FILE PHOTO: MMA Mixed Martial Arts – UFC 246 – Welterweight – Conor McGregor v Donald Cerrone – T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, United States – January 18, 2020 Conor McGregor before his fight against Donald Cerrone REUTERS/Mike Blake

MANILA, Philippines — Conor McGregor admitted he intends to use his possible rematch with UFC lightweight contender Dustin Poirier as part of his buildup for a potential boxing showdown with Manny Pacquiao.

McGregor said a match with Poirier will help him keep his sharpness before taking on Pacquiao in a bout rumored for next year in the Middle East.

In a tweet, McGregor did not refute speculations made by Poirier as to why the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion showed interest in fighting him.

“Going back to why I think he wants this fight, it’s because he’s angling to fight Pacquiao. That was in the news,” said Poirier, appearing on “The Fight” with Teddy Atlas.

Being a southpaw like Pacquiao, Poirier thinks he fits the criteria well as far as McGregor’s motives are concerned.

“I think that might be his mind set. He wants to fight another southpaw before he fights another southpaw. I don’t know what’s going on, but I think that’s what the alignment is,” added Poirier.

McGregor did not beat around the bush in his response.

“Correct. Southpaw box style. Continue to sharpen my MMA skills with some tough competition, while leading into my Manny bout preparation,” McGregor wrote. “It’s not easy going between both sports and then coming back to the one sport again. Just want to keep sharp guys, that’s all. It’s only fair.”

The 32-year-old Irish demolished Poirier in the opening round of their first fight in 2014.


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