UFC president Dana White wants to see what Conor McGregor can accomplish being fully dedicated to mixed martial arts in 2021, but it appears the Irish superstar may not be ready to commit wholly to MMA this year.
McGregor in 2020 teased a boxing match opposite Manny Pacquiao. Having done the same with Floyd Mayweather and basically willing that bout into existence, people took him seriously.
White is certainly taking him seriously, but still hopes to convince his top star to dedicate himself to the Octagon in 2021, saying of the boxing bouts, “those will always be there” for McGregor.
Though he’s non-committal to either route, McGregor believes that his return to boxing is likely to happen this year.
“I know the talks are intensifying for this year. I am excited for a Manny Pacquiao bout. It’s looking like it will take place this year. What time this year, I’m not sure,” McGregor said in a TheMacLife.com interview.
“We’re gonna have to have some good discussions with Dana and with the guys and the UFC after and see where it goes. What’s there; what do we want? I am open to it all. I am ready for it all.”
If Conor McGregor returns to boxing, he could quickly get a title shot
There has even been recent chatter from the boxing world that McGregor could quickly find his way into a championship boxing bout.
Mauricio Sulaiman, president of boxing’s WBC sanctioning body, recently told SunSport how McGregor could get ranked and a subsequent title fight.
“I would say he needs to face and defeat a ranked fighter, then he would be eligible to be ranked and to compete for a title,” said Sulaiman.
“Because we have plenty of examples of Muay Thai fighters who turn professional in international boxing and they are eligible to fight for the title.
“We also have amateur superstars like Vasiliy Lomachenko, they come into professional boxing and fight for the title and it’s proven it works.”
That, of course, is something that piques McGregor’s interest. Having been a two-division champion first under the Cage Warriors banner and then in the UFC, he would build on his claims of greatness by adding a world championship in boxing to his resume.
It’s something that he promises to do before he calls it a career as a competitive combat sports athlete.
“I appreciate them comments by Sulaiman,” said McGregor.
“I will certainly attain a boxing world title before I call it a day and I’d be very excited to do that again Emmanuel Pacquiao.”