Manny Pacquiao's aide confirms talks ongoing to fight Conor McGregor in 2021

An aide to Sen. Manny Pacquiao confirmed Saturday that the eight-division boxing champion is in talks to fight mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor.

Pacquiao's assistant Jayke Joson confirmed in a statement Saturday that details are being discussed.

"It is confirmed the negotiation between the camp of Senator Pacquiao and McGregor is now starting to move on. Again, as what our senator says, all his fights are dedicated for the welfare and unity of all Filipinos including this one," Joson said. "For the sake of all the Filipino Covid-19 victims, Senator Manny Pacquiao will be fighting UFC superstar Conor McGregor next year. The huge portion of his earnings will proceed to those who are affected nationwide by the pandemic."

According to Audie Attar, Paradigm Sports Management head, the showdown between the two icons may happen in the Middle East in early 2021.

MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons earlier told AFP in an e-mail that the two camps were a "long way" from agreeing to fight but negotiations have since progressed.

Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs), 41, last fought in July 2019 in a successful split decision victory to claim the WBA "super" welterweight crown over Keith Thurman.

If the fight pushes through, it will be McGregor's second time to tangle with a boxing megastar. In 2017 he lost to Floyd Mayweather in a 10th-round TKO. He last fought in January, knocking out Donald Cerrone in just 40 seconds in UFC 246.