By: Hans Themistode
Early last week, UFC star Conor McGregor made serious headlines when he announced that he would be taking on WBA welterweight titlist Manny Pacquiao in his next ring contest.
McGregor, 32, hasn’t laced up a pair of gloves since his 10th round stoppage loss to Floyd Mayweather in 2017. Despite his hiatus from the ring and his lack of success in the UFC’s octagon, losing via rear naked choke to Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018 and winning by knockout against the long faded Donald Cerrone in 2020, he now finds himself on the verge of facing the only eight division world champion that boxing has ever seen in Pacquiao.
“I’m boxing Manny Pacquiao next in the Middle East,” said McGregor on his social media account. “It will be a true honour to have faced two of the greatest boxers of the modern era.”
Pacquiao on the other hand, has been dead silent. But with his special assistant in Jayke Joson jumping up to confirm McGregor’s announcement, there could be some validity behind it.
“For the sake of all the Filipino COVID-19 victims, Senator Manny Pacquiao will be fighting UFC superstar Conor McGregor next year,” said Pacquiao’s special assistant Jayke Joson. “The huge portion of his earnings will proceed to those who are affected nationwide by the pandemic.”
While fans of McGregor are jumping for joy over the news, one man who isn’t amused is Mikey Garcia. The former four division world champion has been chasing a fight with Pacquiao for years. Following a one sided win in his last contest against former two division belt holder in Jessie Vargas, Garcia found himself in the driver seat of a Pacquiao clash and he isn’t about to let someone from an entirely different sport skip the line.
“McGregor has to take a number. Manny Pacquiao’s next fight is with me, 100%.”
At the moment, the sports landscape is difficult to predict. With fighters becoming less active due to COVID-19, it’s almost impossible to pencil in a date for anyone. Ironically enough, Garcia couldn’t lock in a date for his Pacquiao clash either. But he did give a rough guess as to when fans can expect it to go down.
“I think it will be sometime in 2021.”