Manny Pacquiao speaks at a press conference. Photo: AP Photo/John Pye
Manny Pacquiao speaks at a press conference. Photo: AP Photo/John Pye
Conor McGregor trains ahead of his fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Photo: Steve Marcus/Reuters
Conor McGregor trains ahead of his fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Photo: Steve Marcus/Reuters

MANILA, Philippines -  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 told AFP 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.

Pacquiao is the second former World Champion and former Mayweather opponent to call out the Irishman in November.

Earlier this month Boxing Hall of Famer and head of Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya said that he has been "secretly training" and called out UFC star Conor McGregor.

"You know I'm competitive," De La Hoya said on "Golden Boy Radio with Tattoo and the Crew," a daily digital radio show.

"I still have it in me. ... I'm faster than ever and stronger than ever. I know I can take out Conor McGregor in two rounds. I'll come back for that fight. Two rounds. Just one more (fight). I'm calling him out. Two rounds, that's all I need. That's all I'm going to say."

De La Hoya, who is nearly a decade into retirement, publicly considered a comeback in June 2015, only to change his tune one week later.

A 1992 Olympic gold medal winner and 10-time professional world champion, De La Hoya captured titles at 130, 135, 140, 147, 154 and 160 pounds. He won bouts against Hall of Famers Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. (twice), Pernell Whitaker and Arturo Gatti. He also fought other greats, including Felix Trinidad, Hector Camacho Sr., Bernard Hopkins, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Shane Mosley (twice) and Manny Pacquiao.

De La Hoya has not fought since dropping a one-sided eighth-round knockout loss to Manny Pacquiao on December 6, 2008. He went 39-6 with 30 knockouts in his career and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2014.

De La Hoya calling out McGregor may come as a surprise to many. The the 44-year-old was one of the most vocal critics ahead of Mayweather vs McGregor, saying it was a "circus" and a "farce."

AFP/Reuters

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