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In the aftermath of McGregor’s second-round TKO defeat to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257, the Irishman admitted that he wasn’t sure how things would pan out for his mooted clash with the Filipino as he told reporters, including MMA Junkie, during the post-fight press conference that the fight was close to being signed.
“I’ll see what happens. I don’t know what will happen,” he said at the time. “That Manny fight was happening. That was as good as done, so I don’t know.”
The following day, news emerged stating that Pacquiao was no longer interested in the McGregor matchup, with the president of Manny Pacquiao promotions Sean Gibbons reportedly telling U.K. newspaper The Sun, “I think the demand for the fight is not there presently.”
But on Saturday night Audie Attar, who manages both Pacquiao and McGregor, posted a statement to his social media making clear that his company, Paradigm Sports, is the only organization actively representing Pacquiao’s interests, and took aim at some of the rumors and statements that have been linked to the Pacquiao camp in recent days.
“The boxing industry has a history of shady characters being involved. These individuals introduce confusion and spread false rumors solely for their own interests. Unfortunately, this only ends up hurting the fighters.
“It has come to our attention that some of these individuals are once again spreading false and inaccurate rumors that are self-serving without the authority of Senator Pacquiao or Paradigm Sports.
“Senator Pacquiao engaged Paradigm Sports as his exclusive representatives last year because he wants to close out the final chapters of his historic boxing career in a meaningful way.
“No one outside of Paradigm Sports is involved in any way with the management of Senator Pacquiao’s boxing career at this time. Anyone falsely representing themselves as Senator Pacquiao’s manager or representative as it relates to his remaining fight career may face legal repercussions.
“Paradigm Sports has a reputation in the combat sports industry for operating with integrity, professionalism, and transparency fighting for our clients, and we look forward to producing an incredible event with Senator Pacquiao in early 2021.
“I am working closely with Senator Pacquiao and his legal team in Manila on plans for his next fight. We will be sharing the details of this event in the coming weeks.”
The statement certainly raises a few questions. Is this simply a case of Attar shutting down previous representatives trying to muddy the waters? Could this mean that the suggestion of waning interest in a Pacquiao-McGregor bout is inaccurate? If so, does this mean we could still see a Pacquiao-McGregor boxing match in 2021, as McGregor suggested in the lead-up to UFC 257?
With fans across boxing and MMA eagerly awaiting news on both Pacquiao’s and McGregor’s respective futures, it would appear that all options remain open and, with Pacquiao not being quoted as saying he’s no longer interested in a bout with the Dubliner, a matchup between the two may still be a possibility.
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