The fighting senator of the Philippines and boxing’s eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao has finally put an end to speculation about possible opponents that can be matched against him when he confirms through his personal assistant Jayke Joson that former two-weight UFC champion McGregor was the guy they had chosen. In a statement released by Joson, it was confirmed that Manny has already picked an opponent and that a portion of his winnings for this fight will be used to aid COVID-19 efforts in his home country of the Philippines.
“For the sake of all the Filipino COVID-19 victims, Senator Manny Pacquiao will be fighting UFC superstar Conor McGregor next year,” Joson said on Saturday. “Our lawyers are finalizing all the confidential details, but both fighters are getting ready for this one epic last boxing fight,” he added.
But the day before Joson’s statement was made public, McGregor already tweeted that he would be “boxing Manny Pacquiao next in the Middle East.” It was in June of this year that McGregor announced, for the third time, his retirement from mixed martial arts.
Now 32, he hasn’t fought since January when he dominated and won against Donald Cerrone by TKO. He first retired from sports in April 2016 and again in March 2019. Irishman McGregor’s next fight with Manny Pacquiao will be his second professional fight in boxing. His first professional boxing fight was against Floyd Mayweather which took place in August 2017 in Las Vegas. He lost to Mayweather by technical knockout in the 10th round.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao, at 41, became the fifth-oldest male boxer to win a world title. His speed and power has never diminished and he is beating the younger boxers paired against him like he never gets old. Pacquiao still has more left in the tank, and maybe he can have two more fights before finally hanging up his gloves for good.
And while most of us had hoped Pacquiao would choose a worthy opponent for competitive boxing’s sake, Pacquiao had chosen the easy and less risky route, but with potentially huge monetary gains. But what can we do? It’s Pacquiao’s choice. Mayweather and other fighters have done it before, too. The big difference, however, is whether these fighters are more than willing to take a portion of their winnings to help those in need and the less fortunate or not.