The boxing and MMA world was hit with some surprising news, Filipino boxing legend and future Hall of Famer, Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao signed to Paradigm Sports Management, the same firm that handles Irish UFC superstar “Notorious” Conor McGregor.
This signing added more fuel to the fire that the 31-year-old Irish MMA fighter will fight the 41-year-old world boxing champion in 2020.
McGregor made his professional boxing debut in 2017 against PPV boxing star Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. and he put up a valiant effort going several rounds before he was stopped in the 10th round.
Most pundits felt McGregor wouldn’t last 5 rounds with the undefeated American, but he proved a lot of the doubters wrong and put up a good fight for a guy making his pro debut against the best boxer in the world.
Some say Mayweather carried him and bet on himself to stop McGregor in 10, others believe that McGregor just gassed out and if he had the proper training camp he would have been able to go the full 12.
Mayweather vs. McGregor generated the second most Pay-Per-View buys in combative sports history with 4.3 million PPV buys, the all-time leader was Mayweather vs. Pacquiao with 4.6 million PPV buys in 2015.
With Pacquiao now aligned with Paradigm Sports Management rumors are stirring that he could officially fight for Dana White’s Zuffa Boxing against McGregor at the new Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, the home of the Las Vegas Raiders football team.
The only problem is what weight class would they fight at?
Conor McGregor made it known before his fight with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 246 that he will fight for a boxing world title before his career is over.
Manny Pacquiao has the WBA welterweight championship, the division weight 147 lbs and McGregor hasn’t fought in the 140’s since knocking out Jose Aldo at UFC 194 for the featherweight title in 2015. The featherweight division in the UFC is 145 lbs and McGregor looked like a skeleton during the weigh ins.
It would be very difficult for McGregor to make 147 lbs since bulking up to 170 lbs and Manny Pacquiao has to eat thousands of calories just to make the welterweight limit.
The only option that sounds reasonable is to meet at a 154 lbs the junior middleweight division where Floyd Mayweather Jr. challenged McGregor at.
Pacquiao won the WBC junior middleweight title in 2010 when he beat Antonio Margarito in a grueling back and forth 12 round battle at the Dallas Cowboys stadium. Pacquiao won a wide points decision but he vacated the title shortly after the fight stating he was too small for the division.
If the money is right, I believe Pacquiao would do a one off fight against McGregor at 154 lbs.
McGregor is not an experienced boxer and this would be only his second pro boxing bout. The fight would generate lots of money, probably not as big as the Mayweather-McGregor fight, but it would be a massive money maker in it’s own right.
This would just be a one time deal and Pacquiao with his boxing experience could think it would be okay to face McGregor at the junior middleweight limit since he is a novice.
If I were to guess PPV numbers, Id say it could generate anywhere from 2 to 3 million buys. I could see it being 50-50 split so both Pacquiao and McGregor would leave the ring with a significant amount of money.
As far as the fight goes. I think Pacquiao still has enough to blitz McGregor. You have to remember that Pacquiao is a highly offensive puncher who doesn’t let up on guys if they try to trade with him. Floyd is a defensive first guy who picks his shots and Pacquiao even at 41 will try to take your head off as evidenced in the Keith Thurman fight.
But you never know, father time could catch up to Pacquiao and McGregor could shock us all and beat him.
I think it would be another fun spectacle while it lasts.