Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 September 2020

Manny Pacquiao signs for team Conor McGregor to heighten speculation of showstopping bout

Filipino now part of Paradigm Sports Management as he plots final years of his career

Manny Pacquiao speaks to media in Dubai during his visit last September. Pawan Singh / The National 
Manny Pacquiao speaks to media in Dubai during his visit last September. Pawan Singh / The National 

Manny Pacquiao has signed with the same management company that represents Conor McGregor, in a move sure to heighten talk of a possible bout between the two.

The Filipino, 41, has joined Paradigm Sports Management as he seeks to plot what are surely the final years of his professional career.

Boxing’s only eight-division champion, Pacquiao last fought in July, when he defeated the previously unbeaten Keith Thurman on points in Las Vegas to win the WBA super welterweight title. It marked the second of this three-fight contract with Premier Boxing Champions. Pacquiao has yet to announce his next opponent.

“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.”

McGregor acknowledged the news to his millions of followers on social media, simply posting: “Welcome to the team Emmanuel”.

Rumours of a possible match-up with Pacquiao have ramped up recently, with McGregor saying before last month’s comeback victory in the UFC against Donald Cerrone that the two had already discussed the possibility of meeting in the ring.

McGregor, a former two-weight UFC champion, famously made the crossover to boxing in 2017, when he took on Floyd Mayweather Jr in one of the most lucrative events in the sport. The controversial Irishman was defeated comfortably, eventually losing by technical knockout in the 10th round.

McGregor claimed recently that he banked upwards of $80 million (Dh294m) for that fight. A bout against Mayweather’s old foe, however unnecessary it seems, would be guaranteed to also draw considerable attention worldwide.

Speaking to ESPN before the Cerrone clash, McGregor said: “Me and Manny, there’s been talks about the fight. There was an offer made on that … just not yet. It’s very much so [a possibility] … there were negotiations going on.”

Updated: February 12, 2020 12:55 PM

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