McGregor eager to christen Las Vegas Allegiant Stadium with Pacquiao fight

By Sports Desk January 17, 2020

Conor McGregor would be "honoured" to do battle with Manny Pacquiao in what he believes would be a blockbuster first fight at the Las Vegas Allegiant Stadium.

McGregor will make his UFC return against Donald Cerrone in Las Vegas on Saturday, 15 months after he was beaten by Khabib Nurmagomedov in his last bout.

The 31-year-old Irishman is also hungry to don the boxing gloves again and has called out Floyd Mayweather Jr, who he stopped in the 10th round of their fight in August 2017, for a rematch.

McGregor this week revealed talks with another legendary veteran, Pacquiao, are ongoing and would relish the chance to do battle with the 41-year-old in 60,000 capacity Nevada venue that is still being constructed. 

"It will be hard to leave the MMA game fully but I think a boxing world title is a great aspiration to have," said the mixed martial arts superstar.

"What a feather in the cap it would be. I always want bigger and better and to reach for the stars.

"I would love the rematch with Floyd Mayweather and I know the Manny one is there whenever I want it."

He added: "I would be honoured and love to be the first combatant to fight in that arena and what a fight that would be against a small and powerful southpaw.

"We would have to figure out the weight we do it at but it interests me, no doubt."

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    Going into Saturday's bout with Fury in Las Vegas, the American has defended his WBC heavyweight title on 10 occasions since winning it against Bermane Stiverne more than five years ago. 

    That puts Wilder level with his inspiration, Ali, who made 10 consecutive defences of the same belt, as well as the WBA crown, before losing the titles to Leon Spinks in 1978.

    Wilder insists he will convincingly handle Fury – with whom he shared a dramatic draw in December 2018 – to claim the outright record, and then promised to make the run even more spectacular.

    "It will be an amazing feeling, my 11th consecutive defence," Wilder said to BBC 5 Live Boxing.

    "It was a basic plan for me to get into boxing, become a journeyman and make a few dollars for my daughter.

    "I never thought about being heavyweight champion of the world and being tied with my idol Ali.

    "Once I've beaten Fury with a devastating knockout, I will go on even further to break the record and do more amazing things."

    Despite his five-year reign and a stellar record of 42 wins, one draw and zero defeats with 41 knockouts, the 34-year-old feels it is only with this Fury rematch that he has finally achieved superstar recognition.

    Wilder added: "It's been tough being here in America when your sport is not top of the podium.

    "One of my guys described this as like a Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao fight because of all the calls coming in for tickets.

    "It made me feel good – but I have to keep my head, stay focused and deliver on Saturday. 

    "This is what I have always wanted and my moment in time has come. 

    "It took a long time. I can smile and say I will not disappoint come Saturday night."

  • Wilder: My two-year-old punches harder than Fury Wilder: My two-year-old punches harder than Fury

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    All eyes will be on the MGM Grand, where American star Wilder puts his WBC belt on the line against Fury in the second instalment of their rivalry on Saturday.

    The first bout between Wilder (42-0-1) and former WBA, IBF and WBO champion Fury (29-0-1) ended in a contentious draw in December 2018.

    As the two unbeaten heavyweight fighters prepare to face-off once more, Wilder poked fun at Fury.

    "Fury, like I have said before, has got pillows as fists," Wilder told Sky Sports News. "That's why I was able to continue applying pressure on him [in the last fight].

    "We all know that Fury can't punch. The numbers don't lie, we can see that my two-year-old punches harder than him.

    "I don't believe anything he's saying. Fighters have to have certain strategies and tactics when approaching a fight.

    "Sometimes you have to manipulate people – and he's trying to get them to believe something even he doesn't."

    Fury confirmed there is an agreement in place for a third bout between the pair, regardless of the outcome in Saturday's showdown.

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    "I knew coming back to America that I couldn't come on a whim again and get a fair decision," Fury said.

    "Deontay Wilder is the only heavyweight champion America has had in a long time and he is the longest reigning since Muhammad Ali and they don't want to let him go. But the 'Gypsy King' is going to dethrone him, rip his heart out and feed it to him."

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    Wilder will put his WBC title on the line when he steps into the ring with Fury at the MCG Grand this weekend.

    The first bout between former WBA, IBF and WBO champion Fury and American Wilder ended in a contentious draw in December 2018.

    Fury says an agreement is in place for the final part of a trilogy regardless of the outcome in their second fight.

    "I think the money is too big not to have it," the Briton told Sky Sports.

    "This is the prize-fighting game and there is too much money in the pot for him not to want the rematch, even if he loses."

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    Anthony Joshua's promoter, Eddie Hearn, wants whoever comes out on top this weekend to commit to facing the unified champion.

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