Manny Pacquiao Confirms Fight With Conor McGregor Next Year

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Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao confirmed he will fight two-time UFC champion Conor McGregor next year.

Pacquiao's aide, Jayke Joson, released a statement saying the bout will take place, with part of the fighter's earnings going to COVID-19 relief in the Philippines.

"For the sake of all the Filipino Covid-19 victims, Senator Manny Pacquiao will be fighting UFC superstar Conor McGregor next year," Joson said, per ESPN Ringside. "The huge portion of his earnings will proceed to those who are affected nationwide by the pandemic."

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Joson's statement comes one day after McGregor tweeted he would be "boxing Manny Pacquiao next in the Middle East."

On Friday, McGregor's manager, Audie Attar, told ESPN that the two sides were in "serious talks" about a fight but it wasn't a done deal yet. Attar, who represents both fighters, said the bout would take place in late December or early January, and the Middle East was among a few locations being discussed.

Attar also added that McGregor is planning to return to the UFC in 2021 following his fight with Pacquiao.

In June, McGregor announced his retirement from MMA for the third time. The Irishman hasn't fought since January, when he beat Donald Cerrone via TKO in just 40 seconds. 

McGregor previously boxed world champion Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas in August 2017, losing by TKO in 10 rounds.

Pacquiao, the WBA champion, holds a 62-7-2 record with 39 knockouts. The 41-year-old most recently competed in July 2019, defeating Keith Thurman via 12-round split decision to win the WBA Welterweight Super Championship.