By: Sean Crose
Even though he hasn’t fought in over a year – Conor McGregor is still the biggest star in the UFC, as is evidenced by the enormous press coverage leading up to his Saturday nightthrowdown with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in Las Vegas. Still, it’s seems McGregor really wants to box. At least that’s the impression the man’s been giving leading up to Saturday. Even though McGregor was bested by Floyd Mayweather in the tenth round of their 2017 novelty boxing match, McGregor seems to want more of the sweet science.
According to the Los Angeles Times, McGregor and UFC honcho Dana White recently “fielded almost as many questions about boxing as they did about the UFC 246 pay-per-view taking place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.” White reportedly wants McGregor to stay put in the UFC – though it’s clear White himself wants in on the boxing game, in a managerial or promotional level. McGregor, on the other hand, wants a second shot at the almost 43 year old Mayweather. He’s also expressed interest in fighting Mayweather’s arch rival, Manny Pacquiao. McGregor has even responded positively to the idea of facing Pacquiao in the yet to be completed Allegiant Stadium, soon to be home to the NFL’s Raider’s.
“I would be honored to be a part of that,” the Times quotes McGregor as saying. “I would love to be the first combatant to fight in that arena. What a fight that would be against Manny — a small powerful southpaw. We would have to figure out the weight and those types of things, but it’s something that interests me, no doubt.” Weight would certainly be an issue. McGregor is facing Cerrone at 170 pounds. Pacquiao fights at around 147 pounds – and has to eat copious amounts of food to even reach that weight. Add in McGregor’s height advantage and the two would make an odd pairing. It would also be a terrible look for McGregor if the much smaller Pacquiao beat him – which is something most analysts would likely predict anyway.
Not that McGregor can be blamed for wanting to box again. He’s making a reported three million dollars to face Cerrone this weekend. That’s a whole lot of money, but not nearly the kind of payday a top name boxer makes. The simple truth is that, even if he loses, McGregor can make a lot more fighting Pacquiao than he can fighting a top level opponent in his own sport. Then there’s the matter of ambition, something McGregor has never had in short supply. To conquer both boxing and MMA would be a bright feather in any fighter’s cap. It seems only Holly Holm, who will be fighting on the McGregor-Cerrone undercard, has been able to pull off such a feat to date.