While fighting Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) superstar Conor McGregor will be a very lucrative deal for World Boxing Association (WBA) Super welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, the truth is the hunt is still on for the next opponent of the People’s Champ.
Fight fans got excited after McGregor announced last week that there’s a discussion for a possible showdown between him and and the Filipino ring icon. McGregor scored a technical knockout win over Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC 246 in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday.
Pacquiao though refused to give a concrete statement on the subject.
“Wala pa, no comment muna ako diyan kasi pina-finalize pa kung meron man, pinag-uusapan pa (I don’t want to comment on that because things are being finalized that is if there is an ongoing discussion),” the 41-year-old fighting senator told The Manila Times on Tuesday evening at the Makati Shangrila Hotel.
Meanwhile, international matchmaker and MP Promotion President Sean Gibbons told The Times in a separate interview that Pacquiao should talk to the right people to make the McGregor fight a reality.
“You know what, he (Pacquiao) is not wrong but I do not know how much is in discussion. They are not talking to the [right] people to get the job done,” said Gibbons, noting that Pacquiao should deal with Premier Boxing Champions founder Al Haymon to make the fight happen.
“It’s real simple, UFC calls out Haymon. Ari Emanuel and Al Haymon have known each other for 30 years, everybody knows everybody. So if everybody wanted that fight to happen — it is simple — someone will call,” added Gibbons.
Ari Emanuel is the owner of the UFC.
Gibbons doubts Pacquiao-McGregor will happen in April.
“You need McGregor to agree far from that. I do not see that anytime soon,” said Gibbons, who added that they are considering fighters from other countries not only the United States for Pacquiao’s April fight.
“The Senator is a fighter and is available for all fights. If the UFC and Conor want it, come and get it.”
There are also talks for Saudi Arabia or Qatar to host Pacquiao’s fight in April.
“We are actively speaking to other countries and the USA. I hope to get a deal worked out by first week of February. There’s no guarantee though whose opponent Pacquiao will face in April,” Gibbons said.