Prior to his MMA return earlier this year, Conor McGregor said he was close to signing a deal to fight Manny Pacquiao. Now, that should be a lot easier.
McGregor’s longtime management firm on Tuesday announced the signing of Pacquiao for representation in “commercial and competitive endeavors,” bringing the fighters closer together after their reported near-miss.
We’re very excited to announce that Manny Pacquiao has signed with PSM for full service representation! Manny is one of the greatest boxers of all time & we look forward to working with Arnold, Ping and the rest of the team back in Manila to maximize his historic career. #GP pic.twitter.com/lrdDCNcGrf— Paradigm Sports Management (@ParadigmSM) February 11, 2020
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a press release said the Paradigm Sports Management firm will join forces with Pacquiao’s “existing team,” which includes his business manager Arnold Vegafria, associate Ping Nepomuceno and attorney Brando Viernesto.
“I am proud to partner with Paradigm Sports Management and am excited for the opportunities that Audie Attar and PSM have to offer,” stated Pacquiao in the release. “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.”
That optimism undoubtedly propelled the idea of a boxing match between McGregor and legend Floyd Mayweather from joke to lucrative reality. And while Mayweather got the last word with McGregor and Pacquiao competitively, the “Money Fight” opened the door to more crossover fights.
Pacquiao, who in 2017 posted a cryptic picture with McGregor, isn’t the only boxer to call out the former two-division champ; Terence Crawford recently threw his name in the ring, and “Money Fight” sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi hasn’t stopped calling out the UFC star after a public falling out.
After a successful return to the octagon at UFC 246, McGregor’s rep Audie Attar said the fighter is serious about a return to boxing. UFC President Dana White believes the ex-champ should rematch Khabib Nurmagomedov first. McGregor hasn’t committed to his next move just yet, but Attar said his plans include the squared circle.
“If he says something he has interest in, it’s likely going to happen,” Attar said.
And with his notoriety, Attar said, boxers see McGregor is ultimately good business.
“At the end of the day, I saw Floyd, I saw Manny and now Bob Arum, who at one point said, ‘It’s not a smart idea to crossover,’” the manager added. “He’s a believer now as well.”