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Longtime boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao is open to fighting UFC sensation Conor McGregor if the latter’s hyped cross-sport encounter with Floyd Mayweather Jr. doesn’t come to fruition.
Edward Chaykovsky of Boxing Scene passed along comments Pac-Man made while speaking to Fox Sports about the rumored showdown between Mayweather and McGregor. He admitted he’s open to stepping into the conversation if those talks fall apart, but only on his terms.
“In boxing? In boxing [I would fight McGregor] but not in [UFC], just boxing,” Pacquiao said.
The 38-year-old Philippines Senator’s take on the situation as a whole fell right in line with the majority: He doesn’t think The Notorious would have a chance in a boxing match with Money. He told Fox Sports the ring and the Octagon are entirely different animals, per Boxing Scene.
“I didn’t see [footage of Conor sparring],” Pacquiao said. “But if we are talking about Conor McGregor and boxing, it’s different. Boxing is different than MMA.”
Talk about a clash between Mayweather and McGregor heated up after UFC president Dana White made an official offer on The Herd with Colin Cowherd last week:
.@danawhite makes a REAL OFFER to @FloydMayweather to fight Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA).
RT if you want to see the fight happen pic.twitter.com/rwm7hV9pd0
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) January 13, 2017
Alas, the guaranteed amount was only a quarter of the boxer’s demands. He’d previously made comments on First Take about his view of the situation, per Brian Campbell of ESPN.com.
“We tried to make the Conor McGregor fight,” Mayweather said. “They know what my number is. My number is a guaranteed $100 million. That was my number. We are willing to give him $15 million and then we can talk about splitting the percentage—the back end—on the pay-per-view.”
That’s a large gap to close, and it’s unclear whether there would be enough mainstream interest in the fight to make both sides happy from a financial perspective. But Mayweather, McGregor and White are all terrific promoters who understand hype is good, even if no deal gets made.
Getting the money sorted out with Pacquiao would seemingly be easier. Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports noted Pac-Man received just $4 million in guaranteed purse for his victory by unanimous decision over Jessie Vargas in November.
That said, it’s unknown whether McGregor would be interested in taking on the eight-division world champion or if he’s set on Mayweather or nothing when it comes to boxing.