Was Conor McGregor using Manny Pacquiao’s name to help sell Saturday’s comeback fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas against Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone?
Probably—and why not? What better way to market a pay-per-view to boxing-oriented fight fans than to invoke the name of one of boxing’s biggest active draws like Pacquiao and the possibility that maybe, possibly some mega-super-fight is brewing?
Prior to McGregor’s 40-second bloody blowout of Cerrone, former McGregor foe Floyd Mayweather’s name and the possibility of a major bucks rematch with him were also floated out to the media.
The problem is that reality stands in the way of any further McGregor boxing matches.
“I did phenomenal in that fight [vs. Mayweather in 2017] and the only reason I lost that bout was because I prepared for a back-foot style of opponent,” McGregor recently told ESPN. “And when the fight was like that I was picking him apart. Then he came forward and started pressing and I wasn’t sinking into my shots like I am now with my boxing coaches…I know I’d beat Floyd if we rematched. When we rematch.”
Well, The Notorious One’s recollection of those Mayweather events doesn’t exactly jibe with what actually happened.
The reality was that a Mayweather who hadn’t been active for two years and who, reportedly, was not taking preparation seriously toyed with the UFC star and carried him into the tenth round, closing the show when he chose to, after giving a half-effort for much of the night.
In the case of a possible Pacquiao bout, there’s really not much there beyond a couple of quotes strategically sprinkled to a headline-hungry media.
“With Manny Pacquiao, talks have been ongoing,’ McGregor told reporters in the lead-up to Saturday’s fight. “An aspiration of mine is to win a boxing world title. It would be a phenomenal feather in the cap and is something I will achieve.”
McGregor, in another interview, would also wonder aloud about how awesome a fight with “a powerful southpaw” like Pacquiao would be and then state that a Pacquiao fight is there to be made whenever he wants it.
UFC bossman Dana White, however, has been pretty clear that a McGregor-Pacquiao fight will happen over his (figurative) dead body.
“That would be weird because he’s under contract with us,” White told reporters at the UFC Fresno post-fight press conference when asked about McGregor supposedly negotiating with Team Pacquiao. “If that’s true, I will be suing Manny Pacquiao and whoever’s representing him. So… I’m assuming that’s not true.”
White is more open to revisiting the mega-bucks Mayweather-McGregor pairing and has actually been tied to some future unspecified collaborative efforts with Mayweather.
Both Mayweather and Pacquiao, however, were quick to add fuel to the fires once McGregor emerged victorious in Las Vegas. Mayweather posted a Mayweather-McGregor 2 fight poster via social media. Pacquiao, meanwhile, posted a simple “THE NOTORIOUS!!!” Saturday night via his own social media account.
With huge money there to be had for all parties involved, it would be unwise to rule anything out.
And that leads us to another bit of reality, this one pertaining specifically to a McGregor-Pacquiao fight—Manny Pacquiao will not carry Conor McGregor to a graceful defeat after fooling around for nine rounds. If Manny and Conor meet in a boxing ring, Manny will be quick and brutal with a fighter who simply does not belong in the ring with him.
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