Paulie Malignaggi and Amir Khan among potential next boxing opponents for Conor McGregor

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Conor McGregor stepped into a boxing ring for the first time as a professional fighter against Floyd Mayweather, but it may not be the last.

The Irishman said that “anyone who wants a knock, give me a shout” in the wake of his 10th-round loss.

He may chose to return to UFC but, should he stay in the ring rather than go back to the octagon, who could he take on?

Here, we look at five possible opponents:

PAULIE MALIGNAGGI

The retired American sparred with McGregor but things quickly turned sour as he left the camp amid denied claims he had been knocked down. Malignaggi retired this year after time caught up with him, but could he face McGregor on St Patrick’s Day in New York, as has been mooted?

FLOYD MAYWEATHER

Surely not? Mayweather said he was retired “for sure” after beating McGregor but, Mayweather also loves money. This fight has reportedly earned him $100million – would he be able to resist 200 million? His perfect 50-0 record should keep him out of the gym.

AMIR KHAN

Ahead of the fight, Khan said “boxing will be over” if McGregor won. He also said, in the event of a McGregor victory, “I’d even go to Ireland and fight him there”. McGregor lost, but will Khan still fancy it?

KELL BROOK

Brook, like Khan, has wanted the biggest names in the welterweight division. Like Khan, he never faced Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao. He stepped up to face Gennady Golovkin at middleweight and lost, bravely, before doing so to Errol Spence back at welter. He is at a career crossroads, but would he fancy McGregor?

LIAM SMITH

One of the four Smith brothers, all professionals, Liam Smith was the WBO light-middleweight champion in 2015 and 2016. He will have a rematch with fellow Brit Liam Williams in Newcastle in October, having beaten him earlier in the year when Williams – ahead of the cards – suffered an eye injury. If he loses the rematch, could he look at Conor?

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Floyd Mayweather admits Conor McGregor was better than he thought after stopping UFC star

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Floyd Mayweather accepted that Conor McGregor was better than he thought as he was made to work hard for his 10th-round stoppage in their light-middleweight fight in Las Vegas.

McGregor was making his professional boxing debut having moved over from UFC and fared better than most people thought, winning the first few rounds.

But Mayweather’s class and experience began to tell and, with McGregor barely able to stand in the 10th round, the referee stopped the fight.

Mayweather said in his post-fight interview in the ring: “He is a tough competitor and I thought we gave the fans what they wanted to see.

“He is a lot better than I thought he was, he used different angles and was a tough competitor but I was the better man tonight.

“Our game-plan was to take our time, let him shoot all his heavy shots early on and then take him down at the end, down the stretch.

“We know in the MMA he fights 25 minutes real hard and after that he starts to slow down.

“I guaranteed this fight wouldn’t go the distance. A win is a win.”

Mayweather lands a straight right

Mayweather lands a straight right

Mayweather’s victory takes his record to an unprecedented 50-0 and the 40-year-old insists this was his last outing in the ring: “This was my last fight tonight, my last fight, for sure. I chose the right dance partner to dance with.”

McGregor will walk away with his reputation intact after putting up an accomplished showing in his first professional bout.

The 29-year-old believes the referee Robert Byrd called time on the fight too early.

“I took the early rounds fairly handy,” he said. “I thought it was close, I thought the stoppage was a bit early, there was a lot on the line and I thought he should have let me carry on.

“I was just a little fatigued. He is composed and you have got to give it to him.

“I thought it was close. I get a little wobbly when I’m tired, it is fatigue, the referee could have let it keep going, let the man put me down. I am clear headed.

“Where were the final two rounds? Let me wobble to the corner and make him put me down.

“I’ve been strangled on live TV and came back. When you’re in here in the squared circle, everything is different.”

On the potential to get back in the square ring, the Irishman added: “We’ll see what happens. I am having a buzz, if anyone wants a knock give me a call.”

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Jose Aldo laughs as John Kavanagh says they gave it their best shot after Floyd Mayweather stops Conor McGregor

David Cooper 27/08/2017
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Floyd Mayweather outclassed Conor McGregor with a 10th-round stoppage here Saturday to win their money-spinning superfight and clinch his 50th straight victory.

Former welterweight boxing champion Mayweather, who had emerged from a two-year retirement to take on the Irish mixed martial arts star, took his time to get going before dominating from the fourth round.

Everyone has had their say on the fight, particularly the MMA community so here’s a selection of what they had to say.

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