The crossover boxing superfight between #4 ranked UFC lightweight contender and former double champion Conor McGregor and career 8 weight boxing world champion, current WBA (Super) welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao has just been confirmed by their mutual management. The fight has been bandied about as a possibility by both earlier this year. McGregor has previously fought in professional boxing only once. That was a superfight against the undefeated boxing megastar Floyd Mayweather Jr. McGregor was outmatched and suffered a TKO defeat in the tenth round.
McGregor is currently booked in an MMA fight against #2 UFC lightweight contender and former interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier. That fight is booked for January 23rd. McGregor last fought January this year where he achieved a TKO victory over Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in the first round. Pacquiao last fought July 2019 where he achieved a split decision victory over the previously undefeated Keith Thurman for the WBA (Super) Welterweight strap.
Conor McGregor vs Manny Pacquiao – The Nitty Gritty
Both are managed by Paradigm Sports Management. In an interview with BloombergTV correspondent David Ingles, Paradigm Sports CEO Audie Attar revealed that the fight is a high priority. “Conor has a fight in January 23rd against Dustin Poirier… he’s going to be handling business against Dustin first, but Conor’s come and said he wants to fight Manny. Manny’s come out and said he wants to fight Conor. As I’ve stated publically before, we’ve had conversations. And so, that is a fight we’re definitely going to make since both fighters want it and there seems to be interest from fans all over the world.”
It is unlikely that Conor McGregor vs Manny Pacquiao – if it takes place – will be for Pacquiao’s welterweight strap. Though McGregor has fought at welterweight in MMA, that is 170 pounds. Boxing welterweight is 147 pounds. Though McGregor began his UFC run fighting at 145 pounds, at featherweight, that was a harsh cut. Since then, McGregor has visibly increased his walk-around weight. Also, there is precedent for sanctioning bodies to not sanction a title match if it’s considered to be a mismatch. In 2014, Danny Garcia’s fight with Rod Salka was not sanctioned as a title bout because of the perceived mismatch.