While the man that last beat him prepares for his first title defense, Manny Pacquiao may be looking at a new opponent
Jeff Horn will defend the WBO welterweight title that he won in July against Paquiao against British boxer Gary Corcoran in Brisbane on December 13th, but it could have been the popular Filipino in a rematch. After some early negotiations for a rematch which was contractually obligated to Australia, Paquiao bowed out citing his work as a congressman.
Yet, Pacquiao sent shockwaves through the fight world Thursday with an unexpected Instagram call-out of UFC star Conor McGregor.
Pacquiao, who is inching towards retirement, threw his hat in the ring for one of the most lucrative names in combat sports with a gentlemanly offer of a “real boxing match.”
The Filipino senator joins Oscar De La Hoya and Jeff Horn, who have both publicly challenged McGregor to a boxing match.
De La Hoya recently claimed he’d been secretly training in the hope of fighting the Irishman, whom he said he could knock out inside two rounds, while Horn through his promoter suggested they would want to fight the Irishman.
“We’d love to have Manny Pacquiao down here (again), he’s certainly one of the guys on the table,” Lonergan told AFP last month.
“There’s been some murmurings and rumblings that perhaps we could get Conor McGregor down here.
“I would put the challenge out to Conor McGregor — tell me how much you want it and we’ll see if we can make it work.”
All the noise from the McGregor camp since his loss to Mayweather has indicated his next fight will be in the UFC, where he has yet to defend the lightweight championship he won more than 12 months ago. But his return has been delayed by a recent incident at a Bellator card when he stormed into the cage and abused a referee.
Until McGregor and the UFC announce an official fight, his name will continue to be thrown around by the likes of Pacquiao and the rumor mill will keep spinning.