Filipino boxing superstar-turned-politician Manny Pacquiao failed in his bid for the Philippine presidency and has been rumored to be making his return to the boxing ring sometime in August.
It is widely believed that either Terence Crawford or Errol Spence Jr. will be his opponent as these fights make the most sense for both his already-legendary career and in recouping the finances he spent during the elections.
However, an alternative for him is to figure in a boxing match with mixed martial arts (MMA) superstar and former UFC two-division titleholder Conor McGregor.
Pacquiao doing this fight makes a ton of sense from a financial standpoint as both he and McGregor are easily recognizable names around the world.
“Pac-Man” is coming off a loss from his August 2021 fight with Yordenis Ugas and will likely need to have a tune-up fight in order for him to gauge whether he can still compete at the highest level or not.
It was reported by the Philippine Center For Investigative Journalism that Pacquiao declared a SALN of around ₱3.2 billion ($61.1 million).
Filipino investment banker Leo Alejandrino explained that an election campaign is expected to cost around ₱50 billion ($952 million) and with Pacquiao shelling out around that much money, recouping his expenses is going to be his main priority in the meantime.
McGregor would be the ideal opponent for the returning Pacquiao in terms of skill in the boxing ring as the former, while a superb MMA fighter in his own right, is not as prominent for his ability to box.
The prominent Irishman last fought in July 2021 against Dustin Poirier in their trilogy fight where he suffered a broken fibula and tibia.
Nearly a year removed from the gruesome injury, McGregor will also want to engineer his own come back, and fighting an aging Pacquiao in the latter’s sport will allow him to get back to fighting form while also earning a ton of money in the process.
Estimates as to when McGregor will return to the limelight have him pegged sometime later in the year.
The financial side of the fight makes way too much sense not to let it happen as both men can certainly use this time to prepare for the big fights coming their way.
As for the date of this fight, September would be the likeliest candidate since Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s loss to Dmitry Bivol prevents him from potentially facing fierce rival Gennady Golovkin in a trilogy fight.
This hole would allow Pacquiao-McGregor the “big fight of the month” spectacle that accompanies the star power of these two greats.
Pacquiao-McGregor will likely draw in similar numbers to that of the UFC icon’s fight with Floyd Mayweather.
Billed as “The Money Fight,” McGregor earned himself around $100 million for the event, while Mayweather took home around $280 million.
The potential of seeing Pacquiao and McGregor sharing the ring together is nothing new as it was reported that talks of the fight fell through following the latter’s surprising second-round knockout loss to Poirier back in their January 2021 rematch.
International Business Times sports editor and combat sports analyst Nissi Icasiano spoke with Business World in 2021 to assess the likelihood of a Pacquiao-McGregor match a few days after McGregor’s loss.
“With this (loss to Poirier), I won’t be surprised if McGregor turns out to be just another option on the table from being Manny Pacquiao’s top choice,” said Icasiano.
Would it turn out to be a glorified sparring match? Possibly.
Will the sports world tune in? With the star power of these two combat sports athletes, it most certainly will and both Pacquiao and McGregor will be likely to succeed in achieving their respective goals going into it.