In a series of tweets he fired off early Friday afternoon, UFC star Conor McGregor said his next bout will be a boxing match with Manny Pacquiao.
His two tweets about a Pacquiao fight were the culmination of a day that also saw McGregor tell welterweight Diego Sanchez he was "in" on fighting Sanchez, then tweet a series of screengrabs of apparent texts with UFC president Dana White, which McGregor claimed showed his wishes for his next fight before he said he was retiring in June.
Later in the day, McGregor's manager, Audie Attar, told ESPN that talks for a Pacquiao fight are indeed in the works.
After explaining his efforts earlier this year to land a fight with Sanchez, and then posting the screengrabs of the apparent texts with White, McGregor ended by tweeting:
"Anyway all water under the bridge ... I'm boxing Manny Pacquiao next in the Middle East."
He then ended with "It will be a true honour to have faced two of the greatest boxers of the modern era, afraid of a fight."
McGregor boxed Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match in August of 2017 at T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip. Mayweather won that fight with a 10-round technical knockout in one of the most lucrative combat sports events of all time.
According to ESPN's report, Attar said a McGregor-Pacquiao fight would take place in late December or early January, and that the Middle East is one of the few locations being discussed to host the fight. Attar also told ESPN that UFC is "on board" with McGregor fighting Pacquiao in a boxing match.
Later Friday, ESPN reported it received a text from Sean Gibbons, president of Manny Pacquiao Promotions.
"The Senator Manny Pacquiao has always been up for new challenges," the text reportedly said. "Conor McGregor showed in his fight with Floyd Mayweather he has the skills to fight with the best boxers in the world, and considering that they are both global icons and in the global landscape we live in today would be a tremendous event."
Pacquiao (62-7-2) is the only boxer to be a champion in four different decades and the only boxer to win titles in eight different divisions. The 41-year-old is currently the WBA super welterweight champion after beating Keith Thurman in July 2019.
--Field Level Media