- A Manny Pacquiao and Conor McGregor fight is “viable” this year, boxing expert Gareth A. Davies told Business Insider in Las Vegas on Thursday.
- McGregor is currently in Vegas as he returns to UFC competition when he takes on Donald Cerrone in a non-title welterweight bout at UFC 246 in the city’s T-Mobile Arena.
- But the Irishman has used the media platform to announce talks have begun for a big boxing event with Pacquiao.
- Davies told us the event could bring in $250 million and even be Pacquiao’s retirement party.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
LAS VEGAS — A 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 on 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 which sees McGregor return to competition against Donald Cerrone after a 15-month absence.
But the main event bout at the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday, January 18 was not the only topic talked about 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 and presenter 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 Mayweather and Pacquiao’s careers, as well as their bout in 2015. He foresees an event potentially as large as that should the boxing veteran strike a deal with McGregor and the UFC.
It’s a ‘dangerous fight’ for McGregor
McGregor has already fought once in boxing, a 10th round loss when he was stopped on his feet by Floyd Mayweather.
Davies envisages an even worse defeat should he fight Pacquiao, as he believes the Filipino fighter will not just knock McGregor down, but out for good.
“It’s a dangerous fight … Pacquiao knocks him out. And I mean knocks him out. It’s a very dangerous fight for McGregor,” he said.
Davies then said it’s a bout which would gross between $200 million or $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 [of his career], and a bout with McGregor is viable this year.”