Manny Pacquaio may not be facing Conor McGregor in his next bout, but the Filipino could have an even bigger match planned south of the border.
In the last month, Pacquiao reportedly started preliminary talks for a fight in April against the UFC star turned boxer, whose first-ever professional boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. drew close to six million pay-per-views worldwide and grossed more than half a billion dollars. Pacquiao tried to keep the hype going by scheduling McGregor, but it appears this week that talks are stalled and McGregor is planning to head back to the UFC.
The idea of a McGregor vs. Pacquiao fight didn't sit well with many boxing insiders. Boxing legend Freddie Roach believes that it would not be a fair match for the newcomer McGregor, who still has only one professional fight to his name.
Many believed that McGregor would be vastly overmatched against Mayweather, and though the UFC star was able to hold the fight into the later rounds, it was Mayweather in control the entire time.
Roach believes Manny Pacquiao would be equally overmatched against McGregor.
"Well Manny always told me he doesn't like that sport (MMA) because it's more like a street fight," Roach said in a recent interview with Fight Hub TV (via the SB Nation blog MMA Mania).
"But it's a very winnable fight and there's a lot of money in that fight, but it's kind of like ripping off the world. It wouldn't be a fair fight. Cause, unless Manny fought by their rules too, that would make it a fair fight. But if you're going to do boxing rules, the boxer is going to win 99-and-a-half percent of the time and I don't think it's much of a fight. I'm not a big fan of his. He's not that great a boxer in my mind and I think we all saw that."That leaves Manny Pacquiao still looking for a fight, and top international promotor Fernando Beltran may have an idea. Beltran told the Inquirer that he wants to bring Pacquiao to Mexico, where he said Mexican fans have been craving to see Pacquiao. The fight would likely be in April.
Many of Pacquiao's most memorable fights have come against Mexican greats, the Inquirer noted, including a four-fight series against Juan Manuel Marquez.
Manny Pacquiao lost his WBO belt to Australian fighter Jeff Horn in a controversial decision last year and was scheduled a rematch with Horn but pulled out due to his governmental duties in the Philippines.
While a fight in Mexico remains a possibility, Manny Pacquiao has also floated the idea of moving to the mainland for a bout in Beijing.