Manny Pacquiao and Conor McGregor have been linked in multiple rumors for over a year now, but they may be closer to facing each other than we actually think. In fact, Manny Pacquiao himself could be the one pushing for it.
Conor McGregor is arguably the biggest star in combat sports, only Canelo Alvarez even comes close to McGregor’s aura. At 32 years old, the Irishman has amassed millions of dollars and two UFC titles on his way to international fame. He had some of the biggest pay-per-view in UFC history including the biggest ever with UFC 229 when he faced the Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov.
But despite all of those accomplishments, McGregor’s biggest moment wasn’t in the octagon but the ring when he faced the legendary Floyd Mayweather. This fight earned Mcgregor a reported 100 million dollars and made him a household name across the globe. After this fight, we weren’t sure to ever see Conor McGregor fight again but despite the wait, he did come back to the octagon at UFC 246 and knocked out Donald Cerrone in 26 seconds.
McGregor looks ready to focus completely on his MMA career and is scheduled to rematch Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 on January 23. A win against Poirier would make McGregor the clear number one contender for the vacant lightweight title. We could see Conor McGregor holding a belt for the first time since 2016 when he won the lightweight title after defeating Eddie Alvarez.
But that might not be what’s on McGregor’s mind this year. Manny Pacquiao who shares the same management agency as the Irishman has stated that he wants to face an MMA fighter. The Philipino gave was interviewed by the Business Mirror.
“They’re (Errol Spence and Terrence Crawford) my options, but right now I want to experience fighting and MMA (fighter)” Pacquiao said reffering to McGregor.
Manny Pacquiao has already said that he was interested in facing McGregor back in 2018. But now that the two men share the same agency (Paradigm Sports), the fight looks more likely than ever. It would certainly be a huge fight numbers-wise, but it might not be as competitive as some people tend to think.
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McGregor’s manager Audie Attar seems to think that the fight is inevitable. He talked about the fight in an interview with Boxing Scene.
I definitely think it’s inevitable for 2021. Both fighters want it, that’s the key. You can’t make something happen or orchestrate it or choreograph it… you can’t fake that.” He then added, “The UFC said, ‘Alright let’s do that rematch (with Dustin Poirier)’. We said OK, well let’s do the rematch firt then but then Manny will be the next fight. And that’s what both fighters want. So, that’s the plan.”
It seems like the UFC has signed off on McGregor facing Pacquiao is the opportunity presents itself. It will be interesting to see whether McGregor goes in as his own promoter or decides to co-promote the event with the UFC as he did against Mayweather.