Conor McGregor has been accused of blowing his chance of an imminent fight with Manny Pacquiao.
McGregor faces an uncertain future in mixed martial arts following his shock defeat to lightweight rival Dustin Poirier in their rematch at UFC 257 this month.
There has been speculation that he could make a return to boxing, with Pacquiao signing to the same management company as McGregor to seemingly pave the way for a money-spinning bout.
The Filipino multi-weight champion wished McGregor well on Twitter and added “Let’s make 2021 the best year ever for fight fans.”
McGregor confirmed afterwards the deal was “as good as done” but his knockout perhaps diminishes the appetite for the contest and may lead to Pacquiao looking elsewhere.
And Sean Gibbons, president of Manny Pacquiao promotions, has played down any hopes of a showdown between the two in the immediate future.
He told The Sun : “Very unfortunate, it looked like Conor looked past Dustin and got knocked out.
“Maybe he had the Senator on his mind. I think the demand for the fight is not there presently.
“Conor has some business to clean up and handle in the UFC.
“It’s a bummer, it could have been fun for as long as it lasted and know leg kicks would have made a world of difference.”
Gibbons’ comments come after Pacquiao claimed McGregor lost to Poirier because he underestimated the American.
Poirier looked to utilise his wrestling ability and scored an early takedown before butchering McGregor with a series of leg kicks.
McGregor failed to check any of them, and was ultimately left unable to move around the cage and avoid Poirier, who stormed him and knocked him out in the second round.
Pacquiao told ABS-CBN News: “Losing is part of the game. In sport there are winners and losers, that’s all.
“It is not about defeat, but about how you accept defeat in your life: how you get over that difficult time in your life.
“McGregor had already beaten his rival before and I think that made him underestimate him.”