Manny Pacquiao: Conor McGregor talks have begun, says assistant

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao
Pacquiao (right) lost in 2015 to Mayweather, the only man McGregor has previously fought in professional boxing

Manny Pacquiao's special assistant says that the eight-weight world champion hopes to fight Conor McGregor in 2021.

Jayke Joson added that a "huge portion" of Pacquiao's earnings would go to help coronavirus victims in the 41-year-old's native Philippines.

Former two-weight UFC champion McGregor, 32, tweeted on Friday that the the Irishman would be "boxing Pacquiao next in the Middle East".

"We don't deny it," Joson said in a statement on Saturday.

While nothing has been signed yet, he added that negotiation between the two camps "is now starting to move on" and that both fighters are "getting ready for this one epic last boxing fight".

Pacquiao is the only boxer ever to hold world titles in eight different divisions and in his last fight in July 2019 he beat Keith Thurman to become the oldest welterweight champion in history.

He now has a 62-7 record, with two draws, while McGregor's last fight - a win over Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 in January - gave him a 22-4 record in mixed martial arts.

His only previous professional boxing fight was a loss to Floyd Mayweather in August 2017.

The Las Vegas fight was one of the richest bouts in boxing history and generated more than £450m through 4.3m pay-per-view buys in North America, second only to 4.6m for Mayweather's win over Pacquiao in 2015.

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