- A boxing-rules fight between Manny Pacquiao and Conor McGregor is “viable” this year, the boxing expert Gareth A. Davies told Business Insider in Las Vegas on Thursday.
- McGregor is in Vegas, where he is set to return to UFC competition against Donald Cerrone in a nontitle welterweight bout at UFC 246 in the city’s T-Mobile Arena.
- But the Irishman used the media platform for the Vegas fight to announce talks had begun for a big boxing event with Pacquiao.
- Davies told us such an event could bring in $250 million and even be Pacquiao’s retirement party.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
LAS VEGAS — A boxing-rules fight against Conor McGregor could generate $250 million and be Manny Pacquiao’s retirement party, a boxing expert told Business Insider.
The world’s combat-sports media gathered Thursday at UFC Apex, a 13,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art production center in the Enterprise district of Las Vegas, for a media day ahead of UFC 246 — a bout in which McGregor is set to return to MMA competition against Donald Cerrone after a 15-month absence.
But the main-event bout at the T-Mobile Arena this Saturday was not the only topic discussed by those at the media day, as there was great speculation regarding McGregor’s future opponents.
The Irishman himself said he’s been in talks to fight the former eight-weight world boxing champion Pacquiao, and Gareth A. Davies, a boxing columnist for The Telegraph who also presents for talkSport and BT Sport, believes the bout is “viable” for 2020.
“Pacquiao makes sense, absolutely,” Davies told us. “It’s enormous.”
The British boxing reporter said he had covered the crescendo of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Pacquiao’s careers, as well as their bout in 2015. He foresees an event that could be as large as that should the boxing veteran strike a deal with McGregor and the UFC.
A ‘dangerous fight’ for McGregor
McGregor has already fought once in boxing, a 10th-round loss when he was stopped on his feet by Mayweather.
Davies envisages a worse defeat should he fight Pacquiao, as he believes the Filipino fighter would win by knockout.
“It’s a dangerous fight,” he said, adding: “Pacquiao knocks him out. And I mean knocks him out. It’s a very dangerous fight for McGregor.”
Davies then estimated such a bout would gross $200 million to $250 million and would serve as a retirement party for Pacquiao, who, at 41 years old and with world-championship belts from flyweight to super welterweight, has a secured legacy. Fighting McGregor would financially secure Pacquiao and his family even further.
“It’s a fight that can be made,” Davies said. “I think we’ll see that fight. Pacquiao is at the end, and a bout with McGregor is viable this year.”