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Manny Pacquiao vs Conor McGregor? Why it can happen

Lee Cleveland Updated
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UFC star Conor McGregor insists a showdown with boxing legend and WBA Welterweight Champion Manny Pacquiao is close to being confirmed.

“You know, Manny (Pacquiao). We’re actually close to signing Manny,” McGregor told Ariel Helwani per BloodyElbow.com. “There’s been talks about the Manny fight as well. There’s been an offer made on (a bout against Pacquiao).

“There’s just negotiations going on,” he explained.

“I want to box again. I will box again. I will get a boxing world title.”

Can Pacquiao vs McGregor actually happen?

Answer: Yes

After Floyd Mayweather faced McGregor in 2017 anything is possible, right?

Conor is not an elite boxer or close and doesn't deserve to share the ring with boxing royalty like Mayweather and Pacquiao, but a bout with the latter would make sense, financially, for all parties involved just like Mayweather vs McGregor in 2017.

And who could potentially benefit most from such a fight?

Answer: DAZN.

Having launched in the US in September 2018, the combat sport-centric service has struggled to obtain a large and consistent subscriber base in the US.

The relatively new online streaming company boasts about 8 million subscribers but only 650,000 - 800,000 in the US, far fewer than ESPN's 3.5 million American purchasers and a far cry from its purported target.


Per Thomas Hauser via BoxingScene.com: "One industry source says that an early DAZN financial model anticipated that the streaming service could have as many as 3.5 million subscribers in the United States by the end of 2019."

Feeling the pinch early, DAZN doubled its monthly subscription price for US consumers from US$9.99 to US$19.99 last March and is believed to be exploring additional revenue-enhancing options.

Enter Pacquiao vs McGregor.

Should that bout be broadcast by DAZN, the network would undoubtedly see a massive lift in subscriptions for the month of the bout and an uptick, even if minimal, in long term subscribers.

Who knows if it would pay off in the long run but DAZN would be silly to not seriously investigate its potential spoils from such a fight.

And while boxing is its 'bread and butter,' DAZN also broadcasts Bellator MMA events which they'd heavily promote to McGregor's UFC fans who'd tune into Pacquiao vs McGregor. Moreover, it carries professional soccer and is dabbling in Major League Baseball.

Certainly, DAZN understand featuring Pacquiao vs McGregor would introduce a lot of non-subscribers to the network's array of services.

Top 10 Most-Streamed Events on DAZN in 2019

Ruiz vs. Joshua II (Dec. 7)
UEFA Champions League: Tottenham vs. Liverpool (June 1)
UEFA Champions League: Liverpool vs. Barcelona (May 7)
Canelo vs. Kovalev (Nov. 2)
KSI vs. Logan Paul II (Nov. 9)
UEFA Champions League: Tottenham vs. Bayern Munich (Oct. 1)
Serie A: Milan v Internazionale (Sept. 21)
UEFA Champions League: Ajax vs. Tottenham (May 8)
UEFA Champions League: Barcelona vs. Liverpool (May 1)
Canelo vs. Jacobs (May 4)

But, what about promotional politics? Pacquiao is an Al Haymon fighter?

Since breaking from promoter Bob Arum, Pacquiao has teamed up with Al Haymon and has subsequently fought on Showtime. However, there's no reason Pacquiao couldn't sign a 1, 2 or 3 fight deal with DAZN. Andy Ruiz, also an Al Haymon fighter, faced Anthony Joshua twice on DAZN last year.

If DAZN gets desperate enough and boxing officials cooperate, McGregor could conceivably challenge Manny for the latter's WBA Welterweight title if Conor can still make the welterweight limit of 147 pounds (McGregor fights at 155). And even if he couldn't, he could still face Manny in a non-title bout at a higher weight. Keep in mind, no title was at-stake for Mayweather vs McGregor.

Since launching in 2016, DAZN is now live in nine countries across four continents, including Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States.

DAZN is the largest, fastest-growing global sports streaming service. It is leading the charge to give sports fans around the world affordable access to sport anytime, anywhere. DAZN guarantees no long-term contract, just one affordable price for access on connected devices including smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, desktop computers and games consoles. DAZN has been created by fans, for fans to give them a better and fairer way to watch sport.

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