Over the weekend, former two-weight UFC champion, Conor 'Notorious' McGregor, took to social media to tease a potential fight with boxing legend and eight-division world champion, Manny Pacquiao.
After a series of tweets directed towards fellow Mixed Martial artist, Diego Sanchez, McGregor said: "Anyway all water under the bridge who gives a fook. I’m boxing Manny Pacquiao next in the Middle East."
Despite the initial inclination to dismiss this as mere hype, ESPN reports that Pacquiao's assistant, Jayke Joson, has confirmed that talks are indeed underway for the fight to happen sometime next year.
If it does materialise, it won't be McGregor's first foray into boxing. As anyone reading this will already know, the Irishman had a crack at another of boxing's all-time greats, Floyd 'Money' Mayweather, back in 2017.
The Mayweather fight certainly attracted a lot of public interest,
but serious boxing fans and those involved in the sport were dubious.
Nobody who knows boxing expected McGregor to have much of a chance, and
despite the fight going ten rounds, you suspected that Mayweather could
have ended things much sooner had he wanted.
In the end, though,
it was all just a bit of harmless fun - albeit harmless fun that made a
few people very rich - but do we need to see it again?
to ESPN, Pacquiao's team claim that a "huge portion" of his earnings
will go towards the aid of people affected by COVID-19.
- In a
difficult time for boxing, a crossover fight between two global
megastars will generate massive attention and potentially open up the
sport to countless new fans.
are some big fights out there for Pacquiao at welterweight, and as his
career winds down, fans would likely prefer to see him pursuing those.
- As with McGregor vs Mayweather, we can make a very educated guess as to the outcome before the fight even takes place.
Should the fight happen and does anyone care?
As talk of the fight circulates, it will inevitably bring about debates on the legitimacy of the contest, whether it is good or bad for boxing, and whether anyone cares enough to pay the likely PPV cost.
It all depends on how you look at it. On the one hand, as we mentioned previously, with Manny's career winding down it would be great to see him go out in some genuine elite-level match ups. On the other hand, however, at 41 years old and after a professional career spanning 25 years, hasn't he earned the right to enjoy his status as a celebrity and participate in something a little less demanding? - hasn't Manny given us enough already as an elite boxer?
While it certainly isn't a fight that anyone asked for, given the celebrity status of both men, it will undoubtedly garner massive interest amongst casual fans. For the more engaged Boxing and MMA fans though, it won't be of great interest. As a boxing fan, you can't help but be aware of the gulf in class that lies between the two and as an MMA fan, you would surely rather see McGregor fighting in his domain - the Octagon.
Personally, I take no issue with the event should it happen and I'll definitely be tuning in. Would I rather see Manny square-off against a Terrence Crawford or even an Amir Khan, and McGregor settle the score with Nate Diaz? - absolutely, but after all that they've given to their respective sports, I wouldn't begrudge either man a respite from those types of wars.