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Conor McGregor reveals talks for Manny Pacquiao fight are ‘intensifying,’ believes it could happen in 2021

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Press conference by Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor in Moscow Photo by Stanislav Krasilnikov\TASS via Getty Images

Conor McGregor may be gearing up for a big run at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight title in 2021, but the former two-division champion is just as eager to return to the boxing ring.

McGregor, who meets Dustin Poirier in a highly-anticipated rematch at UFC 257 next weekend in Abu Dhabi, is hoping to score a big superfight with boxing legend Manny Pacquiao sometime in the near future. “Notorious” already fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. in one of the biggest pay-per-view (PPV) events of all time so mixing it up with “Pac-Man” seems like the next logical step, especially since they’ve been linked to a fight since 2017.

Luckily, McGregor will have a chance to prepare for Pacquiao when he meets fellow southpaw Poirier later this month. “Diamond” obviously doesn’t possess the same striking acumen as the former boxing champion but at least he’ll give McGregor some similar looks.

“That is certainly how the southpaw bout came about with Dustin,” said McGregor during a recent episode of the Weighing In podcast. “And that, also, he’s number one in the rankings, I believe. He’s right atop the division. So, it makes sense to go back. But I certainly prepared for a good southpaw, and Manny is in the wings, waiting.

“I know those talks are intensifying, and I believe, sometime this year, maybe late this year, that bout will take place. And really, it will be on the discussions with the UFC where we go with this, what’s next.”

While UFC president Dana White would like to see McGregor focus solely on MMA in 2021 the Irish superstar never seems to follow plans rolled out by the promotion. But if McGregor defeats Poirier at UFC 257 and locks down a lightweight title shot for later in the year it will be hard to pass that up for a return to boxing.

That said, a PPV bout opposite Pacquiao would give McGregor another massive payday to add to his growing wealth. And if he’s able to somehow defeat “Pac-Man” and shock the combat world once again it could lead to a shot at a boxing world title.

What do you think, fight fans? Will McGregor vs. Pacquiao happen this year? Would you pay to watch?

Let’s hear it!