Mikey Garcia: “Manny Pacquiao’s Next Fight Is With Me, 100%.”
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.”
Oscar De La Hoya vs Conor McGregor Heating Up
By: Hans Themistode
Oscar De La Hoya has decided to join in on the quarantine call out fun. The former six division world champion made the claim that even at the age of 47, he wiped the floor with UFC mega star Conor McGregor.
“Two rounds. Because one thing about me, one thing about me, I went for the kill always,” said De La Hoya on CBS Sports podcast State of Combat. “And look, Conor McGregor is — I love him in The Octagon. I respect him. I watch him all the time. But the boxing ring is a whole different story. It’s a whole different story.”
Fighters have grown more and more irritated as they are forced to stay inside during this global pandemic. Looking at the walls and laying on the couch has quickly gotten under the skin of everyone, and the result of this longer than expected quarantine has been fighters calling out each other non stop.
Lightweight contender Ryan Garcia has made the rounds, calling out Gervonta Davis, Jorge Linares, Abner Mares and a host of others. Super Middleweight champions Caleb Plant and David Benavidez have continued to call each other every foul word in the English dictionary, and Shawn Porter has had a lot to say about everyone in the Welterweight division.
While those call outs might be expected, De La Hoya’s rant against McGregor was not.
If there’s one word that can properly describe the UFC star, it would be loquacious. So it comes to no surprise that he wasted no time in answering the call.
“I accept your challenge, Oscar de la Hoya,” said McGregor on Twitter.
With older fighters such as Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield recently ending their retirement for ring glory, the 47 year old De La Hoya doesn’t intend on joining them. Claiming that he was merely “speaking the truth.”
An official call out may not have come out of the mouth of De La Hoya but his words were almost verbatim to what he said just a few years ago.
“You know I still have it in me. I’ve been secretly training,” De La Hoya said in 2017. “Secretly training. I’m faster than ever and stronger than ever. I know I could take out Conor McGregor in two rounds. I’ll come back for that fight. Two rounds. Just one more. I’m calling him out. Two rounds. That’s all I need. That’s all I’m going to say.”
De La Hoya was last seen in the ring in 2008, losing via ninth round stoppage to Manny Pacquiao. Before then, De La Hoya was a six division champion and a 1992 gold medal winner. He capped off his career with an induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2014.
Conor McGregor’s Return to MMA Post-Mayweather
by Bryanna Fissori
Conor McGregor (21-3) will be fighting again for the first time since his pro boxing debut against Floyd Mayweater Jr, just over a year ago. The former 2-Division UFC Titleholder faces potential his toughest MMA opponent yet in Khabib Nurmagomedov (26-0).
More Than a Championship Title
The bout is for the UFC Lightweight Title, which McGregor was stripped of earlier this year due to inactivity. But, there is more on the line this fight than just a championship belt. McGregor and Nurmagomedov have an open dislike for each other for years.
In April, McGregor flew from Ireland to the U.S. to hurl a handtruck through the window of Nurmagomedov’s bus, which was also carrying several other UFC fighters. The event was supposedly instigated by Khabib slapping a teammate of McGregor’s.
Recent Comments About the Bus Situation
In the recent UFC press conference, McGregor had something to say about the event,
“I showed you my hands, no weapons. The first thing [I did] when I showed up at that bus, I showed my hands to let him know, ‘I have come unarmed, no weapons. Step off the bus, you talked a big game and now I’m here.’ He done f*cking nothing. He sat there and took a shit on that bus. He hid and cowered behind women and caused [what happened], so that’s f*cking that. So here’s my location now, you little fool — right in front of you . . . “
“If you got off that bus, you’d be dead now. You’d be dead and I’d be in a cell, so shut your f*cking mouth…”
It was unclear for some time whether Conor McGregor would face legal ramifications preventing him from competing. Instead, he lives up to his nickname “Notorious” and has added fuel to the fire for this bout. Maybe he learned more than boxing moves last summer when he was studying Mayweather, who seems to know his way around a courtroom.
Toughest MMA Match to Date
The matchup between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov is a classic striker vs grappler, although both are well-rounded, high-level martial artists. Seven of McGregor’s nine wins in the UFC have come via knockout or technical knockout. He’s well known for his fan-friendly striking style. Nurmagomedov is noted to be a brutal grappler with a tough chin.
Though many fight promotions are guilty of promoting main events as “The Best Fight in History,” this one does seem to have some serious potential.
Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov is schedule as the main event on UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The fight will be five – five-minute rounds for the UFC Lightweight Championship Title. Tickets to the event sold out in a just few hours. The rest of us will be watching it on Pay-Per-View.