Manny Pacquiao interested in Conor McGregor fight

By Boxing News - 10/02/2020 - Comments

By Jeff Aronow: Manny Pacquiao says he’s interested in facing Conor McGregor if he can co-promote the event. The fight shapes up to be a tremendous mismatch with Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KO) likely to chop the former UFC star to pieces in the first three to four rounds.

Conor made it ten rounds before getting knocked out the last time he fought in a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr in August 2017, but that was a fight where he appeared to be carried.

Pacquiao doesn’t take it easy on his opponents, and that’s going to make it difficult for McGregor, 32, to hang in there for any length of time. McGregor looked dreadful in losing to Mayweather three years ago.

Pacquiao and McGregor will be counting on the fans having a short memory about that fight and would be willing to order it on pay-per-view still. With the poor ratings that many of the boxing events have had in 2020, Pacquiao vs. McGregor could be a breath of fresh air.

Even if Pacquiao-McGregor brings in only one million buys, it would still be the biggest fight on pay-per-view in 2020. It would be better if Pacquiao picked out a different UFC fighter to face in a boxing event rather than McGregor. If Pacquiao were to face Khabib, it would be new territory and he’d receive more credit a lot more interest from boxing fans in facing him.

Image: Manny Pacquiao interested in Conor McGregor fight

Pacquiao willing to fight McGregor as co-promoter

“I do not have an existing management contract with Paradigm Sports Management. I have formed my own company and am more than willing to give the fans an exciting fight with Conor McGregor under terms where I am the co-promoter with my company,” said Pacquiao in a statement.

“According to ESPN, McGregor is in talks to fight Manny Pacquiao. McGregor Tweeted on Friday that he’s boxing Manny Pacquiao in the Middle East,” said Chris Mannix to DAZN. “McGregor’s manager told ESPN that the fight would take place in late December or early January.”

“No, I do not because I know the outcome already. I know that Manny Pacquiao will beat him down,” said Sergio Mora when asked if he’d like to see Manny face McGregor. “Manny Pacquiao’s not a showman. He’s not going to carry Conor McGregor as Mayweather did.

“Mayweather somehow said he wasn’t in shape for that fight. Manny Pacquiao is always in shape, and he’s a legend. Even at 41, he’s one of the most explosive fighters we’ve seen in the last 20 years. He’s a southpaw just like Conor McGregor.

“One thing southpaws hate to do is fight other southpaws, and McGregor isn’t even a boxer. So can you imagine how one of the fastest southpaws of our generation is going to take care of business with a guy that fights in an octagon that uses his legs, elbows, and jiu-jitsu? No way do I want to see this. This is a travesty for boxing. No.”

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As the co-promoter for the McGregor fight, Pacquiao can put some of his own fighters on the undercard and get some visibility. We’ll see if Pacquiao gets his way and is given the shot at co-promoting the event. If not, who knows if he’ll take the fight or not.

Other than money, Pacquiao won’t gain much credibility from fighting McGregor because boxing fans will see him taking Mayweather’s leftovers. They’ll see him motivated just for the dough that he gets.

Manny doesn’t need Conor yet

“Well, if he’d [Pacquiao] lost his last fight against Keith Thurman, I might say, ‘Why not?’ because at that point Pacquiao would have lost to a titleholder, wouldn’t have his belt and would be very much in the twilight of his career,” said Mannix.

“But Pacquiao beat Keith Thurman, and he showed at 40+ years old, he’s still a player in the 147-pound division. So if not Conor McGregor, I’d like to see Manny Pacquiao against Terence Crawford. And if that fight can’t be made, then I would like to see Pacquiao against the winner of Errol Spence vs. Danny Garcia.

Image: Manny Pacquiao interested in Conor McGregor fight

“I want to see Pacquiao against any of the top welterweight. I understand why he wants to fight Conor McGregor. Even though we can talk and tell people for hours that the Pacquiao-McGregor fight is a bad fight, there will be a market for it.

“There will be a huge live gate for it; there will be a huge pay-per-view for it. People would buy it, and Pacquiao would have a pretty easy paycheck coming his way. But if it happens, it happens. I don’t want to see it. I want to see Pacquiao fight, Bud Crawford, at some point early next year.”

Pacquiao would be sending a message to the boxing world by fighting McGregor that he’s done as a fighter, and just going to take exhibition level fights. The Nevada State Athletic Commission will probably sanction the Pacquiao vs. McGregor fight as counting as a professional match. If they didn’t, it would look strange given that they sanctioned the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight as cunting as a professional match.

That’s how Mayweather was able to breast Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record. Mayweather didn’t have to fight a real boxer to break the record. Many boxing fans took issue with the Nevada Commission sanctioning the fight as a professional match because McGregor had never fought as a pro in boxing, and he came from an entirely different sport.

If Pacquiao has made up his mind that he’s done with boxing, it makes sense for him to cash out against McGregor, 32, because it will give him a big payday without any real risk involved.

Pacquiao is still an elite fighter

“Hey, is anyone deserves an easy payday, it’s the legend, Manny Pacquiao, but as you mentioned, he just beat one of the elite welterweights in Keith Thurman,” said Mora.

Image: Manny Pacquiao interested in Conor McGregor fight

“He’s still an elite fighter, even at 41-years-old. We know what he’s going to do against Conor McGregor. It’s going to be a one-sided fight. I don’t think that fight goes past five rounds. It’s going to be explosive, violent, and quick. It’s going to be Pacquiao eating up them ghosts. I don’t want to see it.”

Pacquiao is still performing at a high enough level to where he doesn’t need to resort to fighting MMA guys like Floyd Mayweather Jr is reporting to because of his advanced age.

For Pacquiao to start looking for easy fights against fighters like McGregor, it’s going to signal that he’s no longer a top fighter. Right now, that would be a premature move on Pacquiao’s part because he still has a lot left.

In Mayweather’s case, he seems to have lost his nerve to take on great fighters after he got a big payday against Pacquiao in 2015. From that point on, Mayweather was no longer interestested in facing the elite guys, and he was going to play it safe that point.

Whether it was the money that did it to him or perhaps the punishment he absorbed against Manny is unknown. All we know is after the Pacquiao fight, Mayweather called it a career and started coasting with mismatches against a shot Andre Berto, boxing novice McGregor and the Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa.

Image: Manny Pacquiao interested in Conor McGregor fight

It would be a shame if Manny followed in Mayweather’s footsteps and gave up his career so early. 41 is normally old for a boxer, but not in the case of Pacquiao. What w saw in Pacquiao’s win over Keith Thurman was a fighter capable of competing with the best.