By: Hans Themistode
When four division world champion Mikey Garcia decided to move up two weight classes to take on Errol Spence Jr for his IBF Welterweight title in 2019, no one could believe it. Garcia has always been viewed as a great fighter but there are weight classes for a reason. So when Spence won every single round against Garcia, most of the boxing world laughed.
Fast forward one year later and no one is laughing anymore.
Garcia looked much better in his second go round at the 147 pound limit against former two division champion Jessie Vargas. Garcia dropped him in the fifth and cruised to a unanimous decision victory.
Now, after a solid win under his belt, Garcia has his eyes set on arguably the biggest name in the division.
“I would love that opportunity to fight Manny,” Garcia told promoter Eddie Hearn in an Instagram Live interview. “I think styles, you know, make fights. And he’s not this tall, lanky fighter that can complicate things like Errol Spence did. Errol Spence is a tall fighter who uses the reach very effectively and height. And, you know, he’s a southpaw, which always complicates things.”
“Manny’s still a southpaw, but he’s a lot smaller in size. So, he’s shorter in height, doesn’t have the reach like some of these other welterweights. So, I think that fits much better to get an entertaining fight with me. I think it just fits right.”
In his past three fights Garcia has given up a ton of size. First he was at a five inch height and three inch reach disadvantage against Jessie Vargas. Then it was three and half inches in height and four inches in reach to Errol Spence Jr. Before that, he gave up five inches in height and a ridiculous eight inches in reach to Robert Easter Jr.
A contest with Pacquiao would actually see Garcia face off against someone who is practically the same size as him.
How the fight would play out is anyone’s guess, but Garcia has the right blueprint in mind.
For nearly 25 years, Pacquiao has dominated inside of the ring. But outside of Floyd Mayweather, the two men that have given him the most trouble are Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez. He’s fought both men a combined seven times. And although he’s gone 4-2-1 against them, Garcia thinks that they are the perfect fighters to emulate if he were to meet Pacquiao the ring.
“I mean, I remember sparring with him years [and] years ago. And I was able to fight in the ways similar to like [Erik] Morales or [Juan Manuel] Marquez, you know boxing, and we did very well. It was only sparring sessions, but I felt good. 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.”