CONOR MCGREGOR has a ‘chance’ of beating Manny Pacquiao in a boxing match, former undisputed cruiserweight champion Evander Holyfield believes.
A blockbuster crossover fight between the pair has been mooted for well over a year, with McGregor teasing a 2021 showdown last September.
The Irishman, who boxed Floyd Mayweather in August 2017, has already had his chances of beating the 43-year-old Pacman written off.
But Holyfield insists the former two-division UFC champ is capable of causing a stunning an upset, telling SunSport: “Well, he’s got longer arms. So he has reach advantage.
“So he has to keep Pacquiao to the side and throw the punches straight, which is going to be difficult. You’re talking about fighting somebody who has been doing boxing their whole life.
“McGregor’s strength is grabbing people and turning people and flipping people, where he had more things to think about.”
Despite believing McGregor can beat Pacquiao, Holyfield, 58, admits The Notorious faces an uphill task to get the better of the former eight-weight world champion.
He added: “When you to boxing where you’re boxing and using your hands only and not kicking, it is going to be difficult for someone like McGregor.
“It makes it even more difficult because, as I said, Pacquiao has been doing it all his life and his hand routine is perfect.
“And regardless anybody gets into a fight with him the only person who’s going to have a better chance to beat him is somebody younger doing the same thing he does, which is boxing.
“But if you are the same age there’s not much difference because then you’re going to get whooped.
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“However, anybody who gets in the ring has some chance, I believe. You ain’t getting in the ring if you think you ain’t got a chance. And McGregor has some skills too.
“He has that heart to fight, heart of a fighter. He can fight so ain’t nobody just going to beat him up in no kind of way. Just like the boxers, he has the mentality of a fighter.
“Manny, even if he went into a MMA fight he would get kicked but he will get some punches in there and fight, he may get tore up in the end but he is a fighter who is able to do something because of the mentality and
how we fighters think. So, McGregor has a chance.”
Should McGregor land a mega-money fight with the pride of the Philippines, Holyfield would happily prepare the Dubliner for the bout.
The Real Deal said: “If I was asked then I would go out to him and say to him, ‘You know what, do this thing.’
“The thing is that I’m not a ‘coach’. I can give him good advice, but I’d have someone else hold the hand pads – I don’t know how to hold hand pads! – I came up hitting hands pads.
“So, it’s like Mayweather, he doesn’t know how to hold hand pads like coaches do. But he was a good fighter.
“There are a lot of things fighters don’t do real well if they were to coach. Because they were great fighters, so it’s kind of different. But it’s easy to give directions and advice, but show someone how to do something is different.”
McGregor is currently gearing up for his UFC 257 rematch with Dustin Poirier, whom he’ll rematch a week on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
WBA welterweight champion Pacquiao, meanwhile, currently doesn’t have a fight booked but intends to make two outings this year.