Well, it appears as if Conor McGregor can set off fire alarms with a single tweet. And it doesn't even have to be in the English language. The other day, McGregor typed in a couple of words in "Tagalog," a tongue familiar to Filipinos. It is meant is a clue. "tinatanggap ko" It's also meant as a tease. Those words, translated, mean "I accept," and they are NOT directed toward Khamzat Chimaev, who is from Chechnya and now lives in Sweden, who the UFC's Dana White presumably intends to put Conor into the Octagon with. As far as we can tell, Chimaev is not Tagalog-savvy. He has confirmed that he wasn't writing to the eight-fight veteran anyway. No, word has it that the message was directed toward Manny Pacquiao, the only guy left who can provide McGregor with a nine-figure payday as a stand-alone proposition.
That makes sense, although we're not sure there has been a firm offer. Members of PacMan's team figure this was his way of opening up some negotiations. And I bet they'd be listening. Of course, you already know this wouldn't be McGregor's first foray into boxing. In fighting Floyd Mayweather in August 2017, he made $130 million off an event that drew a reported 4.3 million domestic buys and, according to White, who had a stake in the matter, 6.5 million worldwide. And McGregor didn't damage his reputation any with his performance; in fact, I don't think he embarrassed himself in the least. As the Pacquiao item was brought up to White at a press conference pushing his latest UFC event, he said, “I don’t care about any of that sh*t." Well, from what I've experienced in this business, when a promoter says something like that it's usually about an event they're not going to be involved in, and not by choice. McGregor and Pacquiao are both clients of Audie Attar and Paradigm Sports Management, which represents football and soccer players but is heavily vested in MMA and now, with Pacquiao, boxing. Once an organization is working closely with both individuals in a two-man dynamic, putting together a deal is less of a leap.Usually.
On the promotional front, Pacquiao has independence, if he wants it, through his company MP Promotions. But he still maintains ties to Top Rank and Bob Arum, with whom he has made hundreds of millions. In fact, he had been involved with discussions about a fight against Top Rank's undefeated WBO welterweight champ Terence Crawford. But the problem, according to Arum, is that he can't really place the fight anywhere in the United States because the important jurisdictions prohibit crowds. That takes the live gate out of the picture. The fact of the matter is that, if you are talking about a large-scale pay-per-view event that has the potential to go through the roof, not enough people care about Crawford, as good a fighter as he is. Nobody cares about Yordenis Ugas, who is the top contender as designated by the WBA. And there is not much else out there when it comes to fighters who can carry their weight in a PPV bout, despite what rabid boxing fans might think. At age 41 and winding down his career, this is probably "money time" for Pacquiao, rather than "legacy time." And there is no better shortcut to a huge payday than right through McGregor. They may also be able to circumvent the "live gate" dilemma if need be, because the subscription numbers would be so high. Of course, this brings us back around to whether McGregor could conceivably go ahead with something like this without the participation of the UFC. You may remember, as the Mayweather-McGregor fight was being discussed, that Conor had been making some noises about invoking the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, a federal law that governs certain conduct in the boxing business, to gain the freedom to break off from his UFC deal for the purposes of stepping into the ring again. Maybe he'll try that move for real this time. I have not seen the details of his UFC contract, so I wouldn't know what part of the Ali Act he'd be intending to use i order to free himself. But it would surprise me greatly if the six-fight pact he signed with them in September 2018 did not specify a certain involvement on the part of the UFC, should he decide to box. After all, White is dabbling in the sport as it is; his company licenses boxing content from Roy Jones Jr. Promotions and Salita Promotions for its OTT (over-the-top) UFC Fight Pass service. McGregor is around 170 pounds, but he'll never get Pacquiao to move up that far. If they ever get around to a serious negotiation about this, that will be a point of contention. And, well, maybe tension too. But that's nothing in comparison to the tension between Arum and White, who thoroughly despise each other. And that could be the case if Pacquiao decides he wants Top Rank involved. Let's face it - an extravaganza like this needs a company that knows how to organize every aspect of it, and Arum's company might be the foremost in the boxing business. Inasmuch as McGregor seems to be bound contractually to White and the UFC, we may have the makings of quite the knockdown, drag-out brawl outside the ring. It might make sense from a financial perspective, but these showdowns may still be a long way off.
Charles Jay is unlike most analysts associated with
handicapping and the gaming industry, in that he also has had extensive
experience in the so-called "mainstream" media as well.
He has been involved with professional sports industry for
almost two decades, working in all capacities, as a matchmaker, booking agent,
manager, and also as an editorial consultant on USA Network's "Tuesday Night
Fights," which, for a time, carried "Charles Jay's Line" on
upcoming fights. As a broadcaster, he has called world title fights around the
world for various outlets, and has served as a color commentator for Sunshine
Network and Prime Network.
His radio experience includes being the host of numerous
programs, including "Sportswatch with Charles Jay" on KDWN in Las
Vegas, "Total Action" on WAXY 790 in Miami, and "Charles Jay's
Winning Edge", syndicated into 55 markets by the American Radio Networks,
and he's done podcasts on all subjects related to sports, gaming and popular
Working within the casino industry, he has a special events
consultant for Casino Magic in Mississippi, as that venue established itself in
the early 1990s as a hotbed of boxing activity in particular. Prior to this, he
had been engaged as a casino gaming columnist for, among others, Casino Player,
Card Player and Sports Form (now known as Gaming Today), specializing in
blackjack. And later on, his investigative series on boxing, entitled
"Operation Cleanup," won him much critical acclaim, including the
2003 "Dignity" Award, in the category of "Best Sports
Writer," as bestowed by the Retired Boxers Foundation, a non-profit
organization dedicated to rendering assistance to ex-fighters in need.
In 2006 he established a content services division of his
company, which has eventually evolved in JayWords, and he is arguably the
world's most prolific sports & gaming writer, with over 20,000 articles to
his credit, the vast majority of which have been sports handicapping pieces. So
you might say he has analyzed as many sporting events as anyone alive during
this period. He has also brought some interest with his so-called
"gimmick" odds on special events, including the Academy Awards, the
NFL Draft, and the Super Bowl, for which he posted dozens and dozens of
different odds propositions with various sportsbooks.
This renaissance man is a winner of the Retired Boxers Foundation's "Dignity Award" and a member of the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame; graduate of the University of
Miami (Florida) who currently resides in the South Florida area.