The boxing world may be on a forced downtime at the moment, but that hasn’t kept four-division world champ Mikey Garcia from continuing his perpetual call-out of future Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao.
“I think styles make fights,” Mikey recently said on the Chris Mannix Sports Illustrated boxing podcast. “He’s not a tall, lanky fighter who can complicate things like Errol Spence did. He’s shorter in height, doesn’t have the reach like some of these other welterweights do. That fits much better to give an entertaining fight with me. I remember sparring with him years ago, and I was able to fight similar to what [Erik] Morales and [Juan Manuel] Marquez did. It was only sparring, but I did well… I was able to time [him], I was able to use my jab effectively, and that’s why I think that fight makes the best sense right now, to prove to everybody that I can be a world champion at the welterweight limit.”
Yeah, so he can prove himself capable of winning a world title at welterweight. Sure. Plus, of course, there’s that big bundle of money and exposure all Pacquiao opponents get.
Whether this fight makes sense for Garcia, stylistically, is secondary to how good it could be for his bank account. A fight with Pacquiao is the most lucrative bout to be found for him in any weight class. Let’s not insult anyone’s intelligence that it goes much further beyond that. But, yeah, it would also be nice to have a win against someone like Pacquiao on one’s resume.
For what it’s worth, though, Garcia has been steadfast in playing up the competitive part of his desire to meet Manny. Publicly, it’s been all about the fight and not the purse.
“He’s very aggressive, very experienced, very strong,” Garcia also said of Pacquiao in an Instagram Live interview. “But I look at it as an opportunity for me to fight very smart and try to counter-punch, very similar to the way Marquez fought Manny. You know, Juan Manuel Marquez was very, very intelligent, a great counter-puncher. He did fight Manny, you know, four times. And even though he lost the middle two fights, I felt like he had won. So, I think it’ll be very similar in that way, where I can use my intelligence, my counter-punching abilities and timing to try and beat and overcome that aggressiveness and power that Manny possesses.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn, who recently represented Garcia in a one-fight deal and has first-match rights on any deal coming Garcia’s way next, wants Garcia-Pacquiao bad. Rumored to be looking into a Saudi Arabia host for the fight, the head of Matchroom Boxing has been inquiring about Manny’s availability and willingness to make the bout.
For now, though, all business is on hold due to the global pandemic. But even with boxing at a standstill, Garcia remains on the hunt. Time will tell if he can bag his prey– or if it was ever wise in the first place to challenge the Filipino icon.
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