In the span of less than two rounds, Manny Pacquiao went from being next in line to now serving as the longshot underdog for a desired superfight with Conor McGregor.
A showdown between the pair of global superstars was in the works, only for Dustin Poirier to crash the party following his 2nd round knockout of Ireland’s McGregor in their rematch atop the UFC 257 Pay-Per-View event this past Saturday in Abu Dhabi. With a win, McGregor (22-5 in MMA; 0-1 as a boxer) planned to enter his second career boxing match, this in a high-profile clash with the 42-year old Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39KOs).
The odds of that taking place next are literally no longer in favor of the legendary Filipino southpaw.
In deciphering McGregor’s next move, gambling news website SportsBettingDime.com has Pacquiao well behind a series of MMA fights which could first take place. Included among the lot are potential rubber matches with Nate Diaz and Poirier. Diaz is the odds-on favorite at +200 to settle his near-five year score with his longtime rival, while Poirier is +300 to land an immediate third fight.
At the bottom of the list is Pacquiao, who is now at +2000 to share ring space with the Irish superstar. Obviously no longer holding his breath for the fight to materialize in the near future, the eight-division world champ and full-time senator in his native Philippines is prepared to move on.
In recent weeks, Pacquiao—a reigning welterweight titlist—has seen his name attached to desired unification bouts with unbeaten pound-for-pound entrants Errol Spence Jr. (27-0, 21KOs) and Terence Crawford (37-0, 28KOs). There is little indication of either fight happening next, although neither scenario has been ruled out.
Also making the media rounds is a rumored showdown with unbeaten lightweight contender Ryan García (21-0, 18KOS). The two camps have been in discussion for such an event, though the stakes and whether or not it would be sanctioned as an actual fight have yet to be established.
Pacquiao has not fought since a 12-round decision win over unbeaten Keith Thurman (29-1, 22KOs) in their July 2019 welterweight title consolidation clash at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The legendary Filipino holds has won titles in eight weight divisions, five of which are recognized as lineal championship reigns (flyweight, featherweight, junior lightweight, junior welterweight and welterweight). Both are all-time records.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox