UFC superstar and one-time boxing mega-draw Conor McGregor has once again fueled speculation about a possible boxing showdown with Manny Pacquiao, sending out this Tweet on Friday:
In Tagalog, McGregor says, “I accept.”
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) July 31, 2020
Obviously, McGregor plays a lot of games via social media — he retires about three times per year — but with Pacquiao and Terence Crawford reportedly nowhere near a deal, that does leave the 41-year-old Pacquiao with options, and whether anyone likes it or not, Pacquiao-McGregor is far, far bigger than any boxing fight Pacquiao can take other than a Floyd Mayweather rematch, and that seems even less likely.
Pacquiao (62-7-2, 38 KO) last fought in July 2019, beating Keith Thurman to win the WBA welterweight title and reestablishing himself as a top fighter at 147 pounds. He’s also still about as big a draw and star as there is in the sport, in spite of his age and the fact that he’s certainly slowed down as a result of said age.
And this idea has floated around for a while now, and gained some more steam in mid-February, when Pacquiao signed a deal with Paradigm Sports Management, who also represent McGregor.
The reality for all fighters right now is reduced purses, but Pacquiao-McGregor could be the sort of pay-per-view draw, even without a live gate and all that comes with having fans in an arena, where the fighters get paid at least somewhat close to what they normally might. You just can’t dismiss the idea, is all I’m saying.