Today, Francis Ngannou is pushing hard for a fight against Tyson Fury. In fact, the UFC heavyweight champion says he will not re-sign with the promotion unless he is allowed to explore such boxing opportunities.
Thus far, the only time the UFC has allowed a contracted fighter to participate in such an endeavor was in 2017 when Conor McGregor boxed Floyd Mayweather. As recently as last year, White was open to the idea of allowing McGregor to crossover again, this time against boxing legend Manny Pacquiao. However, at the time, the two sides were far apart on when it could take place.
The original story is presented in its original, unaltered form, courtesy of The MMA News Archives.
On This Day One Year Ago…
[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED JANUARY 15, 2021, 6:29 PM]
Conor McGregor and Dana White are not in agreement on whether the Irishman will be boxing Pacquiao this year, if ever.
Before Conor McGregor agreed to fight Dustin Poirier at UFC 257, his sights were originally set on a boxing match with Manny Pacquiao. And even when he agreed to fight Poirier, there was speculation that McGregor accepted the fight in part to help prepare for Pacquiao’s southpaw style. Speaking to The Mac Life recently, McGregor reaffirmed that his interest in boxing Pacquiao stands, and he even expects the match to take place this year (via The Sun).
“I am excited for a Manny Pacquiao bout and it looks like it will happen this year. What time this year? I am not sure. “We’ll have to have some good discussions with Dana White and the UFC and see where it goes.”
Dana White’s Short-Term Plans for McGregor Differ
Conor McGregor assures that his interest in fighting Manny Pacquiao is not in conflict with his plans for an active MMA year. McGregor said in his MacLife interview that he plans to have a very active year in MMA for 2020. However, McGregor’s confidence in his abilities to multitask is not convincing enough for Dana White, who would love McGregor to focus on one thing while he is at his peak (via MMA Fighting).
“The way that this kid is right now mentally, physically, emotionally, I mean this kid is on and ready to fight,” White told ESPN. “I would love to see him focused on what he can do here at the UFC. Whether it’s take another shot at that title against Khabib [Nurmagomedov] or fight for the title against somebody else if Khabib retires and defend that title.
“A boxing match with any of these guys, that stuff’s always going to be there. You are the absolute best in the world right now in MMA and the timing is right now. Not getting any younger. I’d love to see him go for it here over the next year. If he wants to fight one of these boxing guys, do that next year. That fight’s always going to be there.”
Dana White chalks up McGregor’s previous boxing blockbuster against Floyd Mayweather as being a “perfect storm” that took on a life of its own. At least for the time being, White feels this 2017 boxing contest was a one-off, and there is currently substantial real estate between White’s vision for McGregor’s future and what McGregor has planned for himself in the world of boxing.
Do you think we will ever see Conor McGregor box Manny Pacquiao?