Conor McGregor reveals talks over Manny Pacquiao fight as he calls for Floyd Mayweather rematch

George Flood
AFP via Getty Images

Conor McGregor clearly still has one eye firmly fixed on the boxing ring as he prepares to make his octagon return this weekend.

The former UFC featherweight and lightweight world champion will fight for the first time since his October 2018 defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov in Las Vegas on Saturday night as he battles Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone in the headline bout at UFC 246.

That submission loss at UFC 229 - which was followed by a wild brawl at T-Mobile Arena - was McGregor's first MMA contest for more than two years, with the Irishman switching focus to take on Floyd Mayweather Jr in a lucrative boxing match in August 2017.

While feared striker McGregor was stopped in the 10th round on his professional boxing debut, his appetite for the sport does not appear to have been diminished as he continues to look for a rematch against Mayweather (50-0), the former five-weight world champion who is now back in retirement after his cross-over wins against 'Notorious' and Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa.

"I'd like to rematch Floyd," McGregor told ESPN's Ariel Helwani.

"I think we should rematch Floyd. I mean, he's flirting with it, and they want all this. And he can go and pick someone else.

"It's not gonna be the same. It's not. I've done phenomenal in that bout.

"I know I'd beat Floyd, I'd beat Floyd if we rematched, when we rematch. He's not gonna do a mixed martial arts bout like he said. It was supposed to be me boxing, and then we'll do a mixed martial arts bout.

"That was what was said. And it came out of his mouth as well, and it was not written, but it was a verbal agreement.

The Irishman is confident of avenging his boxing loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2017 (Getty Images)

"And obviously, that's not gonna happen. I'm not going to push him on that, either. But I would like to box him. I think that would be a good rematch.

"You never know (if it could happen this year)."

Perhaps most interestingly, McGregor claimed there have been talks regarding a boxing bout against another of the sport's biggest names and one of Mayweather's great rivals - Manny Pacquiao.

Boxing's only eight-division world champion and current Philippines senator is still fighting aged 41 and became the oldest welterweight champion in history with a split decision win over WBA Super title-holder Keith Thurman last July.

McGregor says there have been talks over a fight against Manny Pacquiao (Getty Images)

"We're actually close to signing (with) Manny," McGregor said. "There's been talks about the Manny fight as well. There was an offer made on that, yeah.

"Just not yet. Not yet. Very much so (a possibility)."

Read more

John Kavanagh admits McGregor relationship suffered after Khabib loss