Bored during his retirement, Conor McGregor appeared to throw down a challenge. Not with a UFC fighter for a meeting in the octagon, but with a boxer. With a Floyd Mayweather loss already on his resume, McGregor is looking at the next best thing: Manny Pacquiao.
After Pac-Man harmlessly wished the Notorious One a happy birthday, McGregor seemingly challenged him to a fight at 170 pounds.
Thank you Emmanuel, 170. https://t.co/34aoWV5gKI
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) July 16, 2020
This isn’t the first time this idea has been brought up.
Earlier this year, Pacquiao interestingly signed with Paradigm Sports Management, the same group that represents McGregor.
As a fight fan, I’m all for this. McGregor-Mayweather was a spectacle. A big event feel that McGregor can’t replicate in the UFC. The fast-paced bout sold 4.3 million pay-per-view buys.
While Pacquiao’s appeal is dwindling, he’s as big of a boxing draw as any active fighter. His legendary career and mystique would return to life paired with a hype machine like McGregor.
If Fox or Showtime produced this fight, not ESPN behind the ESPN+ paywall, it has two million buy potential. Combining the UFC and boxing, that’s only been accomplished five times. Ironically, three of those spots are held by either Pacquiao or McGregor. McGregor did it twice for his matchups with Mayweather and Khabib Nurmagomedov (2.5 million). Pacquiao, of course, took part in the record-setting dream match with Mayweather, which sold 4.6 million pay-per-views.
Hardcore fight fans don’t want Pacquiao and McGregor near each other. Boxing fans want Pacquiao to put over a young PBC fighter. MMA fans are still holding out hope for McGregor-Masvidal.
No predictions here because I don’t trust anything McGregor says. The safer bet is he will unretire and then retire again before his next fight.