By: Hans Themistode
When Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) outclassed Adrien Broner earlier this year, not many people thought anything of it.
Broner has always possessed all of the talent in the world, but he has long had his difficulties putting it all together. His four division world titles, although impressive, lacks any true substance. He just hasn’t beaten anyone of note in his career.
When the two locked horns at the MGM Grand Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada, in January, no one was really surprised by the outcome. Broner gave it everything he had, but Pacquiao simply overwhelmed him with his volume. When it was later announced that Pacquiao would be stepping into the ring against Keith Thurman a few months later, that contest was viewed as a true toss up. In fact, many believed that Thurman, who is a decade younger, would be too much for Pacquiao.
Fast forward twelve grueling rounds later and many of those critics were wrong as Pacquiao earned a split decision victory.
Pacquiao, like many of the top name fighters of today, only fights two times a year. His next contest has already been penciled in for the first half of 2020 and he has two opponents in mind.
Former two division world champion Danny Garcia and former four division champion Mikey Garcia, no relation.
With Terence Crawford on the other side of the street with Top Rank and Errol Spence Jr sidelined while he recovers from his horrific car accident, these are the two biggest names Pacquiao can get his hands on. But which of the two Garcia’s would be the best option? Let’s break it down.
The Case For Danny
It wasn’t that long ago, 2016 to be exact, when Danny Garcia (35-2, 21 KOs) was an undefeated belt holder at the Welterweight division. His run through the Super Lightweight class was something special. He fought and defeated the sort of fighters that no one expected him too.
In 2012, when he absolutely destroyed Amir Khan, that wasn’t supposed to happen. No one expected him to pull off the victory. Yet, he did. Whoever considered themselves the top dog at the weight made sure to step into the ring with Danny and each time the Philly born fighter came out on top.
His run in the Welterweight division hasn’t been as great but it’s been a very good one. Close losses to both Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman knocked off some of the shine from his profile but still, those matches could have gone either way. He may not be viewed as the possible pound for pound level fighter that many pegged him out to be, but he is still an outstanding fighter nonetheless.
Danny has also been itching for a chance to face off with Pacquiao for a while now.
“I’m waiting for the call,” said Danny when regarding a possible Pacquiao contest. “That’s a fight I definitely want. Pacquiao has always had problems with counter punchers so I feel like my style would be perfect for him.”
Pacquiao has had his issues with counter punchers in the past but he would be the solid betting favorite going up against Danny if this contest were to take place. The case for Danny to be the next man up for Pacquiao is a strong one but let’s take a look at the other Garcia first.
The Case For Mikey
You really can’t have one bad day at the office in the sport of boxing. Throughout the entire career of Mikey Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs) he was viewed as one of the best out there. Even as he battled legal issues for several years, once he returned back to the ring he didn’t lose a beat.
Mikey soon went on a roll, defeating Dejan Zlaticanin for the Lightweight world title. He then moved up to outpoint Adrien Broner over 12 rounds and followed that up with back to back wins over Sergey Lipinets and Robert Easter Jr to win world titles in both contests.
His penchant to move up in weight was taken too far as he jumped up two weight classes to take on IBF titlist Errol Spence Jr in March of this year and subsequently lost every single round in that matchup. He hasn’t been seen in a ring since then.
Despite the loss, Mikey and Pacquiao have long been linked to one another. To say that Mikey would be excited for the challenge would be putting it mildly.
“I would love a fight with Manny,” said Mikey. “I think I have to get another fight before that to show everyone that I am capable and that I earned it. But a fight with Manny would be bad ass. I would love a fight with Manny.”
With just one defeat on his record he would be more than a worthy foe for Pacquiao and his 2020 return, but which Garcia should ultimately get the call?
Mikey Garcia is a great fighter. Despite his blowout loss to Spence, you just can’t say a bad word about the guy. His timing, power, boxing ability and heart have always carried him through his matches.
If this contest were to take place at a different weight than Mikey would have a better argument. But it isn’t.
The four division world champion just seems to be too small for the Welterweight class.
Danny on the other hand isn’t just a fully grown Welterweight fighter, but in actuality, he might be too big for the weight class. Don’t put too much stock into Danny losing to Keith Thurman back in 2017 and Pacquiao winning his most recent contest against that same Keith Thurman this year. We all know that styles make fights and Danny would give Pacquiao a ton of issues in the ring.
Truth be told, Pacquiao would be expected to win against either Garcia. However, if these are the two top options for Pacquiao and his return bout then he should absolutely look to take on Danny Garcia. It would be a fan friendly contest from start to finish and it would give both men a chance to add another big name fighter to their already ridiculous resumes.