By: Hans Themistode
Time has changed the perception of Mikey Garcia. Both good and bad.
From roughly 2006-2014, Garcia was viewed as one of the best in all of boxing. He wasn’t spectacular in any area, but all he did was win, win, win and win some more. Simply put, you couldn’t name the best boxers in the world without mentioning Mikey Garcia.
Then, out of seemingly nowhere, Garcia hit the sidelines for over two years amidst contract issues. As the old saying goes, out of sight out of mind. Garcia had effectively become yesterday’s news. But once he re-emerged two and half years later, he reclaimed a spot amongst the best in the world with wins over Dejan Zlaticanin, Adrien Broner, Sergey Lipinets and Robert Easter Jr.
No matter where you looked, there just wasn’t a single pound for pound list that didn’t have the name Mikey Garcia. Even with all of his success, Garcia saw his lowest point after he moved up two weight classes and lost to Welterweight champ, Errol Spence Jr in 2019.
It wasn’t that he simply lost. In fact, many were expecting it. But it was the manner in which he was dominated. Garcia lost every single round against Spence and at no point was it competitive.
The sort of loss that Garcia suffered isn’t just difficult to bounce back from, but it also makes it difficult for him to attract big name fighters. Well, Fast forward one year later, and Garcia finds himself near the top once again.
The cause? A great performance against former multiple division champion Jessie Vargas.
Now that Garcia has regained most of his credibility, he finds himself in line for another big fight. This time, against Manny Pacquiao.
For years the two pound for pound stars have been rumored to face off with one another. Now however, things seem to be getting serious as Garcia, Spence, WBO Welterweight champion Terence Crawford and former two division champ Danny Garcia are all in the running to face him next.
Who Pacquiao chooses is anyone’s guess. But if Garcia gets the call, he already has an idea on how he would fight Pacquiao.
“He’s very aggressive, very experienced, very strong,” Garcia said of Pacquiao. “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.”
At the moment, promoter Eddie Hearn is hoping to bring a contest between Garcia and Pacquiao to Saudi Arabia sometime later this year.