Like every other fight fan in the world, ONE Championship phenom and fifth-ranked strawweight Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang of Team Lakay was shocked to hear news that Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao has agreed to face “The Notorious” Conor McGregor sometime early next year.
The Filipino fighting senator confirmed talks with the McGregor camp over the weekend to put together a boxing spectacle sometime in January.
In McGregor’s first professional boxing match in 2017, he was stopped inside the distance by none other than the pound-for-pound king, Floyd Mayweather Jr. Now, in his second appearance atop the squared circle, McGregor faces another boxing legend in Pacquiao.
Although he’s excited to see the bout unfold, Adiwang, like many, understands this is a total mismatch in favor of the Filipino megastar.
“I have a lot of respect for both fighters. McGregor has proven himself in the world of MMA and became a two-division champion. He has this charisma that makes people watch his every fight. Even though he sometimes has a negative persona, let’s accept the fact that he is still a highly skilled martial artist. He always backs up his talk,” said Adiwang.
“Against Mayweather, we saw what happened. There is no doubt McGregor can box, but there are levels to this game. He’s a good boxer but the guys who have been doing this all their life like Mayweather, they are legit. To me, Pacquiao is the greatest living legend in boxing. He’s the only boxer in history who has won world championships in eight divisions. I just don’t see any scenario in which McGregor will win this fight.”
Against Mayweather, McGregor put forth a valiant effort, making a stand and boxing fairly well, all things considered. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to make it to the final bell, and Mayweather put the finishing touches on the Irishman in the 10th.
Adiwang believes that Pacquiao will try to one-up his long time rival and get McGregor out of there much quicker.
“Yes, McGregor has a strong and powerful left hand that has finished many of his opponents…in MMA. But this is boxing, they use boxing gloves and not small MMA gloves, so that power isn’t the same. And the fact that Pacquiao is one of the best knockout artists in history, even in boxing gloves, that’s scary. He’s faster and he has more experience than McGregor. Even if we say Pacquiao is older now and that McGregor has the youth advantage, the fact is, Pacquiao’s entire life has been about boxing. He has the tools to beat McGregor badly when they fight,” said Adiwang.
“I predict Pacquiao will find an opening and take him out in the early rounds. He will finish McGregor early. Once he sees that opening, he will knock McGregor out easily. Pacquiao’s speed will be too much. I see a knockout between the fifth and sixth rounds for Pacquiao. I feel like Pacquiao wants to finish McGregor faster than Mayweather’s round 10 victory over the Irishman a few years ago.”
The “Thunder Kid” maintains he will always be grateful to Pacquiao, for the years the Filipino icon dedicated to making his countrymen proud on the global boxing stage. Pacquiao inspired a generation of fighters, including Adiwang himself.
The Team Lakay stalwart is excited to witness another thrilling Pacquiao performance, that should end with the Filipino adding one more prized scalp to his collection.
“I remember when I was young, I watched a boxer knock his opponents out, and the whole country stopped to watch him. Every time he stepped in the ring to fight, he brought pride and honor to the Philippines. He inspired me to dream and one day become like him. I have so much respect and I’m forever grateful to the people’s champion, Manny Pacquiao, for being a shining example and an inspiration to the people, to me,” said Adiwang.
“Pacquiao beats McGregor in every category. The only thing McGregor has going for him is his youth, but everything else, our people’s champ blows him out of the water.”