Conor McGregor appears to be getting further away from a UFC return.
According to a report from Sky Sports, Manny Pacquiao and McGregor have begun preliminary discussions about a boxing match between the two fighters in April. Pacquiao confirmed that he had approached McGregor’s team about a potential bout.
"Initially," Pacquiao told Sky Sports. "But we have not yet had any follow-up conversations. If we can negotiate it, I have no problem. It is OK with both of us."
Pacquaio fueled rumors of a showdown with McGregor when on Thanksgiving he told the Irishman to “Stay fit my friend” via Twitter in a post accompanied by the hashtag #realboxingmatch. The 38-year-old Pacquiao is coming off a controversial loss to Jeff Horn in July. The popular Filipino boxer owns a 59-7-2 career mark and is a former eight-division world champion. His unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather in May 2015 did a reported 4.4 million pay-per-view buys.
McGregor, meanwhile, is coming off his first career boxing match, a 10th round technical knockout loss to Mayweather on Aug. 26. Depending on the source, the bout either approached or surpassed the pay-per-view sales achieved by Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. McGregor is believed to have earned north of $100 million for the fight – far more than any of his UFC appearances.
McGregor, who remains the UFC lightweight champion, has hinted that he would require an ownership share or a co-promoter role in order to return to the Las Vegas-based promotion. UFC President Dana White recently said it was possible that McGregor might never fight again.
Pacquiao, a senator in his home country, told Sky Sports that McGregor is one of many possible opponents. The bout must occur during senate recess in the Philippines.
“It depends on who they can finalize as my opponent by April,” Pacquiao said.