Pacquiao vs McGregor: Here We Go Again
When Conor McGregor announced on Twitter that he would be fighting Manny Pacquiao next year, you would think it would be brushed off without too much thought of it becoming a reality.
But this is 2020, a year where practically anything is likely to happen, and maybe more importantly, we have been here before.
Despite widespread disdain and few believing, it would happen, McGregor fought Floyd Mayweather in 2017. It was a circus of bad taste, an unsavoury build-up, a curiosity where everyone tuned in to see what would happen, when we all knew exactly what would happen.
Talk of Pacquiao vs McGregor is nothing new, but now it is closer than ever. Under the same management and both fighters seemingly wanting to share a ring, you just have that feeling it will get made.
Talk of another crossover fight, albeit another incredibly lucrative one, leaves me cold and in many ways is another sad indication of where McGregor is in his career at the moment.
McGregor’s athletic prime is quickly eroding away. Largely inactive in recent years, time waits for nobody, not even McGregor.
Like the Mayweather episode, McGregor seems intent on chasing something that is beyond him, and in truth, is way beyond his capabilities.
Mayweather let McGregor carry the pre-fight razzmatazz, but in the ring, many feel that Mayweather carried his UFC opponent. McGregor was brave, did better than most pundits thought he would, but ultimately was exposed for what he is, a novice, extremely raw, and with limited skills as a professional boxer.
McGregor isn’t a world-class boxer, and he has no right to be one, and more brutally and honestly, he never will be.
We have now seen his limitations as a boxer, and the potential fight with Pacquiao has that ring of certainty around it. The Filipino legend will win, and will do so with little drama and it will end inside the distance. McGregor has no chance. Any curiosity that was there before is now long-gone.
It shouldn’t be sanctioned, it shouldn’t be for any version of a world title, but money talks and the sport’s reputation will be dragged further into the gutter.
McGregor has achieved plenty in his MMA career, a legacy created that few will match. But there is that feeling he could have done so much more.
In 2016, McGregor was at his peak, but 4 years on we have only seen him fight 3 times. That ill-judged and ego led and money-driven ‘exhibition’ in another world. McGregor poorly prepared for his fight with bitter rival Khabib Nurmagomedov and he paid for the price for it. Earlier this year his 40-second destruction of Donald Cerrone finally saw him record his first victory since his win over Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205. It was a win that promised plenty, one last run for more UFC gold.
The Cerrone fight was supposed to be the start of a season, but the world has changed so much since that January night. A pandemic hit the world, frustration led to yet another meaningless ‘retirement’ which nobody seriously believed.
McGregor has limited time left to add to his already impressive MMA resume. That time would be better spent chasing more achievable goals, a third UFC title or revenge against Nurmagomedov.
But whether it’s the money or that dream of a boxing world title, which will never happen, McGregor seems oblivious to reason and will likely, yet again learn that in life sometimes you are better sticking to what you know. Manny Pacquiao will in all likelihood, hand McGregor a far more painful lesson in realism than Mayweather gave him.