IT was hardly a fight on the tip of the fight fraternity’s tongue before the weekend, but Irishmen Conor McGregor and Luke Keeler could be set for a boxing match – if, that is, Keeler gets his wish.
The unlikely rivalry between McGregor and Keeler appears to go back a couple of years yet was reignited a few days ago when footage of the UFC champion whacking an old man in an Irish pub surfaced on social media and seemingly riled Keeler.
The video prompted a post from Keeler condemning McGregor’s actions and inferring it wasn’t the first time he had sucker-punched a member of the public. Needless to say, McGregor didn’t take too kindly to the pro boxer passing judgement on a public form.
“I don’t want to get into it too much, but I know he wasn’t happy about the call out,” Keeler told IrishBoxing.com. “He is not happy.
“The fight community in Ireland is small enough – Crumlin isn’t too far from Ballyfermot – and I heard he wasn’t happy with the timing of it.
“He rang me and we had a few words. I told him the fight was there to be made and he was all for it. He agreed to fight over the phone.”
Fighting over the phone would be a feat difficult for even McGregor to achieve but Keeler says there have since been talks between his management company, MTK Global, and McGregor for a potential all-Irish grudge match in the future. Keeler isn’t hopeful of it happening but is keen to at least explore the possibility.
“It could be just all talk,” he said. “Whether he has the balls or not to get in the ring again, never mind with me, we will have to see.
“He could have been just trying to front up or speaking in anger, but it got to the stage where I felt comfortable enough passing onto my management team.
“Like I said, I don’t want to get into that much yet, but I have handed it over to MTK and they’re talking to Conor.”
Keeler, 17-2-1 (5), believes McGregor, 0-1 (0), agreeing to a fight against him would be a good way for him to get “Irish people’s respect back”. That might require more than just a boxing match but Keeler, to his credit, has the right idea and should be commended for speaking out against McGregor’s deplorable actions.
Just as you thought it had gone away for good, reports of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao having a rematch, this time in Saudi Arabia, started again doing the rounds on Sunday night.
The rumours were attributed to a video that leaked in which Mayweather appeared to show a willingness to fly to the Middle East and thrash out a deal to fight Pacquiao. In the video, Mayweather said: “I want to say thank you. It’s an honour to come to Saudi Arabia to sit down with you guys to talk about the Mayweather v Pacquiao rematch.
“Saudi Arabia, Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather, I’m on my way.”
Now for the good news: the video in question was later found to be old – eight or nine months old, in fact – and Mayweather, who visited Saudi Arabia in January, only mentioned Pacquiao by name because he was asked to do so by an overseas investment group.
The reality is, Mayweather has no intention of fighting Pacquiao in Saudi Arabia or anywhere else for that matter.
“There’s no truth to me and Pacquiao fighting in a rematch,” Mayweather told FightHype.
“Even if we did fight, all they are going to do is have an excuse, like they did the first time. He can raise his hand after the fight is over but all of a sudden his shoulder is messed up. Excuse after excuse. A real champion takes his win like a man and takes his loss like a man. As for me and Pacquiao, there will never be a rematch.”
The good news just got even better.