eagle has looked happy with his retired life and has expanded his business empire during his time away from the Octagon. He has bought an MMA Promotion, has been involved in telecommunications, and is eyeing to build gyms in different countries. With Khabib busy with business, it remains to be seen whether he wants to return to the UFC, much more fight McGregor.