Conor McGregor has not taken part in a fight since he defeated Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone in UFC 246. Now he will likely make his return to competition in 2021 against one of the most decorated boxers in history. Manny Pacquiao has confirmed an upcoming fight against McGregor.
The man with a record of 62-7-2 released a statement through his aide, Jayke Joson, confirming a fight against McGregor. He said that this bout will provide funds for COVID-19 relief in the Phillippines. "For the sake of all the Filipino Covid-19 victims, Senator Manny Pacquiao will be fighting UFC superstar Conor McGregor next year," Joson said, per ESPN. "The huge portion of his earnings will proceed to those who are affected nationwide by the pandemic."
The statement from Pacquiao follows a head-turning tweet by McGregor. The Irishman sounded off about wanting to book some fights before the coronavirus and posted screenshots from private messages. "Anyway, all water under the bridge who gives a fook. I'm boxing Manny Pacquiao next in the Middle East," McGregor tweeted. He continued and said that it would be a "true honor" to have faced off with two of the greatest boxers of the modern era.
McGregor previously faced off with Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a highly-publicized 2017 boxing match. The UFC co-promoted the money match with Mayweather Promotions, Showtime and McGregor Sports & Entertainment. Mayweather secured a 10th-round TKO in what became one of the highest-grossing combat sports events of all time.
Considering that McGregor has drawn attention with his tweets in recent years, some fans expressed skepticism after reading about a match with Pacquiao. However, the statement confirms the bout. Additionally, McGregor's agent, Audie Attar, said that the fight is in the works. However, he clarified that the deal was not done just yet.
According to ESPN, Attar said that the fight would likely take place in late December or early January. The agent, who represents both fighters, said that the Middle East is one of the locations being discussed. Attar did not provide details about the other possible spots.
Attar primarily discussed the upcoming fight with Pacquiao, but he also provided information about McGregor's future. The agent said that the plan is for his client to return to the UFC in 2021 after he fights Pacquiao. McGregor technically retired from the promotion midway through the summer, but many fans did not believe that he would remain away. After all, this was the third time that he retired.