Eight-weight world champion Manny Pacquiao has spoken for the first time about the possibility of facing UFC champion Conor McGregor in the boxing ring.
The 38 year-old, who is currently gearing up to fight Jeff Horn in the spring, was asked about the chances of gazumping ex-foe Floyd Mayweather and battling it out in money-spinner with the Irishman.
“In boxing? In boxing (I would fight McGregor) but not in the UFC, just boxing,” Pacquiao told Fox Sports before speaking about McGregor’s sparring sessions which have not impressed the boxing purists.
“I didn’t see footage of Conor sparring. But if we are talking about Conor McGregor and boxing, it’s different. Boxing is different than MMA,” he said.
McGregor has been consistently put off by Mayweather’s slight offers as ‘The Notorious’ believes the two fighters are worth nine figures each, just like when ‘Money’ fought Pacquiao himself in May 2015.
Mayweather put $15m on the table for McGregor to accept, a flat-fee that wasn’t even entertained.
A cross-codes clash is high on the agenda as it would be the most lucrative contest for either Mayweather or Pacquiao to secure, although getting past UFC boss Dana White may prove a tougher task.
White has a hold on McGregor’s contract and would have to be cut in on any deal, having put his own offer of $25m to Mayweather – which seems to be small change for a fight of this magnitude.