- Conor McGregor stands no chance of beating Manny Pacquiao should the two combat sports athletes fight in boxing, Pacquiao’s former promoter Bob Arum told Business Insider.
- Arum said Floyd Mayweather “played with” McGregor in the American’s 10th round victory over the two-weight UFC champion, adding Pacquiao doesn’t know how to play. He’d get “knocked out pretty quick.”
- A Pacquiao vs. McGregor boxing fight has been talked about by Pacquiao’s manager and McGregor himself.
- Though the event would polarize the industry, a British television executive told us it could be as successful at the box office as Mayweather vs. McGregor was three years ago.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
LAS VEGAS — Conor McGregor would get “knocked out pretty quick” if he ever fought Manny Pacquiao in a boxing-rules contest.
That is the opinion of Pacquiao’s former promoter, the Top Rank founder Bob Arum, who says he is not at all intrigued at the prospect of McGregor returning to the ring.
McGregor, a wildly successful mixed martial artist, last fought a boxing match in 2017 when he was stopped on his feet in the 10th round of a landmark showdown against Floyd Mayweather.
“Mayweather played with him, that was a joke,” Arum told Business Insider. “Pacquiao doesn’t know how to play. So McGregor is getting knocked out pretty quick. Pacquiao couldn’t play the way Mayweather did.”
Regardless of McGregor’s losing record, there has been talk of him boxing again.
It all began during the build-up to McGregor’s comeback at UFC 246 in January, just days before he annihilated Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in 40 seconds.
In January, McGregor said he had been in talks to box Pacquiao. “With Manny Pacquiao, talks have been ongoing,” McGregor said.
Pacquiao’s manager Sean Gibbons later added that McGregor knew where to go if he wanted “a proper fight,” one which Business Insider was told by combat sports expert Gareth A. Davies could generate $250 million.
More recently, Pacquiao signed with Paradigm SM, an agency which also represents McGregor.
“It has been a great day for Paradigm,” the agency’s founder and CEO Audie Attar told Business Insider earlier this month.
The signing raised speculation a fight between the pair could now be made easier.
A Pacquiao vs. McGregor bout could polarize the industry
Should a boxing rules contest between the former eight-weight world champion boxer Pacquiao and the former two-weight UFC champion McGregor materialize, it could polarize the industry.
The British fight promoter Frank Warren said: “I don’t think any UFC fighter would beat a boxer. I don’t think that will happen, at all, any of them. That’s my opinion. Conor McGregor’s loss to Mayweather showed that.”
But the head of boxing at Sky Sports, Adam Smith, told us that the broadcaster “had a lot of fun” airing the Mayweather and McGregor event, and that it is possible a Pacquiao and McGregor fight would be a similar success at the box office.
“Ultimately we knew what was probably going to happen,” Smith said.
“Floyd was never really in any danger in the ring, but what a great cross of styles and of two different audiences. I saw it as a fun event. I enjoyed working on it.
“Conor McGregor was the most entertaining guy I’d ever been around since Naseem Hamed. Floyd was the best fighter since Sugar Ray Leonard. You were never going to beat Floyd in a boxing ring, and I never bought into Conor McGregor actually having a chance of winning.
“I did buy into the fact that this was entertainment, fantastic, and that everyone loved it. We did really good business.”
On whether Smith would envisage a similar number of customers buying Pacquiao vs. McGregor should that fight happen, he said: “Possibly yes. If Pacquiao fights McGregor there’s an interest in that. We’re always looking at different things and changing up the model, but ultimately we’re covering the best boxing at Sky Sports and that’s the most important thing for us.”