After Conor McGregor’s return to the octagon earlier in January, many fans have been speculating about what’s next for him. And, after the cancellation of the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson fight due to the Coronavirus pandemic, McGregor could fight for the UFC title soon. But, with that said, he could also fight Manny Pacquiao next. Here’s why.
Conor McGregor’s history with boxing
While McGregor is best-known as an MMA fighter, he’s actually pretty knowledgeable and skilled at boxing. In fact, when he fought Floyd Mayweather, both he and Mayweather agreed to fight under some old boxing rules known as the ‘Marquess of Queensbury Rules.‘ These were the old boxing rules that allowed both men to fight with smaller gloves, which helped both men hit harder.
On top of that, while Mayweather did ultimately win the fight, it was still a good contest. McGregor, who had never had a professional boxing fight before, did really well against one of the best boxers ever.
Ultimately, Mayweather’s defensive style allowed him to soften and dodge McGregor’s punches. Still, McGregor managed to land some good shots on Mayweather, something that few professional boxers could boast about.
By the 10th round, McGregor was exhausted and Mayweather smelled blood in the water. Mayweather pummeled McGregor, and although McGregor never fell down or took a knee, the referee had seen enough and called a stop to the fight.
Why Conor McGregor wants to box Manny Pacquiao
As McGregor told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, even before McGregor’s return to the octagon to fight Donald Cerrone, he was in talks to return to boxing. One of the offers that were on the table, according to him, was a fight against Pacquiao.
McGregor wanted to make a return to boxing, but he didn’t because he was focused on something else, he was focused on his return to the UFC.
As McGregor said, he loves boxing and he wants to win a world boxing title someday. McGregor also said that he’d be willing to box multiple times in order to achieve his goal of winning a world boxing title. Indeed, one of the other boxing names that McGregor talked about included a fight with Paulie Malignaggi.
Malignaggi and McGregor had some beef in the past. This beef ultimately led to McGregor posting pictures of him knocking down Malignaggi during a sparring session.
Both Malignaggi and Pacquiao have been boxing world champions before, but obviously, Pacquiao is a bigger name than Malignaggi is. That said, while McGregor didn’t take up those offers, he did tell Helwani that he will box again in the future. And now, with the Coronavirus pandemic pausing and canceling future fights, McGregor’s opportunities are wide open.
Why Manny Pacquiao may fight Conor McGregor
As ESPN’s Steve Kim told Big Fight Weekend, Pacquiao is also interested in fighting McGregor. Kim even went further and said that a McGregor vs. Pacquiao fight may happen in 2021, as Kim was told: “that’s the plan.” This fight makes a lot of sense for Pacquiao for a lot of reasons.
First, as Big Fight Weekend wrote, Pacquiao, who is in his 40s, doesn’t really have many options left in terms of fighting. He’s not undefeated and he’s got nothing left to prove as he’s fought and beaten some of the best boxers of his time. Right now, as Kim said, Pacquiao is looking to make a big payday before he retires from boxing.
Pacquiao isn’t a poor man, but a fight with McGregor would give him a massive nine-figure payday, according to Big Fight Weekend. And considering how Pacquiao would likely win against McGregor, it would be some easy money, too.