Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn
Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao? He may have unfinished business with boxing
McGregor on Mayweather: "He's far from retired. That rematch will happen at some stage."
Last Updated: 20/01/20 5:28pm
The boxing world looks when Conor McGregor fights.
The one-bout in-ring novice is a master of his UFC domain and, on Saturday night, won his first fight in more than three years. The McGregor circus is back in town and Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are interested bystanders, immediately posting their recognition online.
McGregor bulldozed into the boxing community two-and-a-half years ago by debuting in the sport against modern great Mayweather - it was a spectacle, and it divided fans of both MMA and boxing for its impurity. It was the second-richest fight of all time behind Mayweather vs Pacquiao.
"It's me and Manny," McGregor roared about a future meeting at his victorious post-fight press conference on Saturday in Vegas. He had teased a boxing return in the week prior then won his UFC comeback without much need for his fists - instead his shoulders, knees, feet and elbows dispatched Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone in just 40 seconds.
Mayweather, aged 42 with a 50-0 record, also cryptically posted a mock image of a fight poster for his own rematch with the Irishman.
"Look, we'll see what happens," McGregor said. "That Floyd, he's a funny man, old Floyd.
"See what happens. The discussions are always ongoing, they never stop. You know Floyd and going through money fast.
"So, he's far from retired. That rematch will happen at some stage."
UFC president Dana White added: "We're doing something with Floyd. Floyd is in our plans and we're in Floyd's plans this year. We'll end up doing something."
It is worth pointing out that McGregor competed 23 pounds heavier than Pacquiao, the 41-year-old WBA welterweight champion. Boxers closer to McGregor's weight include Gennadiy Golovkin or Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, names that have never come out of the UFC star's mouth.
McGregor will always be wistful about boxing - he boxed as a teenage amateur in Dublin before falling in love with MMA, and becoming that sport's most famous face.
His credentials as a boxer have only ever been publicly tested against Mayweather, when he lost in 10 rounds. McGregor last week insisted that he could still become a boxing world champion. Critics believe unknown kids in amateur gyms have more skills than he does.
That irks him, you can tell.
His old boxing coach from the Crumlin amateur gym, Phil Sutcliffe, was welcomed into McGregor's training camp for his UFC comeback. It was the first time Sutcliffe had ever been involved in his former student's fight preparation - he was not consulted before the Mayweather bout.
Three years ago Sutcliffe told Sky Sports: "He could have been very good if he stayed with boxing. Some kids had more talent than Conor but didn't work as hard and eventually he found them out."
McGregor's affiliation with the Irish boxing scene manifested itself with a slanging match over the phone with Luke Keeler last year. Keeler had criticised McGregor for hitting an old man in a pub and received an angry call in response. Keeler challenges for Demetrius Andrade's WBO middleweight title on January 30, live on Sky Sports.
The boxing world keeps its eye on McGregor. Tyson Fury and Claressa Shields were in the front row to watch him on Saturday night. Paulie Malignaggi, however, was conspicuous by his silence on his old sparring partner.
McGregor is likely next to face Jorge Masvidal, the former street brawler accomplice of Kimbo Slice who in the past year has knocked out Britain's Darren Till, completed a six-second flying knee KO, and been presented with the 'bad mother-' belt by Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson after beating Nate Diaz.
But who would be brave enough to rule out a boxing return against Pacquiao or Mayweather? He has unfinished business inside the ring.