Boxing: MP Promotions head coy on Pacquiao-McGregor details

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 29 2020 12:45 PM

MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons. Handout photo

MANILA, Philippines -- The president of Manny Pacquiao (MP) Promotions offered no details regarding the possible fight between the Filipino ring icon and mixed martial arts (MMA) star Conor McGregor.

Pacquiao and McGregor created a buzz over the weekend when it was confirmed that their camps were negotiating for a bout that may take place in 2021. Jake Joson, special assistant to Pacquiao, said the talks were "starting to move on." 

But Sean Gibbons, the president of MP Promotions, was reluctant to share more details during an appearance on the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday.

"I don't know anything about that fight," Gibbons quipped.

Gibbons hinted that McGregor may be using Pacquiao as a way to stay relevant in the sporting world. The MMA fighter has fought just once this year, demolishing Donald Cerrone in just 40 seconds last January. 

In June, he announced that he would retire, then spent the next couple of months teasing a possible Pacquiao bout on social media.

"The senator is still the biggest name in boxing. Bigger than (Floyd) Mayweather, bigger than (Anthony) Joshua, bigger than Canelo (Alvarez)," Gibbons said. "They like to use the senator's name for certain reasons."

Nonetheless, the promoter acknowledged that a showdown with McGregor, if it happens, will be a massive deal. 

It will be the second boxing match of McGregor's career, after his encounter with Floyd Mayweather Jr. last August 2017. The Irishman gave a good account of himself in that bout, but was eventually stopped in 10 rounds by the unbeaten American superstar.

"If a fight like that can happen, it will be a tremendous global event," said Gibbons. "It will be great if something like that can work out."

Other than that, however, Gibbons gave no more information. The promoter even encouraged his fighter, John Riel Casimero, who volunteered to face McGregor as well.

"Ako na lang lalaban," said Casimero, who is coming off a successful defense of his WBO bantamweight belt. "Sa akin na lang 'yan. Kayang-kaya ko 'yan."