Michael Conlan says Manny Pacquiao is a much tougher task for friend Conor McGregor than former foe Floyd Mayweather.
Conlan is set to fight at Madison Square Gardens in New York on St Patrick’s Day. This will be the fourth year out of an agreed five year deal to appear there.
For one of Conlan’s walkouts in New York, he was joined by one of the most recognizable sportspeople in the world, Conor McGregor.
Rumors persist that McGregor will return to boxing having made a fortune in his fight against Floyd Mayweather.
These rumors were strengthened last week when Manny Pacquiao teamed up with McGregor’s management team prompting many to speculate that the Dubliner would be facing Pacquiao in the not too distant future.
“I can’t see why he wouldn’t come back,” Conlan exclusively told World Boxing News when we asked his thoughts on whether he would like to be on a McGregor undercard.
“I definitely think he will but do I want to be on the undercard? No. It’s the McGregor show, you’re on the undercard, you’re going to be irrelevant. Everyone will have their eyes on him.
“He is the biggest sports star there is. Let’s be honest, not any bigger sports stars than Conor McGregor.
“I don’t care to be on the undercard but if he comes back then fair play to him. If he gets the Pacquiao fight then even better. It’s a much more dangerous fight than fighting Floyd.”
McGregor made his return to the cage with a first-round demolition of Donald Cerrone last month, the first time he has fought in over a year since his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Before that, it was over a year since he fought Floyd. Many would like to see McGregor stay in MMA and try and get back to his best.
“So would I,” Conlan agreed, “but money talks, money is the be-all and end-all in those situations,” pointed out Conlan. “A fight with Manny Pacquiao will generate a lot of money.
“People like to see people who talk get their mouth shut. I’d love to see Conor McGregor win but there will be people who love him and others who hate him. Some will want to see him lose and others see him win.”
Conlan thinks it could be a hard ask for McGregor to overcome Pacquiao.
“Manny Pacquiao is still as dangerous as ever. Especially for someone who is not really a boxer. If he was to fight Pacquiao I wouldn’t favor him, but I’d wish him all the best.”
Mick Kane is a Staff Writer to World Boxing News. Follow Mick on Twitter @MickKaneMMA