2021’s boxing schedule could see some strange things. This year, we cannot rule out the following: an Oscar De La Hoya comeback at age 47, further Mike Tyson exhibitions, a James Toney comeback (Tyson recently said he would like to fight Toney if he could drop some weight), a Marcos Maidana comeback, and a Manny Pacquiao Vs. Conor McGregor fight.
A Pacquiao-McGregor clash has been spoken of for months, with much speculation but nothing anywhere close to concrete. But now, in speaking with Business Mirror, Pac Man appears to have confirmed this will be his next fight. Pacquiao had been expected to perhaps face a Terence Crawford or an Errol Spence, both tough fights for the 42 year old, but Manny says he wants to see what it’s like swapping blows with an MMA fighter.
“They’re my options,” Pacquiao said of Spence and Crawford. “But right now I want to experience fighting an MMA. I will also donate a big portion of my income to Filipino Covid-19 victims.”
Plenty of people see McGregor as an easy opponent for Pacquiao, a fighter he can and will KO. But the fight is one many, many Filipinos want to see, disliking the trash-talking McGregor the way they do. These fans would love nothing more than seeing their hero Manny smash McGregor. And Pacquiao’s manager, Audie Attar told Dubai radio that the fight is “inevitable for 2021.”
“I definitely believe it’s inevitable for 2021; both fighters want it, that’s the key,” Attar said. “You can’t make something happen or orchestrate it or choreograph it – which is the buzzword of this interview – you can’t fake that. If one side wants it and the other doesn’t, it’s not going to happen. But when both fighters want the fight to happen, why wouldn’t it happen?”
Basically, Attar says, if the fans want this fight, they will get it. And there is, as he says, “enough interest to develop something there.”
So brace yourself for some odd stuff going on inside the ring this year, some stuff you might even feel the urge to attach the word freakshow to. Even at age 42 and with getting on for two years of inactivity, Pacquiao takes out McGregor, doesn’t he? If not, if Manny actually lost, well, that would be the most unsettling event to have taken place inside a boxing ring in 2021.