Manny Pacquiao confirms fight with Conor McGregor

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Manny Pacquiao confirms fight with Conor McGregor in the Middle East next year… after the Irishman unleashes explosive series of tweets detailing his exchanges with Dana White which led to his UFC retirement
Manny Pacquiao has confirmed he will be fighting Conor McGregor next year
The Irishman claimed on Friday night that he will be fighting the boxer
Pacquiao confirmed his earnings from the fight will go to coronavirus victims
McGregor revealed his plans to return to boxing as in a flurry of explosive tweets
He showed private messages to Dana White as he explained why he quit UFC

Manny Pacquiao has confirmed he will be fighting Conor McGregor in the Middle East next year.

The ring legend’s office confirmed Pacquiao’s earnings from the fight will go towards victims of the coronavirus pandemic, with the boxer now a Senator in the Philippines.

It marks a sensational return to fighting for McGregor, who retired from UFC earlier this summer, the third time he has made such an announcement in four years.

A statement from Pacquiao’s office read: ‘For the sake of all the Filipino Covid-19 victims, Senator Manny Pacquiao will be fighting UFC superstar Conor McGregor next year.’

‘The huge portion of his earnings will proceed to those who are affected nationwide by the pandemic.’

McGregor, meanwhile, released a series of explosive tweets on Friday night detailing the reason behind his decision to walk away from the sport earlier this summer, and even showed private Instagram messages between him and Dana White.

The Irishman was keen to fight on several cards but revealed that he decided to announce his retirement – his third in just four years – when the coronavirus pandemic hit after being told he would have to wait until fans could return.

From the messages, which were exchanged back in February, McGregor had asked White to be put on multiple bills or for an event of his own, mentioning Justin Gaethje and Diego Sanchez as possible opponents.

‘I was pushing hard for the season. Multiple opponents, multiple dates offered throughout,’ McGregor began his post on Twitter on Friday night. ‘All to take place back to back. Then when covid hit and the talk was that I would have to wait for crowds again, I walked away from the situation. I was waiting long enough at that stage.’

The the Irishman revealed his outrageous plans. ‘Anyway all water under the bridge who gives a f***,’ he continued. ‘I’m boxing Manny Pacquiao next in the Middle East.

‘It will be a true honour to have faced two of the greatest boxers of the modern era, afraid of a fight.’

It is often wise to take what McGregor has to say with a pinch of salt but this crossover fight has been talked about for some time and would generate serious interest.

McGregor and Pacquiao are two of the biggest fighting stars worldwide with the former the first ever UFC champion to hold two belts in different divisions simultaneously and the latter a eight-weight world boxing champion.

Pacquiao last fought in July 2019, defeating Keith Thurman to win the WBA world welterweight title while McGregor obliterated Donald Cerrone in his comeback UFC fight in January.

McGregor has famously switched codes before, when he lost to Floyd Mayweather in a money-spinning boxing fight back in August 2017 and has since regularly spoken about his desire to return to the ring again.

It was only last month that McGregor, who recently posted footage of him shadow boxing on social media, suggested a fight between the pair was on when he tweeted ‘accepted’ in Tagalog – the language of the Philippines.

Pacquiao has a huge following in the Middle East and plans were being put in place for him to fight there next against Terrence Crawford or another pound-for-pound star before the pandemic threw a spanner in the works.

It is not clear if McGregor’s claims have any truth to them but Pacquiao and his team would have no doubts they could easily defeat the Irishman in a ring.

Only last month, Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach, Justin Fortune said: ‘Manny will destroy Conor McGregor inside three rounds.

‘He will obliterate him too fast and too strong as an amazing fighter. McGregor is nothing.’

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