Real boxing match: Pacquiao calls out MMA star McGregor

Manny Pacquiao, who turns 39 in three weeks, lost his World Boxing Organization welterweight title to Australian former teacher Jeff Horn in July. (AFP)
Updated 24 November 2017
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Real boxing match: Pacquiao calls out MMA star McGregor

MANILA: Manny Pacquiao threw down the gauntlet to Conor McGregor — and took a dig at Floyd Mayweather — as he promised to give the mixed martial arts star a “real boxing match.”
McGregor lost a megabucks fight in August against the unbeaten Mayweather, who defeated Pacquiao in their disappointing ‘Fight of the Century’ in 2015.
“Happy Thanksgiving! Stay fit my friend. #realboxingmatch #2018 @thenotoriousmma,” Pacquiao posted on Twitter and Instagram, using McGregor’s social media handle.
There was no immediate reaction from McGregor on social media, and Pacquiao’s media team said Friday that there were “no negotiations yet” about a McGregor match.
Pacquiao, who turns 39 in three weeks, lost his World Boxing Organization welterweight title to Australian former teacher Jeff Horn in July, having come out of retirement in 2016 to take the belt from American Jessie Vargas.
McGregor has not fought in mixed martial arts or boxing since losing to Mayweather by 10th-round technical knockout in their much-hyped bout in Las Vegas in August.
Pacquiao’s “#realboxingmatch” reference appears to be a swipe at Mayweather, who beat the Filipino by unanimous decision in 2015 in the richest fight in boxing history.
Pacquiao, who fought with a shoulder injury that later required surgery, has insisted he beat Mayweather, saying he “didn’t do nothing. He was always moving outside.”
Mayweather retired with a record of 50-0 after the McGregor bout.


Cristiano Ronaldo ready for emotional return to Manchester United in Champions League

Updated 23 min 57 sec ago
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Cristiano Ronaldo ready for emotional return to Manchester United in Champions League

  • Ronaldo returns to former home but backs new side Juve to do the damage at Old Trafford.
  • Portuguese will want focus to be on the football after rape allegations levelled at the former Real Madrid man.

MANCHESTER: Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo is ready for an emotional return to his former club Manchester United in the Champions League on Tuesday but believes the Italian side can win by executing their gameplan.
Ronaldo is back at Old Trafford for the first time since 2013 when his goal for Real Madrid sent the Spaniards through to the Champions League quarter-finals at United’s expense.
“Emotional? I can remember what it was like when I was at Manchester,” the Portuguese said.
“I won lots of trophies here. I remember the support as well, the support was fantastic.”
Ronaldo lifted three Premier League titles, the FA Cup and two League Cups plus the first of his five Champions League crowns during six years at United and expects a tough game against Jose Mourinho’s team despite their recent struggles.
United are 10th in the Premier League after a sluggish start to the season and second in Champions League Group H, two points behind Juve after a win and a draw in their first two matches.
“It will be a difficult game. Manchester have a good team, they play at home,” Ronaldo said. “It will be tough for us, but we have our weapons. We have a chance, I know if we play the way the coach wants, we have a good chance to win the game.”
Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri, whose team are four points clear atop Serie A after eight wins and a draw, said they would have to match United’s physicality and revealed he would play with a back four to give the side more stability.
“It will be a physical game, we will have to approach it with great concentration, manage the ball and set up well on a technical level to avoid one of the greatest dangers that they can bring us, namely high balls,” Allegri said.
The Italians will be without their Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic due to an ankle injury, while their Germany midfielder Emre Can will miss the match because of a thyroid problem.
“I’m sorry there’s no Mandzukic, though it is not anything serious with him. I’d already thought about playing with others in attack,” Allegri added. “We’ll probably play with a back four because in midfield we’ll have to numerically match them.”