Could a crossover fight between Manny Pacquiao and Conor McGregor be in the works? That sure seems possible.
Paradigm Sports Management announced on Tuesday that Pacquiao has signed with them to solidify the final years of his boxing career.
“I am proud to partner with Paradigm Sports Management and am excited for the opportunities that Audie Attar and PSM have to offer,” Pacquiao said in a statement. “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”.
Attar, who is the company’s president and CEO, shared the news on social media.
Incredibly proud to announce that @ParadigmSM is officially representing Manny Pacquiao. I’d like to thank everyone involved in this, including our partners Arnold, Ping, Atty Brando, Jayke and the rest of Team Pacquiao back in Manila. Cannot wait to work together. #GP pic.twitter.com/EhS6b5jmdQ
— Audie A. Attar (@AudieAttar) February 11, 2020
Paradigm represents several big-name MMA fighters such as McGregor, Israel Adesanya and Cris Cyborg. Attar is credited with helping set up McGregor’s big boxing fight against Floyd Mayweather two and a half years ago that generated 4.3 million pay-per-view buys.
There has been speculation that Pacquiao could fight McGregor, and that Floyd Mayweather could face the winner if he wanted. Dana White has talked about doing things with Mayweather in 2020, possibly through White’s boxing promotion.
Pacquiao, 41, is 62-7-2 in his professional boxing career. He has won his last three fights in a row, including a July victory over Keith Thurman.
Manny Pacquiao proved he is still capable of holding his own in the ring when he defeated Keith Thurman over the weekend, and that has resulted in a lot of talk about a potential rematch between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. With the way the two fighters have been going back and forth on social media, it’s fair to wonder if they are open to it.
In a lengthy post on Instagram Tuesday, Mayweather criticized people for bringing up his name every time something happens with Pacquiao. He said Pacquiao’s “entire legacy and career has been built off its association with my name” and that it is time for people to stop using his name as “clickbait” for Pac-Man.
View this post on Instagram
I find it real ironic how every time Pacquiao's name is brought up in the media, my name is always attached to it. This man's entire legacy and career has been built off its association with my name and it's about time you all stop using my brand for clout chasing and clickbait and let that man's name hold weight of its own. For years, all you heard was that " Floyd is afraid of Manny Pacquiao". But what's funny is, when we finally fought, I won so easily that everyone had to eat their words! All of the so called boxing experts, critics and jealous American "fan base" either went mute and ran for cover or made every excuse in the world as to why I should give Manny Pacquiao a rematch. My take on all this bullshit is that y’all are just upset that I broke Rocky Marciano's record and hate the fact that a Black, high school dropout outsmarted you all by beating all odds and retiring undefeated while maintaining all my faculties simply by making smart choices and even smarter investments. Ultimately, I will always have the last laugh!
A post shared by Floyd Mayweather (@floydmayweather) on
Not surprisingly, Pacquiao disagrees. He fired back at Mayweather on social media, pointing out that Floyd attended his fight against Thurman and essentially saying he should give him a rematch if he’s so desperate to be relevant again.
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) July 24, 2019
Mayweather had a response for that, of course. He took to Instagram again and said he only attended the fight because Pacquiao is his “employee” and he had to supervise. He also mocked Pac-Man for making the same amount of money against Thurman that Mayweather made recently for a meaningless exhibition fight.
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SWIPE LEFT Let's stick to the facts! Bob Arum is no longer your promoter, so when it comes to @mayweatherpromotions & PBC events I’m the HNIC! Bottom line, I make more money than you; I beat you, then I signed you! I was only at your fight supervising you, my employee, as any real BOSS would do. You made $10Million for 12 rounds, when I just made $9M in under 3 minutes playing around in an exhibition with a pizza delivery guy! I beat you mentally, physically and financially! Remember, you fight cause you have to, I fight when I want to! #TMT #TBE #mayweatherpromotions @greg_tmt
A post shared by Floyd Mayweather (@floydmayweather) on
Whether you like Mayweather or not, there’s no debating he is an excellent promoter. Most of what he does is calculated, so it’s certainly possible he could be trying to gauge how much interest there is in a potential Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch. There have been strong hints for quite some time that a rematch could be coming, and there’s no question is would result in an astronomical payday for both fighters. That is something that might be tough for Floyd to turn down.
Manny Pacquiao proved on Saturday night that he is still capable of holding his own in the ring despite being on the wrong side of 40, and he has issued a statement thanking everyone who gave him a chance to show that.
Pacquiao took to Twitter on Monday to thank his opponent Keith Thurman, his fans, family, and all of the others who helped put the fight together.
To the fans I fight for, the media who cover me, the friends and family who support me, and to @KeithFThurmanJr, who accepted my challenge, Saturday night was an honor and privilege. I would also like to thank @premierboxing, @FOXSports, & @MGMGrand for a great event. God Bless. pic.twitter.com/yM91F5mnE4
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) July 22, 2019
Pacquiao won a split decision over Thurman, who was undefeated before Pac-Man beat him. Pacquiao showed he still has much of the speed, movement, and punching activity he became known for throughout his career, and he also landed some pretty big shots on Thurman.
Thurman sent a perfect tweet of his own and had nothing but good things to say about Pacquiao after the fight, so there’s clearly a great deal of mutual respect between the two. The win improved Pac-Man’s record to 62-7-2. Thurman is now 29-1.
- Manny Pacquiao
Manny Pacquiao defeated Keith Thurman on Saturday night in a split decision, and the previously undefeated Thurman apparently agreed with the two judges who scored in Pac Man’s favor.
Pacquiao won the fight after two judges scored the fight 115-112 in his favor, while Glenn Feldman scored it 114-113 for Thurman. Following the bout, Thurman sent a classy tweet about how his perfect 29-0 record deserved to fall.
I’ve always said I’m not afraid to let my 0 go, if you can beat me — beat me. @MannyPacquiao beat me tonight. Hats off to the Senator on a great performance. #OneTime #PacThurman pic.twitter.com/piX4A6lUOA
— Keith Thurman Jr. (@keithfthurmanjr) July 21, 2019
Thurman also showed a great deal of class while praising Pacquiao in his post-fight interview.
— David Kano (@TheDKano) July 21, 2019
It’s not uncommon for fighters to complain about how they were robbed after a split decision, so you have to give Thurman credit for the way he handled it. Pacquiao, who is now 40, landed some big shots on Thurman and proved he still has plenty left despite even his own trainer thinking he should retire at one point. Thurman didn’t want to take anything away from him.
Manny Pacquiao proved that he can continue to win despite his age as he beat Keith Thurman in a split decision on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Pac-Man received the nod after two judges scored the fight 115-112 in his favor. Glenn Feldman scored it 114-113 for Thurman. The two judges who scored the fight for Pacquiao had him winning seven rounds to five. That would ordinarily result in a 115-113 score, but Thurman was deducted a point for being knocked down in the first round. Feldman had it seven rounds to five for Thurman, minus the point deduction for the knockdown.
Even at the age of 40, Pacquiao showcased some of the speed, movement, and punching activity he became known for throughout his career. He caught Thurman in the face with a stiff right hand towards the end of the first round that dropped Thurman to the canvas. The punched that knocked Thurman down came after a big body shot. The Filipino did more damage with a body shot later in the fight.
Pacquiao seemed to hurt Thurman in the 10th with a big shot to the body:
Here's the body shotpic.twitter.com/mIDhkkTnvT
— MyBookie Sportsbook (@betmybookie) July 21, 2019
Pacquiao was active throughout the fight and threw nearly 100 more punches than Thurman, according to FOX’s post-fight statistics. FOX did have Thurman landing more punches.
Pac-Man improves 62-7-2 (39 KOs) in his career and captured the WBA super welterweight championship belt. He has won three straight fights since a controversial decision loss to Jeff Horn in 2017. Each of Pacquiao’s last two wins have come via decision.
The loss marked the first of Thurman’s career. The 30-year-old was 29-0 entering the fight.
The victory is highly significant for Pacquiao. Some detractors said in 2012 that Pacquiao had lost his best ability following consecutive defeats to Timothy Bradley Jr. and Juan Manuel Marquez, the latter coming in a brutal knockout. Pacquiao lost two more times after that, falling to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in one of the most disappointing fights of the decade, and later to Horn. Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, even said in 2017 he was thinking of telling Pacquiao to retire. But the Filipino fighter has been defiant, insisting he has several good years of fighting left. Being able to defeat an opponent in his prime the way Pacquiao did shows he is still very much a contender at the 147 pound weight limit.
Kawhi Leonard is a man about town.
The reigning NBA Finals MVP attended Saturday night’s fight card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas that was headlined by the Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman bout.
Board Man is not bored pic.twitter.com/NTXlMfgIw8
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) July 21, 2019
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) July 21, 2019
Leonard has been enjoying himself and making public appearances ever since winning the NBA championship with the Toronto Raptors. He attended a Blue Jays game in Toronto. He spent some time on the Vegas scene. He signed with the LA Clippers. And now he’s one of the most recognized celebrities at a boxing match.
Few athletes have raised their profile as much as Kawhi has in the past year. He has catapulted himself into true star status.
- Kawhi Leonard
Manny Pacquiao may be turning 41 later this year, but he still doesn’t sound like he is planning to retire any time remotely soon.
In an interview with TMZ Sports prior to his welterweight title bout against Keith Thurman on Saturday, the Filipino fighter said that he thinks he has another five years left in his professional boxing career.
“If you ask me about my body condition, I feel good,” said Pacquiao. “I feel young, like late 20s.”
When pressed on if he thought he would be able to fight until 45, the former eight-division champion replied, “My feeling right now, I can say yes … Body condition, my mind, my focus, the way I work hard. I’m still enjoying my training camp, happy doing it. It’s still there.”
While Pacquiao now has 70 professional fights under his belt over his nearly 25-year career, he still has a lot left in the tank having gone 4-1 in his last five bouts (with the only loss being a suspect decision defeat to Jeff Horn in 2017). He has also reinvented himself as a fighter in his advanced age, relying more on his technical skills rather than primarily on the quickness and punching power that characterized his younger years.
We have seen many a boxer still rack up the titles well into their 40s in recent years (Bernard Hopkins, Antonio Tarver, and Roy Jones Jr, to name a few). Pacquiao has flirted heavily with the idea of retirement before, but if Saturday goes well and the body and the heart are still willing, he may have plenty left to offer in the ring.