BOXING

Could Khabib Nurmagomedov Make His Boxing Debut Against Manny Pacquiao?

Could Khabib Nurmagomedov Make His Boxing Debut Against Manny Pacquiao?

Source: Wikipedia Commons

Khabib Nurmagomedov has been making a lot of headlines since his recent fine and suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for his involvement in a post match brawl at UFC 229. Nurmagomedov defeated Conor McGregor via submission in the 4th round to retain his UFC Lightweight title but was involved in an altercation with McGregor and his team.

Nurmagomedov was fined $500,000 and received a nine month suspension for his part of the altercation retroactive to the date of the incident (October 6, 2018). NSAC offered to reduce the suspension by 3 months if the fighter were to do an anti-bullying public service announcement. Nurmagomedov’s camp has indicated that he has no interest in participating in the PSA.

In fact it appears Khabib is willing to sit out an entire year to support his teammates who had received a one year suspensions by NSAC.

Nurmagomedov’s camp further caused headlines when his manager revealed that Khabib had no interest in fighting in Nevada again due to the fine and suspension. He instead indicated that he would like his next title defence to be at Madison Square Gardens in New York.

Khabib’s name came back into the headlines again after comments made by Umar Kremlev, the General Secretary of the Russian Boxing Federation. Kremlev indicated that there has been discussions between the Federation and Nurmagomedov about a possible match at Luzhniki Stadium, located in Moscow and capable of seating 81,000 people for most sporting events. The Stadium would be able to handle 100,000+ for a boxing event.

Khabib dropped his own hint that negotiations were ongoing when he posted a picture of himself with Kremlev on social media.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been rumored as a possible opponent but Mayweather has remained steadfast that he has retired for good. Another name the Kremlev suggested that could possibly draw 100,000 people to the event and break pay-per-view records is Manny Pacquiao.

Pacquiao (61-7-2) defeated Adrien Broner via unanimous decision on January 19, 2019. The current WBA (Regular) Welterweight champion has had many names attached to his next fight including the WBA (Super) Welterweight champion Keith Thurman in a title unification match. Thurman’s name is now rumored to be attached to a fight with Broner although nothing has been confirmed or announced.

Pacquiao has made it known that he also would love a rematch against Mayweather in what would be a big money fight for both boxers. Again, Mayweather remains retired.

Manny is close to retirement and seems to be looking for one more big fight. The Conor McGregor/Mayweather fight did huge numbers and Nurmagomedov vs Pacquiao would likely do the same. Nurmagomedov is still under contract with the UFC for one more fight but it would not be difficult to see his team re-negotiating around his desire to box professionally for the first time.

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Lastly, if Nurmagomedov plans on sitting out with his teammates until October 2019, a summer boxing debut is not out of the question.

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