From a top choice, Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao has dropped considerably as far as the next opponent of UFC star Conor McGregor. It was something mode had expected following the Irishman’s stunning loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 last weekend.
Poirier quietly bucked the odds and defeated “The Notorious” in grand fashion. Leg kicks and some punches did the trick for “The Diamond” who is now lording it among the top contenders for the UFC lightweight title still held by the retired Khabib Nurmagomedov.
But McGregor lost more than that UFC fight. His boxing date with Pacquiao may be altered and the Irishman is now left to pick up the pieces and get back on track. That possibility got even worse following word that McGregor will be serving a potential six-month medical suspension tied to his UFC 257 loss to Poirier, MixedMartialArts.com reported.
Just saw McGregor got knocked out. Probably means no fight with Pacquiao, though me being "the #boxing guy," as dubbed by McGregor, can't say I am at all disappointed. — Dan Rafael (@DanRafael1) January 24, 2021
According to SportsBettingDime.com, Pacquiao is behind a series of MMA fighters like Poirier and Nate Diaz. Diaz is the odds-on favorite at +200 while Poirier is +300 to land an immediate third fight. The Pac-Man is now at +2000, something that hints that their exhibition boxing match is likely to be scratched.
Also worth noting is that clamor is now rising on Pacquiao possibly facing a different opponent but in an exhibition fight. Ryan Garcia, someone who made a name for himself a couple of months ago when he won over Luke Campbell has entered the mix.
Garcia initially aired that he would love to share the ring with Pacquiao but most felt it was a long shot with several veteran fighters and McGregor already ahead of him in the list. That took a different turn when McGregor lost.
Now, preliminary discussions are allegedly underway although it will be merely an exhibition. This means Pacquiao’s WBA belt will be on the line and Garcia will keep his perfect slate even if he loses to the 42-year-old boxer. The same goes with Pacquiao if he also loses to Garcia.
As of this writing, everything is up in the air. Pacquiao has yet to announce when he intends to fight again and the COVID-19 pandemic may factor in. Cases are rising globally and the Philippines is not excluded.
Until Team Pacquiao makes an announcement, all Garcia and boxing fans can do right now is sit back and wait.