Yet another superstar boxer is interested in fighting Conor McGregor should the UFC star pursue a boxing payday later this year.
Hall of Fame boxing promoter Bob Arum, who has promoted both Floyd Mawyeather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao in the past, told Michael Woods on the Talkbox podcast that his company, Top Rank Inc., was pursuing a two-fight deal with McGregor and the UFC on behalf of WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford.
“Well, you know, you see Conor McGregor talking out Mayweather and talking out Pacquiao,” Arum said. “I would love to have Crawford fight McGregor, once (under) MMA rules and once (under) boxing rules.”
Crawford, 32, from Omaha, Nebraska, has won world titles across three different weight classes and is ranked among the top fighters on boxing’s most prestigious pound-for-pound lists.
In fact, Crawford is currently ranked No. 3 on the Boxing Writers Association of America’s pound-for-pound list.
In addition to the 147-pound title belt he currently wears around his waist, Crawford also won the undisputed junior welterweight championship at 140 pounds and the lineal lightweight championship at 135 pounds before seeking bigger fights in higher weight classes.
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Perhaps most interesting is that Arum said Crawford would be happy to fight McGregor both inside the boxing ring and in the Octagon.
“I think Crawford, you know, has a background in wrestling and would not be too averse to fighting McGregor with UFC rules,” Arum said. “So that’s something that’s current to us in the last couple of days and we’ll be pursuing it with Dana White.”
McGregor Fought Floyd Mayweather in 2017
McGregor faced undefeated boxing star Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a crossover mega event in August 2017 that smashed box office records. Mayweather defeated McGregor via 10th round stoppage, but McGregor still appears to be headed back to the boxing ring sometime in the future. The fighter said during his interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwania that negotiations between McGregor and both Mayweather, 42, and Manny Pacquiao, 41, were ongoing, so it’s conceivable the 31-year-old Irishman could be on his way to wearing boxing gloves against at least one of those two fighters soon.
However, Crawford would represent a different sort of challenge to McGregor. While Mayweather and Pacquiao are both huge sports celebrities, Crawford has yet to achieve the same kind of notoriety. Still, Crawford is ranked among the top three or four fighters in the world in any weight class according to most legitimate pound-for-pound list right now. Moreover, he’s undefeated and still considered to be in his physical prime.
Additionally, McGregor might be pulled toward battling Crawford because it would allow him to get his hands on a world-class boxer under MMA rules. McGregor said last week that Mayweather had originally agreed to fight McGregor under MMA rules after their 2017 boxing match was over but that fight never happened.
Is Crawford’s Interest in McGregor Just Promotional Banter?
Another thing to consider is that Arum, arguably the most successful boxing promoter in history, is simply using McGregor’s name to promote his fighter. It’s a common promotional trick the sport’s powerbrokers have used for years, and it’s not likely to change anytime soon.
Still, many people believed the first Mayweather vs. McGregor fight would never happen and that both fighters were just using each other’s names to promote themselves. But that fight went on to become a reality, so it’s possible something similar could happen between McGregor and Crawford.