Buzz has been circulating at a mad pace around a potential Manny Pacquiao-Conor McGregor boxing superfight. But here are some serious points to ponder in this whole thing:
Rumor has this major PPV event happening somewhere in the Middle East, likely Saudi Arabia. The bigger question, though, may be WHEN it’ll happen. Given the realities of this Covid world and the realities of Pacquiao’s gig as Senator in the Philippines, the best bet when it comes to when a fight could happen would be in early 2021 or in the summer of 2021, working around his responsibilities to his country.
2. What Weight?
McGregor’s fighting weight is usually around 154 lbs. For his bout with Floyd Mayweather in 2017, he weighed in at 153 against a Mayweather who weight slightly above 149. Pacquiao, however, is naturally a smaller man who could still make 140 lbs. if he had to. Look for the weight issues to be handled similarly to when Manny faced the much larger Antonio Margarito in 2010 for a 154 lb. world title. He was allowed to weigh 144 lbs., below the welterweight limit, for that contest.
3. Can Conor Even Hang with Manny?
Yeah, this is a big one. Pacquiao is no Mayweather, who essentially carried McGregor for ten rounds before lowering the boom. Pacquiao will eyeball McGregor and immediately seize on the many opportunities he sees. The Filipino Icon will be in this fight to win spectacularly, not to go through the motions and put on a show for the celebrities in attendance. And the only way Manny knows how to win spectacularly is with swift, decisive offense.
4. Southpaw vs. Southpaw
Pacquiao is a southpaw, McGregor is a southpaw. Will this matter in the big picture of the fight? Probably not. But it’s worth noting that Manny hasn’t faced a southpaw since Narongrit Pirang in 2004 and has only chosen to deal with a lefty twice in the last 19 years as a pro after an awkward technical decision draw with southpaw Agapito Sanchez way back in 2001. There’s probably a very good reason why Manny prefers not to deal with fellow southpaws.
5. Will it Happen…COULD it happen?
While one of Manny’s people has reportedly talked about the fight as pretty much a sure thing, another one of his people– trusted long-time advisor Sean Gibbons– says that this is all just talk and wishful thinking from McGregor.
“It’s something that’s been talked about over the last year and it’s something I think could happen one day. The senator is going to fight again in 2021. He’s absolutely looking to fight and Conor McGregor is on the list of guys the senator could fight,” Gibbons told Boxingscene. “If the fight ever did happen it would be a huge global event between two global superstars. But it’s a long way from (there being any kind of deal). This is just Conor playing around right now, wishful thinking.”
Notable is the fact that McGregor’s headline-grabbing statements came right before an all-out publicity push for his Proper Twelve whiskey brand. Over the weekend, the McGregor-owned product has had prominent sponsorship placement in the Charlo Brothers pay-per-view boxing event as well as on select NFL football games. Could all of this just be a way to garner some free publicity for himself and, indirectly, for his whiskey?
The UFC still has an exclusive contract with McGregor and would have to sign off on the bout. Pacquiao’s legal status as a free agent, meanwhile, is not entirely known at the moment.
Despite all the bluster and headlines, all of this could just be a big batch of nothingness.
As always…we shall see.