Manny Pacquiao via Flickr Creative Commons from Boxing AIBA
Boxer Manny Pacquiao confirmed that he will fight Conor McGregor next year, reports The Guardian.
Pacquiao’s assistant, Jayke Joson, confirmed the fight one day after McGregor tweeted that he will be “boxing Pacquiao next in the Middle East.”
“We don’t deny it,” Joson responded.
Joson said in a statement that negotiations between both boxers’ representatives are “now starting to move on.” He added that Pacquiao and McGregor are “getting ready for this one epic last boxing fight.”
Pacquiao, who is also a Philippine senator, plans to donate part of his earnings from the fight to aid COVID-19 relief efforts in the Philippines, according to Sports Illustrated.
“For the sake of all the Filipino COVID-19 victims, Senator Manny Pacquiao will be fighting UFC superstar Conor McGregor next year,” Joson said. “The huge portion of his earnings will proceed to those who are affected nationwide by the pandemic.”
The Philippines currently has the most confirmed COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia, with the number of cases surpassing 300,000 and deaths rising to 5,284 on Saturday.
McGregor’s manager says the fight will likely take place in late December or early January and that the Middle East is among the locations being considered for the fight.
McGregor tweeted on Friday that it would be a “true honour” to fight Pacquiao, whom he considers one of the “greatest boxers of the modern era.”
Pacquiao is currently the only male boxer to win world titles in eight different divisions. He last competed in July 2019, where he defeated Keith Thurman to win the WBA Welterweight Super Championship.
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