McGregor still open to facing Pacquiao despite shock loss to Poirier

Dustin Poirier unleashes a series of punches against Conor McGregor. Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--A potential boxing bout between eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao and former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor has been the talk of the town among fight sports fans over the Yuletide season especially when Pacquiao signed with Paradigm Sports Management, which also handles McGregor.

However, the chances of it happening suddenly became dim for non-boxing reasons after McGregor was knocked out on Sunday at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi.

McGregor, the heavy favorite ahead of the fight card's headliner, received a flurry of punches highlighted by a solid left hook and a right hand strike from Dustin Poirier midway into the second round of their highly anticipated rematch.

Despite the defeat, however, McGregor said that he remains to give boxing another try.

"I'm open. Let's see what happens," McGregor said during the post-fight press conference of UFC 257.

But he clarified, "I always want to focus on my MMA career."

Also, he admitted that he suffered a leg injury that slowed him down significantly against Poirier.

"It's deep into the muscle. It's a completely dead leg," McGregor further said.

McGregor was actually poised to repeat over Poirier when he landed solid punches in Round 1.

However, a leg sweep from Poirier late into the round showed glimpses that McGregor, who was making his first MMA fight after a full year, could falter sometime later in the match.

Eventually, Poirier pounced on McGregor's lack of healthy footwork by unleashing quick strikes that knocked him out at the 2:32 mark of Round 2.

McGregor is also rumored to face budding pugilist Jake Paul, which means Poirier may have just shelved two boxing bouts for McGregor.

Reacting to the outcome, Pacquiao tweeted, "Anything can happen!"

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