Current WBA welterweight titleholder Manny Pacquiao hasn’t been in the news a whole lot since last July’s win over Keith Thurman, but the eight-division boxing champ has had his name attached to a possible crossover mega fight with UFC superstar Conor McGregor, and that fight being a reality has never been closer.
On Tuesday, Paradigm Sports Management announced that they had signed the 41-year-old Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KO). Boxers sign with promoters or management teams all the time, but what’s key here is that Paradigm also manage McGregor.
“I am proud to partner with Paradigm Sports Management and am excited for the opportunities that Audie Attar and PSM have to offer,” said Pacquiao. “One thing I want everyone to remember is to always think positively. Never think negatively; that is the beginning of your downfall. Everything is possible.”
“I’m honored to have the opportunity not only to maximize Manny’s boxing career but to help him continue to leave a legacy he is proud of through the lens of business and sport,” CEO Attar said. “My approach is to focus on each client and their goals always, and I look forward to fighting on his behalf.”
Pacquiao worked with Top Rank for the majority of his notable boxing career, but has fought his last two bouts under the Premier Boxing Champions banner, a move many suspected he made largely to have the easiest possible chance at landing a much-desired rematch with Floyd Mayweather.
But with Mayweather, who turns 43 in a couple weeks, seemingly sticking to his boxing retirement (despite occasionally fanning the flames of a possible comeback to combat sports), that has left Pacquiao looking toward McGregor for a true blockbuster event.
The 31-year-old McGregor recently returned to the Octagon for UFC, demolishing veteran Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in just 40 seconds on Jan. 18. McGregor has repeatedly expressed interest in facing Pacquiao in a boxing match. The Irish star fought Mayweather back in 2017, losing via 10th round TKO in a massive event where everyone made a ton of money. Pacquiao-McGregor would not be nearly as big as that fight, but if it were even half as big that would mean selling about two million pay-per-views, which is rarefied air.