Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao put retirement rumors to rest on Thursday, calling out Conor McGregor to step into the ring with him next.
Pacquiao took to social media to tease a potential bout with the Irishman, whose boxing debut didn't go quite according to plan against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in August.
McGregor, the UFC lightweight champion, fell in 10 rounds to Mayweather in the highly-anticipated fight, but fared much better than most analysts and oddsmakers predicted in his boxing debut. He still came away with a cool $30 million for his efforts, though, and there's no doubt a potential clash with Pacquiao would be equally, or even more lucrative for McGregor.
Pacquiao, who has served as a senator in his native Philipines since the summer of 2016, is coming off a 12-round unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Jeff Horn last summer. In the wake of the defeat, his trainer, Freddie Roach, has suggested the 38-year-old strongly consider retirement after losing his title.
"Being a professional boxer and a senator at the same time is very difficult," Roach told Fighthype. "He still wants a couple of more fights. He’s doing a good job as a senator right now, but not as a boxer."
Pacquiao, though, clearly has other ideas. He's grown frustrated with his career in politics, leading to speculation he'll turn his focus back to the ring on a full-time basis.
“I feel dismayed, discouraged. I want to let go because I’m not used to politicking,” Pacquiao told The Philipine Star on Tuesday.
McGregor, who is entering his prime years as a 29-year-old fighter, hasn't announced his next opponent, which many presume will surely be back in the octagon. It should be interesting to see if he responds to Pacquiao in the coming hours and days, though. With Pac Man's declining skills, you'd have to think McGregor would be the favorite if the fight ever came to fruition.
Pacquiao has also squared off with Mayweather in the boxing ring, losing via unanimous decision back in June 2015.
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