Former two-division world champ Danny Garcia may be getting ready for his upcoming January 25 bout with Ivan Redkach, but he certainly has one eye focused on a possible bout with future first-ballot Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao.
“In order to become a legend, you’ve gotta beat the legend,” Garcia recently told Boxingscene.com. “You know, Manny Pacquiao’s had an incredible career. Being 40 years old and beating a prime Thurman, he’s had an incredible career. He’s somebody definitely all the boxers should look up to. And for me to get the opportunity to fight him, you know, you’ve gotta beat the legend to be the legend. And that’s how I look at it.
“That’s a big win,” Garcia said, regarding Pacquiao’s split-decision victory over Thurman this past July. “He’s definitely a Hall-of-Famer. I just don’t know what he has left to prove, if you really think about it. Probably the money – that’s about it. But he’s a legend. He’s done it all, and he’s still here. So, someone has to get him out of there to get him to retire.”
Clearly, aside from the glory involved in beating and possibly retiring a legend like Pacquiao, there’s also a ton of money to be had from fighting the Filipino Icon, who is still a top 5 pay-per-view draw in the sport.
Garcia being able to add a high-profile win over Pacquiao to his resume would turbocharge a career that has flat-lined a bit over the last couple of years. Since 2017, Garcia is 2-2 with close decision losses to Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter on his ledger and stoppage wins over underdog battlers Brandon Rios and Adrian Granados. The Philadelphia fighter could definitely use a big win this year to keep his name among the elites of the welterweight division.
There are, however, two questions regarding a Manny Pacquiao-Danny Garcia pairing.
The first one is whether the fight can actually be made.
Provided Garcia beats Redkach later this month, and in impressive fashion, there shouldn’t be any reason why the bout couldn’t or wouldn’t be made. Both fighters compete under the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) banner and there wouldn’t be any business obstacles to climb to get things signed up. Unless Garcia’s money demands are insane or Pacquiao finds a better deal with a different opponent, a springtime contest can definitely be put together.
The second question is whether Garcia can provide for a competitive battle against Pacquiao.
The former 140 and 147 lb. champion has a tight, world-class skillset with a big, powerful left hand as a primary offensive weapon. He’s never faced anyone like Pacquiao before, though, and some have questioned his focus and drive these last couple years. Garcia is good enough to beat most everyone he faces at just about 65 to 75% full capacity, but he wasn’t quite sharp enough to beat Thurman or Porter and that lends one to ask the question of whether he’d be sharp enough to beat Pacquiao, even a 41-year-old Pacquiao.
Would this just be a case of Garcia being good enough to make Manny work a little, but ultimately fall as someone not in the same category as the fighting Senator? If so, then why bother making this bout? Ideally, Pacquiao’s last couple of fights should mean something and be relatively even-money affairs.
If Garcia wins his next fight in highlight-reel fashion, there might be enough intrigue to make a Pacquiao bout. And then the old saying about being careful about what one wishes for could kick in for Danny Garcia.
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