Manny Pacquiao officially out of retirement, targeting fight with UFC star Conor McGregor

Manny Pacquiao and Conor McGregor

Manny Pacquiao is officially out of retirement and he’s got some big names in mind for his return to the boxing ring.

The former eight-division world champion walked away from the sport in 2021 following a unanimous decision loss to Yordenis Ugas. Since then, ‘Pacman’ has been working his way through the exhibition circuit, following in the footsteps of Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather and others. On April 20, he’s scheduled to compete against Muay Thai icon Buakaw Banchamek in Thailand.

Sean Gibbons, an agent and advisor for Pacquiao, revealed that the boxing star is eyeing some pretty big names for his comeback tour. He also revealed that ‘Pacman’ is open to a return to the professional boxing scene.

“Technically he’s out of retirement,” Gibbons told BoxingScene.com in an interview. “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].”

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In addition to names like ‘Tank’ Davis and Ryan Garcia, Pacquiao is open to a clash with former UFC two-division world champion Conor McGregor.

“One of the fights that people talked about for a long time was Manny Pacquiao versus Conor McGregor,” Gibbons added. “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.” 

McGregor has been taking regular digs at Pacquiao ever since the Filipino was ordered to pay $5 million to Paradigm Sports Management, the company that also manages McGregor. Pacquaio received a 3.3 million dollar advance from the firm for agreeing to fight Mikey Garcia in 2020. Pacquiao later signed on for a bout with Errol Spence Jr. which prompted Paradigm to pursue legal action.

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While in Saudi Arabia for the Day of Reckoning card in Riyadh, McGregor once again lobbied for a fight with Pacquaio and used the Paradigm lawsuit as ammunition.

“How about me vs. Manny here in Saudi? How does that sound to you? Wouldn’t you think Manny should have to come up in weight, considering it’s his sport? Would you think that’s what a man would do vs. what a mouse would do? Manny already owes me $8 million via the court of law,” McGregor told IFL TV. “He was signed to my management company and didn’t honor his deal. So fight at my weight and I’ll square that bill away.”