Evander Holyfield: McGregor Has A Chance Against Pacquiao
Conor McGregor is set to face Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 this month, but a potential boxing bout with legend Manny Pacquiao down the road is on the cards too for him.
In November last year, Audie Attar, who manages both McGregor and Pacquiao, said that the two sides are willing to make a boxing bout happen, and conversations had already begun. The Irishman made his professional boxing debut in 2017 against Floyd Mayweather, but ended up losing the bout via a tenth round TKO.
While Pacquiao’s coach Justin Fortune believes he will ‘obliterate’ McGregor in a boxing contest, former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield isn’t counting the 32 year old out.
McGregor vs Pacquiao
Speaking to The Sun, Holyfield weighed in on McGregor’s chances against Pacquiao.
“Well, he’s got longer arms. So he has reach advantage,” Holyfield said. “So he has to keep Pacquiao to the side and throw the punches straight, which is going to be difficult. You’re talking about fighting somebody who has been doing boxing their whole life. McGregor’s strength is grabbing people and turning people and flipping people, where he had more things to think about.”
Throughout his MMA career, McGregor has made great use of his kicking prowess to set up his left hand, which is his most dangerous weapon. Since he won’t be able to utilise the kicking element of his game in boxing, Holyfield believes the Irishman will always have his work cut out in the boxing ring.
“When you’re boxing, you’re using your hands only and not kicking, it is going to be difficult for someone like McGregor,” Holyfield explained. “It makes it even more difficult because, as I said, Pacquiao has been doing it all his life and his hand routine is perfect.
“And regardless anybody gets into a fight with him the only person who’s going to have a better chance to beat him is somebody younger doing the same thing he does, which is boxing. But if you are the same age there’s not much difference because then you’re going to get whooped.”
“McGregor Has A Chance”
But regardless of the odds being against him, Holyfield commended McGregor for having the heart of a fighter, and said that he has a chance to beat Pacquiao.
“However, anybody who gets in the ring has some chance, I believe. You ain’t getting in the ring if you think you ain’t got a chance. And McGregor has some skills too,” Holyfield shared. “He has that heart to fight, heart of a fighter. He can fight so ain’t nobody just going to beat him up in no kind of way. Just like the boxers, he has the mentality of a fighter.
“Manny, even if he went into a MMA fight he would get kicked but he will get some punches in there and fight, he may get tore up in the end but he is a fighter who is able to do something because of the mentality and how we fighters think. So, McGregor has a chance.”
If McGregor and Pacquiao paths do cross in the future, Holyfield said he would be happy to help the former two division UFC champion.
“If I was asked then I would go out to him and say to him, ‘You know what, do this thing.’ The thing is that I’m not a ‘coach’,” Holyfield said. “I can give him good advice, but I’d have someone else hold the hand pads – I don’t know how to hold hand pads! – I came up hitting hands pads.
“So, it’s like Mayweather, he doesn’t know how to hold hand pads like coaches do. But he was a good fighter. There are a lot of things fighters don’t do real well if they were to coach. Because they were great fighters, so it’s kind of different. But it’s easy to give directions and advice, but show someone how to do something is different.”
Do you agree with Evander Holyfield’s assessment of the potential boxing match between Conor McGregor and Manny Pacquiao?