Philippine boxing champion Manny Pacquiao will face former two-weight UFC champion Conor McGregor in the ring next year, and part of proceeds from the fight will go to coronavirus victims in his country.
Pacquiao’s assistant Jayke Joson says both fighters are “getting ready for this one epic last boxing fight”.
Joson’s statement followed a tweet by Irishman McGregor in which he said that he would be “boxing Pacquiao next in the Middle East”.
Joson adds of the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champ’s tweet: “We don’t deny it.”
McGregor announced on Twitter in June that he was retiring from the sport for the third time.
He first quit in April 2016.
In March 2019, he again announced he was hanging up his gloves, but on both occasions the retirements were short-lived.
Negotiation between the two camps “is now starting to move on” according to Joson, who adds that a “huge portion” of Pacquiao’s
earnings would go to those who were affected by the pandemic.
The 41-year-old Pacquiao, whose speed and power belie his age, is the only man in boxing history to hold world titles in eight different divisions.
He defeated Keith Thurman to win the WBA Welterweight Super Championship in July, taking his record to 62-7-2 with 39 knockouts.
McGregor has only fought once in professional boxing, suffering a 10th-round technical knockout loss to Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas in a lucrative bout that took place in August 2017.