Manny Pacquiao officially “out of retirement”, targets Conor McGregor

Legendary boxer Manny Pacquiao bid farewell to professional boxing after a unanimous decision loss to Yordenis Ugas in 2021. Yet, the retirement seemed more like a brief intermission as Pacquiao swiftly hinted at a comeback. Many assumed that the boxer had given up boxing in order to concentrate on his presidential campaign in the Philippines.

But in the general election of 2022, he was soundly defeated. Like his opponent Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao started making plans for other exhibition boxing contests after the loss.

In a late 2022 exhibition match, he secured victory against Korean influencer DK Yoo via unanimous decision. The boxing legend is slated to face Buakaw and Mayweather in upcoming exhibitions.

But Manny Pacquiao is returning for much more than simply boxing exhibitions. His representative Sean Gibbons spoke with BoxingScene earlier this week. There, he revealed that the eight-division champion was open to competing in a number of officially sanctioned bouts. This also includes one versus Conor McGregor, the former UFC champion.

In the interview, Gibbons also threw names like Ryan Garcia and Gervonta Davis into the mix. Nonetheless,Gibbons appeared to find Conor McGregor vs. Manny Pacquaio pretty intriguing. He went so far as to suggest that the match may take place in Saudi Arabia.

Gibbons stated: “Technically he’s out of retirement. He would love to fight Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia. He’s got about a year left. He just wants to fight. Manny feels that he’s in tremendous shape. He’s training for this exhibition but hopefully that will lead to something bigger and better. I do [see a pro return for Pacquiao]. One of the fights that people talked about for a long time was Manny Pacquiao versus Conor McGregor.”

He continued: “That’s something that will be sensational in Saudi Arabia, let’s go. It will be a good place to do it. It’s really simple. His Excellency Turki Alalshikh, [the chairman of the General Entertainment Authority of Saudi Arabia], loves big events, and he’s putting on the best events. It’s a very intriguing and fun fight bringing two of the biggest names together in combat sports.”

The Pacquiao vs. McGregor saga is not new. McGregor had preparations to challenge Pacquiao in 2020, but the bout never happened. It seems that Pacquiao has some rekindled interest four years later.

However, it’s intriguing that Gibbions brought up Saudi Arabia. In an interview last month, Saudi adviser Turki Alalshikh said that he pushed the UFC to hold Conor McGregor’s bout in Saudi Arabia. Now that Manny Pacquiao is back, it begs the question of whether that bout may end up being a boxing match.