“85-90 per cent chance, maybe April, March.”
Conor McGregor’s boxing coach, Phil Sutcliffe, is extremely confident the former two-weight UFC champion will return to the boxing ring to face Manny Pacquiao after his UFC 257 showdown with Dustin Poirier.
McGregor marks his long-awaited return to the UFC on January 23 when he takes on Poirier.
The clash will be a rematch of their 2014 fight which McGregor won.
“85-90 per cent chance, maybe April, March,” Sutcliffe, speaking to ESPN, said.
“March, April or May. I’d like him to be in a boxing camp for at least two months.”
Conor McGregor's boxing coach, Phil Sutcliffe, recalls a 10-year-old @TheNotoriousMMA first wandering into Crumlin Boxing Club 🥊
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) January 13, 2021
Sutcliffe would like to see McGregor have a week off after his UFC bout before concentrating fully on boxing.
He continued: “I mean, he’s fit now. He’s going to train straight after the fight. He’s going to take probably a week off.
“I told him take a week off. Don’t worry, if he wants to take a week off, he can. Then go straight back on the horse.
“We don’t want him out gallivanting too much, but he has to enjoy the win, he has to enjoy the win, enjoy the contest.”
However, UFC president Dana White has come out strongly against the idea of McGregor returning to the ring to face Pacquiao.
He urged McGregor to focus on MMA in 2021 and when the Dubliner is older, he can then start looking for money fights.
“A boxing match with any of these guys, that stuff’s always going to be there,” White explained.
“You are the absolute best in the world right now in MMA and the timing is right now. Not getting any younger.
“I’d love to see him go for it here over the next year. If he wants to fight one of these boxing guys, do that next year.
“That fight’s always going to be there.”