Despite approaching 18 months of inactivity, WBA “super” welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao still has his sights on a return to the ring, and he has a specific target in mind: former UFC double champion Conor McGregor, whom he’d announced his intentions to face last year.
“(Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr are) options, but right now I want to experience fighting an MMA [mixed martial artist],” said Pacquiao, referring to McGregor. “I will also donate a big portion of my income to Filipino Covid-19 victims.”
Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KO) wasn’t particularly complimentary towards “The Truth,” who rebounded from a horrific car accident to overpower Danny Garcia last month.
“[Spence] is too slow. Spence is slower than Thurman but it’s going to be a good fight.”
As far as McGregor (0-1, 0 KO), he’s set to rematch former rival Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 257 on January 23rd. The fight will be his second since getting stopped by Floyd Mayweather in the ring and subsequently humiliated by Khabib Nurmagomedov upon his return to the cage, and could potentially put him in line for a shot at the vacant belt Nurmagomedov left behind upon his retirement.
Pacquiao-McGregor likely wouldn’t be any more competitive than Mayweather-McGregor, but it would undoubtedly make bank, and the WBA doesn’t seem inclined to force Pacquiao to face an actual contender anytime soon. I’d give this about a 50-60% chance of going down.