Boxing

Mikey Garcia Turns From Pacquiao To Gervonta Davis

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When four-division world champ Mikey Garcia broke free from his promotional contract with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions, he opened up a world of earning potential for himself.

His free agency came along at the perfect time– just as big-pocket business newcomers Premier Boxing Champions and DAZN were looking for talent with world class chops and name value. Despite losing more than two years of his career in the legal battle to become his own boss, Garcia more than made up for it when he finally got back in the ring. His business decision had turned him from a low six-figures fighter into a million dollar headliner.

Leveraging his open market value into even bigger deals, the Mexican American then nabbed the pay-per-view opponent slot against welterweight champ Errol Spence at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas for a reported guaranteed $3 million base. And even though he came up way short against Spence, he managed to rebound, big time, when he negotiated a one-fight deal with streaming service DAZN for a reported whopping $7 million, matched against Jessie Vargas.

The big one that has kept getting away from free agent Garcia, however, is the blockbuster with Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao.

Garcia has openly lusted after a lucrative Pacquiao clash for years now, sometimes wallowing in inactivity, waiting for the fight to be finalized, when the stars seemed to be aligning to make it happen.

But, given Pacquiao’s signed and sealed clash with Errol Spence this August 21 and the reality that this could very well be the final fight of the 42-year-old’s legendary career, Garcia’s blockbuster ambitions are turning elsewhere. Notably, to rising star and current 3-belt world titlist Gervonta Davis, who recently knocked out 140 lb. champ Mario Barrios in his junior welterweight debut..

“I think so, I mean he’s exciting, he’s strong, and he’s got a lot of fans, man, he’s very popular.” Garcia told Fighthype.com when asked if he’d be interested in a fight with the 26-year-old Gervonta Davis.

“Tank showed that he’s got the power to hurt, you know, guys even at 140, so, you know, he did real good, congratulations, congratulations to Tank. He made the right adjustments and then secured the fight and won. Barrios being so much taller and with the longer reach, you know, it took him maybe a few rounds, I said I think four rounds, maybe five.

“But he started closing the gap and once he figured out the gap, the right timing, the right range, started turning it up and did some damage.”

The 33-year-old former featherweight, super featherweight, lightweight, and junior welterweight champ was most recently tied to a possible bout with former junior welterweight champ Regis Prograis. A pay-per-view clash with Davis, however, would be an infinitely bigger, more lucrative encounter. There’s also the possible feeling that Davis, since he’d be essentially coming up in weight to meet Garcia, may be beatable at a new weight class after competing at 130 as recently as last October.

Garcia-Davis would make sense for both sides. Competitively, the clash would be an outstanding pairing of Garcia’s calm, cool precision against Davis’ fiery one-punch KO prowess. From a sales perspective, fighting each other would be bigger than fighting almost anyone else realistically available to them. There’s also the fact that Garcia, as a promotional free agent, would have a lot more flexibility in negotiations.

Of course, both parties have to be really willing to make this fight and there’d be the question of money. Both sides would expect a bundle and Garcia, if he’s looking to make in the area of the $7 million he made for his much easier fight with Vargas, would be way out of touch with reality.

Whatever happens with Garcia, though, he needs to get back in the ring soon. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, he hasn’t fought since beating Jessie Vargas in February of 2020 and, for an athlete of any sort, the body clock is always ticking.

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Paul Magno has over forty years of experience in and around the sport of boxing and has had his hand in everything, from officiating to training. As a writer, his work has appeared in several online publications, including Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports, FightHype, Max Boxing, Boxing.com, Inside Fights, The Boxing Tribune, The Queensberry Rules, and Premier Boxing Champions. You can reach him at: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com