Manny Pacquiao has opened talks to fight mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor in April during a break from his senate duties.
“If we can negotiate it, I have no problem, said. “It is OK with both of us.”
Asked by AFP if he had already approached McGregor’s handlers, he said: “Initially, but we have not yet had any follow-up conversations.”
Pacquiao said he heard that McGregor was interesting in fighting him after the Irish fighter’s foray into boxing. In August, he went head-to-head with the USA’s Floyd Mayweather.
Last month, Pacquiao dropped some heavy hints about a showdown with McGregor, posting a message to him on Twitter and Instagram, saying: “Happy Thanksgiving! Stay fit my friend. #realboxingmatch #2018 @thenotoriousmma [McGregor’s social media handle]”
Pacquiao, who turns 39 later this month, lost his WBO welterweight title to Australian Jeff Horn in July. The Filipino legend came out of retirement in 2016 to take the belt from American Jessie Vargas.
McGregor has not fought in any mixed martial arts or boxing matches since losing to Mayweather by a 10th-round technical knockout in Las Vegas bout.
Pacquiao also lost to Mayweather in the same city in 2015.
Pacquiao stressed that McGregor was just one of many potential opponents when he returns to the ring for the first time since his controversial defeat by Horn.
“It depends who they can finalise as my opponent by April,” he said, stressing that the match had to be held while the senate was not sitting.
The born-again Christian said he could also have a rematch with Horn or a fight with 29-year-old American Keith Thurman, who holds the WBA Super welterweight title and the WBC welterweight title.
Should the fight go ahead, the Philippines can expect a huge drop in recorded crime. On the night of his Mayweather bout, not a single incident was recorded across Metro Manila.