© Provided by Boxing Junkie
Conor McGregor has given the strongest indication yet that he will fight Manny Pacquiao this year.
The UFC star, who is scheduled to face Dustin Poirier in a mixed martial arts bout on Jan. 24, is negotiations with the iconic welterweight beltholder for what would be a lucrative a boxing match.
McGregor has said he wants to win a major boxing title. He was stopped by Floyd Mayweather in his only boxing match, in 2017.
"I know that talks are intensifying for [a fight against Pacquiao] this year," McGregor told his website The Mac Life. "I am excited for a Manny Pacquiao bout and it looks like it will happen this year. What time this year? I am not sure.
"We'll have to have some good discussions with Dana White and the UFC and see where it goes. I am open to it all, ready for it all. I will certainly attain a boxing world title before I call it a day. And I would be excited to do that against Emmanuel Pacquiao."
Pacquiao and his handlers also have made it clear that he's interested in meeting McGregor in what would be a lucrative pay-per-view fight.
"Right now I want to experience fighting in MMA," Pacquiao told the Filipino outlet BusinessMirror, which was a reference to McGregor.
Pacquiao, 42, last fought in July 2019, when he defeated Keith Thurman by a split decision to win his 147-pound belt. MORE:
Video: Mannix, Mora: Measuring Canelo Alvarez's greatness
Bob Arum '95 percent' certain Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua gets made
Lamar Odom, former NBA star, signs deal to become boxer: report
Video: Ak, Barak: Eddie Hearn discusses upcoming fights, possible matchups
Video: Ak, Barak: Teofimo Lopez says, 'I want Devin (Haney)'