CONOR McGREGOR’S boxing coach revealed there is an ’85-90 per cent chance’ he fights Manny Pacquiao after rematching Dustin Poirier.
McGregor marks his return to action on January 23, facing Poirier, who he beat in 2014, on Fight Island in the UFC 257 headliner.
But already there is speculation about what the Irishman will do next, with prospect of fighting Pacquiao looming large.
Phil Sutcliffe, who is in charge of McGregor’s boxing, is confident the former two-weight UFC champion will return to the ring after his rematch with Poirier.
Sutcliffe told ESPN: “85-90 per cent chance, maybe April, March.
“March, April or May. I’d like him to be in a boxing camp for at least two months, eight weeks.
“I mean, he’s fit now, he’s going to train straight after the fight. He’s gonna 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 galavanting too much, but he has to enjoy the win, he has to enjoy the win, enjoy the contest.”
McGregor, 32, put his UFC career on hold in 2017 to make a lucrative boxing debut, losing to Floyd Mayweather, 43, in ten rounds
But he did so without the help of Sutcliffe, who was the first man ever to train the future superstar.
The pair linked up again in 2019, and in McGregor’s last fight – for the first time in the UFC – Sutcliffe was in the corner.
In September The Notorious first announced talks were underway with himself and 42-year-old Pacquiao.
But the UFC managed to convince the southpaw to commit his future to the octagon, where he will face Poirier, 31, at lightweight.
McGregor’s manager Audi Attar, who also represents Pacquiao, confirmed he plans to match his two clients against each other this year.
But it was met with strong reluctance from UFC president Dana White, who has urged McGregor to forget boxing and focus on MMA in 2021.
White said: “A boxing match with any of these guys, that stuff’s always going to be there.
“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.”