WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman has explained what Conor McGregor needs to accomplish if he holds aspirations of securing a world title in the sport of boxing.
Conor McGregor continues to toy with the idea of returning to the ring, with a crossover clash against Manny Pacquiao being touted as a possibility in the near future.
McGregor was granted a licence to box Floyd Mayweather in 2017 and a so-called ‘Money Belt’ was put on the line by the WBC for the bout, which ended in a TKO victory for Mayweather.
Should McGregor follow up his upcoming UFC rematch against Dustin Poirier with a return to boxing, ‘The Notorious’ shouldn’t anticipate an immediate world title shot even with his superstar status.
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman has revealed that McGregor would first need to beat a ranked fighter before he would be considered for a title shot.
“I would say, he needs to face and defeat a ranked fighter, then he would be eligible to be ranked and to compete for a title,” Sulaiman told The Sun.
“Because, we have plenty of examples of Muay Thai fighters, who turn professional in international boxing, and they are eligible to fight for the title.
“We also have amateur superstars like Vasiliy Lomachenko, they come into professional boxing and fight for the title and it’s proven it works.”
While McGregor has only one professional boxing match to his name, the Irishman should not be considered a novice according to Sulaiman.
Sulaiman pointed to McGregor’s extensive experience at the highest level of combat sports as proof that he is viewed as a very different prospect to someone with one win and no other fighting experience.
He continued: “Conor has a mixed martial arts resume, so if he comes into boxing and wins a fight against a ranked fighter, he would be eligible to be ranked.
“This is not a rookie entering the sport, he has a long history of combat sports, so it’s a different scenario of what it used to be in the past.”
With the Covid-19 pandemic putting the kibosh on McGregor’s plans for his 2020 season, he intends to make up for lost time this year although UFC President Dana White is eager for the Dubliner to hold off with any ambitions for another switch to boxing.
White remains optimistic of convincing Khabib Nurmagomedov to return for a lucrative rematch against McGregor and has urged ‘The Notorious’ to take advantage of his prime in MMA before perhaps moving into boxing in 2022.
“A boxing match with any of these guys, that stuff’s always going to be there,” White told ESPN.
“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.”